Tonight, we are privileged to have on our BlogTalkRadio show an old friend and spiritual mentor, Leighton Ford. Leighton has a long and illustrious career: as an evangelist with the Billy Graham Association, of which he served as Vice President; and as Honorary Life Chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, having served from 1976 to 1992 as chairman of this international body of Christian leaders; and as a mentor to leaders through his own Leighton Ford Ministries.
I first met Leighton in 1970 when someone suggested I might be a good person to help him reach the youth in his crusades. Using pretty much the Billy Graham model, an advance team would go into a city that wanted to sponsor a crusade and mobilize the churches into doing all the advance work finding volunteers to serve as ushers, counselors and singers in the choir. During the crusade itself, they would sign me up to do assemblies in the local high schools, and, sort of like a pied piper, I would invite them to come to the crusade, focusing especially on Youth Night when I would sing at the crusade as well. Though I was barred from preaching the gospel in those assemblies, I would pretty much let the songs do that, like linking “I Can’t Find My Way Home,” by Blind Faith with “Come on people, all come home/Jesus gonna make you well,” by Arlo Guthrie.
We’ll talk a little about all that stuff tonight, but what I really want to talk about is what he is doing now, which is mentoring young leaders through a ministry he has built called The Mentoring Community. He discusses this in a 60-page booklet available for free on his website.
In perusing that little booklet, what impresses me is the priority place upon relationships and the time to build them; walking and talking time — time for reflection and time to drink deeply from the well of life.
Maybe it’s just me right now, but that all seems like a luxury to me. When can I find the time to walk and talk? Whether I get even one of them done or not, I feel at all times like I have a hundred and one things to do. I don’t have time to walk and talk.
And then I think about life and what it’s for, and if it isn’t for walking and talking, then what are we doing? What am I doing that is more important than the people in my life? And how will I ever introduce the Gospel of Welcome to anyone if I don’t have the time or the opportunity to walk and talk with them?
Hopefully, Leighton can help me with this, and you as well. Tune in tonight (click on banner below), live, at 6 pm Pacific (9 pm Eastern), or if you can’t listen live, any time after that you can listen On Demand at the same link.