As a young man just coming into ministry in 1971, I was deeply impacted by Pastor John Torres. He was an African –American, bi-vocational pastor of a small congregation in one of the worst neighborhoods in Denver, CO. As I watched his life and listened to his wisdom, he continually stirred my hunger and thirst for the deeper things of God. I loved him like a father!
Years later the Lord brought Pastor Dick Benjamin into my life. Again, I was challenged in new ways regarding doctrine, church governance, and personal growth. His many years of ministry and Godly counsel sustained me through several difficult times of disappointment, betrayal, and heartbreak resulting from ministry. He was a pastor to pastors and a man of prayer.
These were humble men, secure in their calling, acquainted with grief, and faithful in their care of the church of God. They finished well! Much of who I am today is the result of the examples they set as husbands, fathers, and pastors who loved the Lord Jesus Christ and their neighbors as themselves.  I was that neighbor.
They and others have taught me that to serve the Body of Christ is both a high and holy calling and an unspeakable privilege! As coworkers we carry a heavy responsibility before the Lord and those we serve, to pass this legacy of faithfulness on to the next generation.
Our aim should be no less than Paul’s when he encouraged the Corinthians, “Be imitators of me, just as I am of Christ.” Our goal must be one of spiritual duplication; we follow Christ, they follow us, they become examples for others to follow. Simply put, it is building a generational legacy as in, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”.
We live in a decade that demands this kind of authentic spiritual leadership to point the way home, to hope and healing in a society that is progressively turning its back on historic Christian doctrine, and values. Who better to sound the clarion call and lead the way than the good shepherds of God’s flock?
Upon reading this article you may be saying, George, this is not me. I am not the example you speak of. Every minister that I have known, at some time in their ministry, has been wounded, struggled with disappointment, doubt, depression, or failure of some kind. I have too! There is still hope. You can come back. If you are in one of those dark places in life, please call us at (844) 4PASTOR. Our pastoral staff is here for you and your family. We would be honored to speak with you.
 Acts 20:28
 Matthew 22:37-39
 1 Corinthians 11:1
 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
 Exodus 3:6; 4:5
Stahnke is a pastoral counselor at Focus on the Family, providing counseling to individuals, families, ministry families, and other ministry leaders. He advises on a variety of topics from marriage, parenting, and church relations to career changes, depression, pornography, and trauma. Stahnke has been in ministry over 35 years. He has traveled to India, Philippines, Ukraine, and China ministering to missionaries, native pastors, and their families.