Brad Hansen is someone I have known since I was 19-years-old. When I got back from a year at music school, I dressed funny and was a bit detached from church life. Brad met with me, heard my songs and encouraged me to be a part of his ministry. I did not know what he was doing, but he would let me and others lead parts of songs and gave opportunities to share my original music in front of the whole church–a pretty big church at that. I wore funny shoes and had funky 1980s hair that was kind of like a member of the band Flock of Seagulls. With all of my quirks, I was given a place as a volunteer and had the blessing as a young adult to be a part of such a great ministry.
As time passed, I ended up actually being on Brad’s staff team while in school. I learned so much from Brad and the team he assembled. For one, Brad is an encourager. I loved that. Soon I was getting married and starting my life in ministry. Not too long after, I remember that Brad encouraged me while being the interim music minister after he had left the church we were both served. I was so young, yet somehow he believed in me even when others were not as enthusiastic.
Many years have passed. During this time I have had a friend who cheered my walk, family and ministry that reached across states and time zones. His example and success in ministry inspires me. He is one of those persons who I look to for the benchmark of what it is to be a good worship pastor.
We had a rare opportunity to sit and share a coffee together on my vacation. He is still an encourager and as hip as ever. One thing that I am challenged with is having very creative kids. His are, too. In fact, one is a hollywood actor and one a successful businessman. The serendipity of the conversation was clear to me. God has blessed me through this very faithful servant.
Brad, thanks for sharing your life with me and others! Any of you have mentors and friends who have encouraged you in this way?