8. Bob Keller, Mentor and Friend
I met Bob Keller In November 1986, when he interviewed me to serve with Pastor Malone Cochran. He was a tough interviewer with a stern look and several challenging questions! I was 22 years old and he was 46, and he made me nervous! I had no idea he would become such a trusted and valued friend. After I later became his Pastor he served as a faithful and loyal leader, using his trusted influence in the church to help me succeed with the dreams God had given me. As a young leader in my 20’s I made numerous blunders, but he helped mentor and teach me through those blunders with amazing respect and care for my success. I am a MUCH better leader because of his patient investment in my life.
He has looked for ways through the years to add value to my life and ministry. I have produced over 1400 different sermons in my lifetime, and Bob asked if he could develop a cross-reference system for all of them. It would include Sermon title, series, and Bible verse. It was a MAJOR undertaking, but today I use that system every week.
He taught me how to manage a busy life with lots of demands.
He taught me life-transforming principles.
One life-transforming principle Bob taught me is identified with the question-Who’s back is the monkey on? It says that every time we agree to do something, we put a monkey on our own back. Those monkeys will take us down as leaders if we don’t find a way to get them off our backs quickly. So if someone asks, “Pastor would you call me this week and set up a time when we can go to lunch?” If I say yes, I put a monkey on my back. If I don’t follow through I will lose credibility. So instead of saying yes, I should say, “I’d be glad to go to lunch, but would you call me or my assistant this week and set that up?” I just took that monkey off of my back and put it back on theirs! That principle has been a lifesaver!!!
Bob is now age 74 and I continue to treasure his friendship and presence in my life. Even though space separates us, Bob continues to be an amazing friend and source of wisdom, always hoping and believing for my success! I’m thankful!
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