Being a Torch-Passer

Blog post from Titus 2 Mentoring Women 

Today’s guest post is from John Ortberg, author of If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat,  Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know ThemThe Me I Want to Be.  John is a pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

When it comes to spiritual formation, it’s hard to find anything that rivals the impact of a mentor…a ‘torch-bearer’ who becomes a ‘torch-passer’.  We’re all being nudged toward the life of “torch-passer” in the unique way you will express it.  It’s as if God gives this torch of life, this light of life with Him and anytime somebody receives it He says, “Now, I want you to be a keeper of the flame.  I want you to be a passer of the torch.  I want you to use this life I’ve given you to build into the lives of other people.”  This is absolutely a fundamental need for every human being whether or not they’re a parent, whether or not they’re young or old.

Paul writes to Timothy when Timothy is quite young and Paul is aging and he says, “You, my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus that is in this life with God.  The things you heard me say, this Good News about Jesus and the life, the forgiveness, the direction He offers, the Good News that you have heard me say and trust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others”.  In other words, Timothy is young, but he is to be a torch passer as well.  Paul gives the torch to Timothy and he says, “This is not just about you.  You give it to reliable people.  But don’t let them keep it.  They’re to give it to reliable people as well.”  This is one person to another to another to another.  Everybody who knows Jesus had somebody, some people, pass the torch to them.

The question is who are you building into?  Who are you passing the torch to?  Who are you investing in?  When you get to the end of your life, who is going to say, “I’m a better person.  I walk a little taller.  I stand a little straighter.  My faith is a little stronger because I was loved by a torch-passer?”

The kind of community we all want to be a part of is one where mantles are being distributed and torches are being passed.  That sends ripples for generations!

The choice is in your hands.  You can do this.  This is not a program.  It’s not a service.  It happens one mentor at a time.  It happens when someone says “Alright God, I want to be a part of this deal.”

The greatest torch in the history of the human race was passed to those 12 and then beyond and then beyond and then beyond and then beyond until right now.  It’s the only torch that matters.  Who are you passing it to?  It doesn’t really matter how well you think you carry the torch if you’re not giving it to somebody else.

When the time comes for your life to end, don’t you want a group of people saying “I’m a better human being because of her?”

Ask God.
Pass the torch.