When I reflect on my journey of faith, I am aware that God has allowed me to walk alongside many great people. At different points along the way, He has used them to help shape me into the person that I have become.

My Mum and Dad are among the biggest influences in my life, and I thank them for their godly, positive example. In my teens I gave my life to Christ and was then discipled by David Blank who at the age of 65 was the youth group leader who laid a great foundation in my life.  He went on to give me my first exposure to church leadership and I am grateful for the time he gave me as a young man. I also recall with gratitude the love and care of Vic and Lyn Atkins who demonstrated such a gift of hospitality in their constant open house.

At the age of 23 I joined a Newfrontiers Church in Christchurch, Christchurch Family Church and it was there a greater passion for Jesus was ignited within me in wonderful way. At CFC I encountered humble, gifted leaders such as Tony Goodman and Mike Virgo and had the privilege of spending many hours in their company. Praying, talking and sharing lives with such people has undoubtedly made me a better leader.

Malcolm Duncan, Founder and Director of Church and Community, and our pastor in Bournemouth, is a person who influenced us as a couple and someone we would count as one of our most significant mentors. His counsel to us as a leader and the vision he had for the community cannot be understated. He demonstrated the impact the local church can have on the local community. He, together with his wife Debbie, are still always hugely helpful and encouraging.

Why not take a few moments to ask yourself: Who am I helping to grow? Who are the main influences in my life?

Whatever your age we should ask God to bring men and women into our lives who will help make us into the people He wants us to become.