The One Another Project: Reflecting on those who Help us Climb

[fa icon="calendar"] November 18, 2019 / by Wayne Hoag

Two people climbing a mountain

Note from CPD President, Ray Van Gilst:

I recently shared about Wayne Hoag of Truckee, CA and his book - "One Another Project."  I have had a number of people now let us know that they are excited about getting a copy and utilizing it in ministry.  Even better than the book, the man behind the book is an enthusiastic part of the Central Pacific District and is available as needed in our churches and for our pastors.  I, for one, consider him to be a mentor and encouragement in what God has called me to.

But I'll let Wayne share his desire:

It is the growing longing of my heart to help and mentor younger pastors than myself - or at least those with less experience.  

I know that you are familiar with the term “mediocre.” Did you know that it comes from an old mountaineering word meaning, halfway up the mountain? I’ve asked my wife Sandy, if it is still true when I pass on, to have carved on my tombstone, “He died climbing!”

Never have I been more aware of the fact that, according to the actuarial tables, I have fewer years out front of me than I do behind me. My daily prayer has come from an old Puritan prayer,

“As I cross the threshold of this day, may I speak each word as if it was my last word, and walk each step as though it was my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.”

Shortly after being ordained in January 1977, I was sent to do a church plant in the desert town of Moab, Utah, where I spent the next thirteen years as the senior pastor of the Moab Christian Center. At the age of 26, with a couple of years of youth pastoring under my belt, I truly felt as if I had been thrown into the deep end of the pool. But I found God’s “grace to be sufficient” as He brought into my life three seasoned pastors, who He used to shape and mold this wet-behind-the-ears fledgling pastor.

The three men included 75 year old Elbert Hatley, who had pastored within the Church of God for over 50 years, 82 year old George Drake, who had for 60 years pastored rural Nazarene churches up and down the western slope of the Colorado Rockies, and lastly, 76 year old English Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill, who was discipled by Samuel Chadwick of Yorkshire, England.

I spent many hours sitting face to face with these men as they talked to me about Jesus and their individual ministries to the Body of Christ. We also exchanged many hand-written letters that are still among my most prized possession.

What amazed me most about these men was that they were all truly at peace with God and with themselves. They had nothing to prove to anyone, they had walked with God long enough to earn the title of fathers, as found in I John 2:12-14, they all had come to intimately know, “…Him who is from the beginning.” This made a lasting impact on my hurry and scurry life as a young pastor.

It was from these men that I learned that wisdom is a combination of the truths of God’s Word tempered by life experience. Wisdom oozed from their lives.

My last face to face meeting with Leonard was at his home in Lindale, Texas in December of 1981. We spent an afternoon in his den, talking about the things of God, while his beloved Martha kept us well supplied with tea and English shortbread. Our time together came to an end as it always did when I would visit him, on our knees in prayer, elbows on the seat of his old leather sofa.

As I left Leonard’s house that day, an unspoken prayer filled my heart, “Father, may I, one day, be fitted to pass on to other men, the wisdom that Leonard has shared with me.” I was 30 years old at that time, I am now 68, with 43 years of pastoral experience behind me. My hair is gray and thinning and I have learned somethings along the way about life and ministry. My great love is the Body of Christ, which I long to serve as long as there is breath in my body, sharing some of the wisdom that I have accrued over the years, whether that be from the pulpit or, like my times with Elbert, George, and Leonard, face to face with individual men whose hearts burn with a passion for Christ and His Church.

-Pastor Wayne Hoag


The One Another ProjectClick here to order Wayne’s book.

Topics: Equipping, Guest Post