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A Moment for a Mentor

01 Feb

Charles Siburt is a mentor for me. He has been struggling with an aggressive form of cancer. I want to take some time to share my thoughts about Charles so that you can understand why I thank God for Charles Siburt. The qualities reflected in Charlie’s life give clues to the traits of a mentor.

1. Charles cares for my family. Charles was the minister at the Glenwood Church of Christ in Tyler, TX. My grandfather was a member of Glenwood before he moved to live close to my family. I was a sophomore in high school when my grandfather passed away. Charles preached his funeral. His care for my family continues on to this day. He always wants to make sure my wife and my children are doing well.

2. Charles makes me feel special. I know that there are hundreds of people that Charles has mentored. But I have a secret…he likes me the best. This is how all who have been mentored by Charles feel. He takes time to check on me personally. I have had seasons of difficult times in ministry and during those times, he has called me to talk to me. He has words of affirmation for me that let me know he believes in me.

3. Charles speaks truth. Truth-telling is often a lost skill. Many people who “speak truth” use this as a smoke screen to be mean-spirited. Others will not say the truthful thing because of a fear of wounding the pride of others. Charlie speaks the truth in love. Because he loves, he can say what needs to be said. Although Charles has advanced macular degeneration, he sees things clearly and reveals that which must be seen.

4. Charles laughs. My wife and I were talking about Charles last night and she said, “He just delights in you!” I am a bit of a goofball. Charles loves it. He would stop lectures to make me tell jokes or to recite embarrassing humorous stories. He laughs and laughs at my humor. We have certain recurring jokes that have endured for over 15 years now. And still he laughs at them. While in grad school at ACU, I once nabbed a WW2-era German helmet from a library display and wore it into his class. Because of Charlie’s vision impairment, he could not tell what I was wearing. Eventually, I imitated Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes. (I know nossink!) Charlie put it together and laughed hysterically. He made me put on the helmet and wear it the next class session and do the impersonation again. And again. And again. This is an example of humor that endures.

5. Charles is a true believer. He believes in Jesus. He believes in God. He believes in the Holy Spirit at work in the world. He believes in the Church. He believes that even though we fall short, the Church is still the bride of Christ and the agent of reconciliation in this world. His belief inspires me and calls me to further depths of belief. Charles has faced the most difficult situations with grace that comes from the Spirit.

There are more qualities that I love about Charles. I want to ask you to join with me and others this Friday, February 3 to enter into a day of prayer and fasting for Charles and his family. Charles and Judy Siburt have dedicated their lives to giving to others. I want to pray for Charles in his final days for there to be peace and courage. I will also be praying a prayer of thanksgiving for all that Charles has given to the Church, and especially what he has done for me. I also pray for Charles’ ministry of blessing churches and church leaders that God would raise up more to take up the call.

UPDATE EDIT: The day of prayer and fasting was a blessing as hundreds from around the world prayed to our Father. God worked by allowing Charles to have more time with his family, more time blessing others and he even got to teach another group of young ministers. Charles went to be with the Lord Wednesday morning, July 11. He will rest, and he will rise.

Thank God for Charles Siburt.

[Update]

Here is another blog from my good friend Dan Bouchelle talking about Charles’ impact in his life. And another post from Jim Martin at Godhungry.org. Bobby Ross at the Christian Chronicle put up this post about the day of prayer for Charles.

How have you been blessed by Charles Siburt? Take a moment to comment here.

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25 Comments

Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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25 responses to “A Moment for a Mentor

  1. rochelle palmer

    February 1, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Had the privilege of befriending the Siburts at the Ministry Renewal Weekend they do in Salado. Charles and Judy were so generous with their time, their pain, their stories and their joy in Christ and one another. We received incredible words of wisdom and blessing from them… words I keep close to me, that I can remember them in times of need and doubt. Perhaps best of all, we laughed.. and I mean, laughed! I will remember his deep laughter echoing in that lodge and what a release and relief it was to share such good humor. Oh, I am sad for the loss this will be to our churches and I am so glad that I had the experience of this Godly couple.

     
    • jordanhubbard

      February 1, 2012 at 2:56 am

      Ro,
      The ministry he had through the Minister Support Network is awe-inspiring. The time we spent at Summer’s Mill with them, the Wrays, the Sharps and the Faulkners continues to be a blessing for Debbie and me. We also celebrate the laughter and the smiles from that time!

