They are affectionately called my P.O.C.
This is short for Pastoral Oversight Council. Every pastor needs to have such a council. They give me direction, discipline, and defense.
Mine is made up of 4 great pastors with 150 years of combined ministerial experience. Their fingerprints are all over my ministry framework. They have all known me since I was born.
These are men that I trust implicitly. Their advice is valued, as is their counsel.
Can you take an order?
These men have the authority to speak into my life. I will do more than listen: I will submit.
That’s real fun.
To submit one has to disagree and still choose to surrender their will in obedience.
Disagree? Do it anyway.
Can I talk?
The reason that my P.O.C. and I jive so well is that we have established a culture of communication. I’m allowed to express my opinion. My ideas and thoughts are more than accepted – they are expected. Sometimes they are rejected. Other times they are implemented. Either way there is a freedom of expression.
That makes all the difference in the world. These are men that listen to the younger generation with the intention of gaining understanding and context.
This is often the missing element in many a mentoring relationship. The mentor doesn’t listen to or value the logic of their mentee.
Most of my generation is full of questions. The locus of which is to gain insight. Nothing more.
This back and forth speak doesn’t indicate us young guys aren’t humble. God gave us a voice too.
Ours is a voice that needs to be heard. Allowing the mentees to speak alleviates much of the misunderstanding that is occurring in certain tribes.
There are times that my P.O.C. pulls rank and speaks into my life with authority. These moments aren’t fueled by frustration. They are God moments in which wisdom is imparted and received. I have faith in their fathering.
There are other times that we interchange information. I’m thankful that they listen. They let me finish talking and then they talk, and vice versa.
I’m lucky in this regard.
Other young men are interrupted and isolated. Intelligence gives way to irritation. The gavel is dropped and the growth is stopped.
This isn’t covering – it’s choking.
Why do so many young preachers in our tribe leave?
They don’t have a voice.