January 2019   
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The importance of men working as teachers with youth was instilled in me during my childhood. I was blessed to have a "Man's man" for a father and grandfather. I did not need other role models of gentle manliness, but I was blessed to have it anyway. Growing up in the First Baptist Church of Basile, LA. I had men teaching me throughout my Jr. High and Sr. High days.   When I entered the "Juniors Department" (7-9th grade) Mr. Cecil McClelland was my teacher and then when I entered the "Intermediate Department" (10-12th grade) Mr. D.D. McClelland was my teacher. Both these men poured their lives into the boys who sat with me every Sunday. They were there when we had Youth Events, often hosting them, available for any of us to sit and share. Though I did not talk with Mr. D.D. as much as Mr. Cecil, they were part of the blessing God placed in my life to guide me in the right direction. I knew some of the guys at church had no dad, or a poor excuse for a dad, so these men were even more important to them. The Apostle Paul was careful to teach young men the truth, sharing his life with them and then encouraging them as they went into the world to reach others for Christ. Paul's admonision to Timothy is still relevant for us today " And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Tim 2:2) I rarely have to encourage women to step up and teach, but the shame of must churches is that the men have taken a back seat and forced ladies to carry their burden that would actually be a blessing. How about it, men? Climb out of your comfortable class where you just sit and get fed and step into a role that can be such a blessing to the young men of your church. Then one day, when you are in your later years, someone will walk up to you and tell you how important you were to them... when they needed it most.