       
  2. Janie Ann Sauls

    February 1, 2012 at 12:57 am

    That was Wonderful!

     
  3. Wendy Ogren

    February 1, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Well said, Jordan. Dr. Siburt (I still can’t call him Charlie) performed our wedding ceremony. We had moments of laughter then too. So thankful for him ~
    Wendy Ogren

     
    • jordanhubbard

      February 1, 2012 at 2:54 am

      Wendy,
      I know what you mean! I was eating lunch with him about 3 1/2 years ago when he leaned forward and said, “Call me Charles!” I couldn’t stop calling him Dr. Siburt! When I reflect on that day I realize that he left that lunch with me to go to Dr. Vega to be diagnosed with this cancer.

       
  4. zack blaisdell

    February 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Jordan, i don’t know them, but i have read a book of two Dr Siburt wrote and/or edited. i was deeply thankful for his words in those books (Like a Shepherd Lead Us, and can’t remember the other one).
    i was wondering if i could write about mentoring in my own bloghttp://zackblaisdell.wordpress.com, and mention your blog to refer everyone too. This is a great mondern day example of mentoring.
    i’ve heard Dr Siburt preach a few times. He’s truly a gifted preacher. No doubt a gifted educator also. God bless him and his family. Sounds like he’ll be greatly missed by those he’s blessed and the churches he’s mentored as well.
    God bless. Grace and Peace.
    Zack
    http://zackblaisdell.wordpress.com

     
    • jordanhubbard

      February 1, 2012 at 2:52 am

      Zack, Thanks for commenting. I would be honored to be mentioned in your blog. Dr. Siburt has been a great influence on so many and I hope to see his legacy bless others!

       
  5. Michael Parker

    February 1, 2012 at 3:08 am

    The presence and spoken words of some let you know you can be a better person and disciple. Thank you Charlie for being that kind of person. There is no yardstick sufficient to determine the extent of your influence, so rest assured that it is beyond measure. I count it a tremendous blessing to have known you and to call you friend. Grace and Peace – Mike Parker

     
  6. Sean

    February 1, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Thanks for posting this, Jordan. Siburt had a way of affirming us as people and professionals while simultaneously giving it to us straight about life ministry, expectations and our weaknesses. We will be weaker as a fellowship of churches without him. Praying for him, Judy, John and Ben.

     
  7. John Knox

    February 1, 2012 at 4:04 am

    You have said it so well Jordan. I think it wise just to let your words sink in today. Thank you for using this format to express what so many of us feel right now. -John Knox

     
    • jordanhubbard

      February 1, 2012 at 4:15 am

      John,
      Nobody does the Siburt voice like you! Thank you for stopping by here today.

       
  8. j scott

    February 1, 2012 at 9:58 am

    The Hogan’s Heroes moment. Laughed outloud so hard that my kids woke up! Charles Siburt was always so gracious to me and to so many.

     
    • jordanhubbard

      February 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Joel,
      I thought about many of our moments in Dr. Siburt’s classes! I believe that our education was wasted on our youth but we sure had a great time!

       
  9. John Laster

    February 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Thoughtful, heartfelt words Jordan, thank you. Charles is a conduit of grace and hope to me, and to many. He saw things in me and believed in me long before I saw or believed them myself. And dozens and dozens of leaders echo similar sentiments – that is the crazy thing, his ability to care for and pour into leaders is amazing.

    Charles modeled for me that if you are going in, go all in. Ministry, particularly a ministry of
    Intervention and leadership coaching, is all about relationships. He changed the trajectory of my ministry.

    One of my favorite memories was running into him at a consultant training event with John Savage at Earlham College near Indianapolis in 1992. Since we were the only 2 folks from our tribe in the small group, I was his partner / reader for the training. One evening we had a break and some of us went to see Sister Act. Charles insisted on sitting in the front row (not my row of choice). I’ll never forget his robust laughter! He was all in the moment, like it seemed he was with everything else. A great example for sure.

     
  10. Brad Cox

    February 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I have had the priviledge of seeing Charles in many roles over the years. My grandfather was an elder at Glenwood Church of Christ when Charles was a young preacher. And of course I was blessed to have Charles as a professor who genuinely worked to prepare the next generation of ministers for the Kingdom. But Brother Siburt also served as an important link to the brotherhood; helping to hold together a group of independent folks that pride themselves on their autonomy. How many ministers and churches have found each other through Charles’ recomendations? I have had the opportunity to experience Charles come in to work with the leadership of three congregations i have been a part of over the years. Same pattern: get to know the leaders, listen to the problems being presented, then speak the truth in love (not holding any punches – how do you think he got the nickname “Chainsaw Charlie”). There is no telling how many churches he has helped over the years, and how many elderships he has helped to mature through Elder Link. What a blessing Charles Siburt has been in my life!

