As we prepare for the upcoming h.e.a.r.t. Men’s Rustic Retreat I’ve been thinking a lot about the men in my life who have been mentors, encouragers, examples, etc. and the list is very long. A well-known passage of scripture tells us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17, NIV). Unfortunately well-known verses can often times become mere platitudes or clichés, but this one is a constant reminder for me to be intentional in my relationships, particularly with other men.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”

I think it is easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and forget to intentionally use our gifts, time, and energy to build up others in the Body of Christ. One of the things we teach at h.e.a.r.t. is the value of community, the challenges of true community, an the importance of coming together for the good of each other and the glory of God. Our students spend all of their time working on the interpersonal skills necessary to make these things a reality. They live together, work together, play together, fellowship over meals together, worship together, study together, make decisions together, and even resolve conflict together.

I’ve been reminded recently that ministry is all about relationships but some of us aren’t very good at developing and maintaining fruitful relationships. Personally I’ve gone through seasons in my life where I have been intentional and enjoyed the fruits of great community with brothers and sisters in Christ. Other times I’ve been absorbed in my own life and priorities with little time and energy left over for the amazing people around me. That’s a mistake, sinful even. God, who created us in his own image, is definitively community as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As his image bearers, I believe we are designed at our core for relationship with Him and with each other.


I would just like to acknowledge and thank the men in my life who have made it a priority to invest in me. My granddad, dad and brothers have all taken that role gladly and eagerly. Additionally God has blessed me with great men of faith at various stages of my life to minister to me: Kent Yost, Mike Koch, Mark Vincenti, Pat Pettyjohn, Mark Flood, John Warden, Gary Agee, Mike Lewis, Scott Rolf, Mac Renfro, Zach Wiese, David Robert, John Johnson, James Griffin, Jonathan Morgan, Paul Hefft, Ben Shular, James Love, Phil Murphy, John Myer, Josh Jamison, Paul Saucier, Jason Varner, Aaron Varner…the list could go on and on. Thank you, men of God, for taking the time to invest in me, to mentor me, to encourage me, to speak truth to me, to inspire me, to live as an example for me. You are truly men of God and I am eternally grateful for the ways God has used you in my life. (My apologies to the scores of great men who are not included in this list, but nevertheless, have played a great part in helping me to develop into the man I am today.)

I hope I have been able to serve as an encouragement and mentor in other’s lives and it is definitely my desire to minister to our students at h.e.a.r.t. in such a way that they can see the image of God in me and in the community we build in our village. I hope they learn and grow in the skills that will allow them to show love and support and to build bridges of communication and relationship with the people with whom they come into contact regardless of language, religion, ethnicity, culture, etc. Let us intentionally be about the work of sharpening one another for ministry.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (NRSV), “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”

Watch the Crazy Invite Video for the Rustic Retreat

Post by Mike Webb