IN HONOUR OF DR LOIS BURKETT
For some years, I have been asked to speak about mentoring.
I had barely heard the word until the mid-90’s when a dear friend said, “At long last I have found a mentor.” Those very words sounded warming and embracive. It would not be long before I would add other words – like life-changing, faithful, encouraging.
Dr Lois Burkett was my friend’s mentor and she became mine. I met her at a leadership summit and was greatly impacted by this – that she knew who she was in Christ and seemed to have a good idea of Who He was in her. Her strength and stature in God demanded my attention.
Lois took me on my first prophetic walk and I found something rising in my spirit and mind. It was trust…trust in her; trust in the God of her faith; trust in her integrity; trust in her capacity to handle my chaotic notions about women in ministry. (The journey to the opposite side of the galaxy on this matter had only just begun; meeting Lois accelerated my passageway.)
So just who is she?
Lois was a child evangelist in the mid-west of America. For all her years since, she has followed the call of God with a capacity for listening to the Holy Spirit that has hallmarked her ministry. Her teaching is solid; her profile as a prophet is high grade; and her apostolic mantle is undeniable.
Following that climactic gathering in Springbrook in 1995, Lois became an annual visitor to Australia for the next 10 years, adding greatly to the journey of many hungry servants of God.
Perhaps the most graphic illustration of Lois’s mode of mentoring is best told by recounting a phone conversation that took place years ago. I made a comment and she said, “I have been waiting 6 years for you to say that.” Ah. So that is what a mentor does. They don’t yell or tell; they simply walk with you and wait.
Oh, and recounting that story reminds me of this – that Lois has never described herself as a mentor but rather as one who “walks alongside.” And she does.
She doesn’t require cloning in order to have her sense of self established.
She doesn’t need flowery and frequent stroking in order to face the world as an affirmed person.
She does expect growth.
She does expect that those who drink from her well will learn to be led by the Spirit.
She absolutely expects a person to deal with their issues – on a daily basis.
She is a creative! Her home is elegant; prophetic gestures by her hand are generous, pertinent and often deliciously elaborate.
She is a devoted wife and mother.
Her prophetic mantle is not only alive, but the seeding of prophetic strength into Church leaders is bearing fruit beyond her natural borders at a multi-generational level.
So, when I am asked to speak to the matter of mentoring, I just get out my notes which are simply a description of who Lois has been to me for 20 years – my mentor and my pastor.