     
  11. Robert (Bob) Odle

    February 2, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Reblogged this on Life in a New Millennium and commented:
    My words fail me. And so I steal some from another who has said what I would if I could.

     
  12. Jackie Qualls

    February 2, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Hub,
    Thanks for writing this for Dr. Siburt. I love this man. I thought I was his favorite!:) I loved how he would hold his glasses in hand after reading a phrase from a paper and he would hold the glasses by his tie. I could see the individual threads in his tie due to the super magnification power of his glasses! For a man that could not see to drive, he had the best vision of people and churches of anyone around. I think God worked within his macular degeneration to make him a better church consultant. His sense of hearing was heightened and therefore he wasn’t fooled by church leaders who put on a smile and tried to fake their way through the process. Dr. Siburt took special interest in me because I took special interest in his classes. I was preaching at a small country church in Colorado City, TX. on the weekends my Junior and Senior years at ACU. Every word from his mouth was something I was seeing or putting into practice each week as Joellen and I drove to C-City to work with this church. I hung on his every word. Such a wise man. One night after class I was struggling personally with some issues and I wanted to talk to him one on one about them. I trusted him and he was my friend. I asked if I could give him a ride home at the beginning of class. He said yes. As class ended another professor came up and began talking to Dr. Siburt. They were good friends and enjoyed each other’s company. This professor asked if Charles needed a ride home. I had not told him why I wanted to give him a ride home just that I would do it. He got a ride home every night because he could not drive. He looked at me and asked if it would be ok with me if this professor gave him a ride home. I didn’t know what to say because I really needed to talk to him. There was a pause in my response. He sensed it. He knew something was wrong even though he could not see the nuances of my facial expression. He turned to his professor friend and said, “I’ll catch up with you later.” He jumped in my truck that night asked me what was up and proceeded to have a conversation with me that changed my life. Our Father has used him to help and change the lives of thousands of people just like me. What a great warrior for the Kingdom! What a great man of God! My teacher, my friend, Charles Siburt.

     
    • jordanhubbard

      February 2, 2012 at 3:22 am

      Great story Gern. It really highlights exactly the kind of person Charles is and the way he takes personal interest. How can one man be a shepherd to so many?

       
  13. Jim Martin

    February 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Jordan,
    What a wonderful tribute! I was encouraged by your words as I thought about Charles. (I especially like the Sgt. Schultz story. I can hear him laugh now.) So proud of you, Jordan. I know Charles is as well.

     
  14. Max Chance

    February 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Thank you, Jordan, for giving us all a time and place to share these thoughts and memories with each other, who know him well. I’m blessed to minister in New York, in a small church of locally and/or recently converted Christians who are and have been praying for Charles, but don’t know him like we do. That laugh. The joy of the Lord. That considering pause. Quite possibly the wisest man I’ve ever known, and I know some heavy hitters in God’s Kingdom, by His grace. Like some of the people on this blog! So, mine is just another story- one of thousands- in which his direct closeness and involvement changed my life. He’s ridden in my car, too. We’ve shared meals at his table, and his family and my family have always walked closely together, again by God’s grace. My dad talks about growing up with Charlie. Even before I met him, I knew I had a friend in him. He counseled me, personally, through one of my toughest times as a young adult, telling me truth I didn’t want to hear in ways that I could hear it, and then he walked with me into my first ministry in Salado… It goes on and on. Teachers offer information in bulk to those with the hearts/minds to receive it. A mentor checks in closely to see how you’re receiving it. Not for interest in any personal gain, but for the strengthening of a disciple. I’m so richly blessed to be able to say Dr. Charles Siburt mentored me. He has been Jesus to me. I owe him a debt I can never pay, but to continue serving joyfully as he does, and carry forward Whom he knows to those who don’t.

     
  15. rtblaisdell

    February 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Any knew news about Dr Siburt? Anyone know how he is doing? Curious.
    God bless. Grace and Peace.

    Zack
    http://zackblaisdell.wordpress.com

     

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