Another difference-maker – Mark Dever

I am currently reading a great book entitled Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti Anayabwile

One of the quotes that really struck me came from the introduction on page 12

Then there was Mark Dever, an unusually gifted discipler of men and teacher of God’s Word. I cannot forget his eager generosity towards me. It began on the day of my membership interview at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. He asked what I wanted to do with my life over the long term. A little intimidated, I answered, “I would love it if the Lord would allow me to pastor full-time.” Really? Mark replied, eyebrow curiously raised, head slightly tilted. Then he turned to my wife and asked, “Can he teach?” Oh no, I thought. I did not see that coming. What would she say? To my relief , “Oh, yes” came the quick and confident reply. Mark turned to me and said, “You should call the church office and get on my calendar for regular lunches together. Let’s meet up and discuss good Christian books. You should consider my life open to you.”

There is a lot that jumped off the page at me when I read this, I will attempt to highlight what I saw and how it spoke to me:

1. Mark Dever asked a question that every pastor should ask – What do you want to do with your life? A probing question, but a necessary and essential one.

2. Mark Dever is a busy pastor, but took the time to mentor Thabiti through regular lunches together. He did not delegate this responsibility to someone else.

3. The statement that jumped off the page – You should consider my life open to you.. That is huge, not only did Mark Dever make a commitment to mentor and disciple Thabiti, he made himself very accessible!

It is very easy to say that you want to mentor or disciple someone, but are you available to them? Are you meeting regularly with them? Are you introducing them to people who can help and assist them? Are you giving them opportunities to minister?

It all started with a question during a membership interview which lead to the beginning of a discipleship/mentoring relationship between Mark Dever and Thabiti Anaybwile. Thabiti served as an elder at Capitol Hill and now is the Senior Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman. They are both scheduled to speak at Together For The Gospel in Louisville in April 2012.

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