In 1977, someone invited me to a men’s retreat at the Young Life camp in Windy Gap, North Carolina, sponsored by The Fellowship.
One night the black evangelist Tom Skinner was speaking about the kingdom of God, about loving God, and about loving other people–especially people who are different from us. It was the first time I can remember hearing that I didn’t have to work myself into a stupor to earn God’s approval and love. It was also the first time I remember being challenged to love people outside my comfort zone.
Tom liked to play tennis, and they had courts at Windy Gap. The next night I skipped out on the main session and walked up to the courts. Tom was there hitting balls. We struck up a conversation. He talked to me as though I was the only person on Earth still living. I felt the love of God coming through him into me. We became fast friends.
A Life Long Friend
One thing Tom said that weekend at Windy Gap gripped me:
The most powerful force in the world is a relationship. If you want to change your city or church, don’t try to organize a big revival. Instead, find some like-minded men and become to each other what you want your city or church to become. Meet together and share your lives with each other. That will create a model so attractive that others will want to be part of it.
That really grabbed hold of my insides. As soon as I returned home, I started praying for God to send me a man. On the following Sunday, I saw Ken Moar, a friendly man 30 years my senior standing in the hall. I walked up to him and said, "Ken, would you be interested in meeting once a week?" Then I went on to share the idea of becoming to each other what we wanted our church and community to become. We still meet, and everything I’ve ever done in ministry or business was first discussed with Ken.
Ken just turned 89. What a great and wise friend he has been. I love you, Ken.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.
Man in the Mirror