A Mentor and a Coach

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  • August 19, 2008

In the church planting world there are guys who function as mentors and coaches. I’ve heard the difference put like this. Mentors are the guys who pour into you, while coaches are the guys who draw out of you.

So a mentor will pour into you through life on life discipleship. He’ll disciple you by just living his life in front of you and letting you soak it in. I never called him by the title, but that’s what Matt Kruse was for me. For 5 years, Matt let me tag along with him. He poured time, energy, training, resources, wisdom, prayer, correction into me. And most of the time, I wasn’t even aware I was being discipled cause it happened as we were living life together. Sometimes it was active and intentional, like when we would meet up on Tuesday mornings for our pastors’ meeting or I’d seek him out with a question. Other times it was passive, perhaps unintentional, as we talked over lunch or on a car ride. I picture the disciples learning from Jesus both when He stood up to preach, and when they walked beside Him as they went into town to grab lunch. I can’t thank God enough for giving me a guy who, for 5 years, was willing to pour into me.

But now, I need someone close by to come alongside me and help draw out that which was poured in. Enter Glenn McDowell. Glenn is a pastor at Liberti church in Roxborough, PA. He wears many hats, one being that he has served as a coach for several church planters and we’ve been talking for a while about the possibility of him being a coach for me. Glenn had corresponded with me while I was still in Boston, been prayerful for me through our move, visited my family as soon as I got here, and has really seemed to care. Today, we met for lunch to sort of seal the deal. As a coach, Glenn will be helping me think through my strategy, keeping me accountable to my goals, ensuring that I stay on task, providing feedback and wisdom, and caring for my soul. Glenn reminded me today that his role will not be to tell me how to plant a church, but to walk with me as Jesus tells me how to plant His church.

Prayerful and hopeful today that what has been poured in and will be drawn out will bless many.

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About Ajay Thomas

Ajay lives in Philadelphia with his wife Shainu and their kids Hannah and Micah. He is responsible for preaching and vision as a pastor at Seven Mile Road. He loves God, family, food, and football - in that order.

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