This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go back to a place where I previously worked and preach for a congregation that I truly love.
It was a sweet reunion with some dear friends, including this guy…
The guy in the picture with me is Michael Montalvo, who succeeded me as the Community Outreach Minister for the Bammel Church of Christ in Houston, TX.
When I served in that post, I recruited Michael to lead our greeting ministry because he had specialized in the hospitality portion of the restaurant business and possessed a genuine curiosity and love for people. Every week (on Thursdays) we met together to disciple one another, pray with one another, and organize various facets of our congregation’s ministry to guests.
Under Michael’s servant-leadership, Bammel’s greeting ministry took off and became a hallmark of the excellence we were pursuing as a church. It was instrumental to creating a church culture that valued hospitality, service, love, joy, and inviting others to know Jesus Christ.
When I left Bammel to take a preaching post, the elders of the church asked me for recommendations for the next Community Outreach Minister. I gave them one name: Michael Montalvo.
They were surprised because Michael had no “formal” ministry training or experience. He had no degrees in Bible or Ministry.
But he had “it,” and I knew that, if given the chance, Michael would thrive in a ministry setting. The elders were well aware of Michael’s character, gifts, passion for people, and sincere devotion to the Lord, and they agreed to give Michael a chance.
Michael has been in his role (my old role) ever since then.
Before I got up on the stage to preach on Sunday, Michael surprised me by telling the congregation the story of how he got into full-time ministry and he said, “If it wasn’t for Rusty Tugman, I wouldn’t be in ministry.”
Then he had me stand to be recognized for the role I played in his journey.
I was so touched that I had to wipe tears from my eyes.
But I also had this thought: “How fun!”
How fun it is to see someone succeed that you helped and encouraged!
To know that God had used me, in some small way, to make a positive impact in Michael’s life brought so much joy to me.
And I don’t want you to miss out on that kind of joy, so…
Who, in your life, can you help succeed?
How can you invest in that person?