We asked 35 Christian leaders, “Who is the influencer with the biggest impact on your life and ministry?” Most of these leaders listed several influential thinkers, writers, innovators, and leaders more of us should get to know. This response is from Mark Scott, professor of preaching and ministry, Ozark Christian College, Joplin, Missouri.
As tempting as it is to name the five members of my family (wife and four children), I will name and give commentary to five thought leaders. Two are older and have mentored me. One is a peer and has walked alongside of me. Two are younger and have reversed the mentoring process.
Dr. Haddon Robinson (older) is one of the top five preachers in the English-speaking world. I was privileged to have him for two classes and never saw him look at a note.
J.K. Jones (peer) is gargantuan in humility. I have booked him to preach my funeral.
Randy Gariss (younger, but by only one year) has been my preacher. This homespun “Will Rogers of the Restoration Movement” always gives me a gold nugget to take home from church.
Doug Aldridge (younger, academic dean of Ozark Christian College) was my successor in the dean’s office. This cowboy theologian/apologist is bright and energetic and he understands that his family is his first church.
Kenny Boles (older, retired after 45 years of teaching Greek and New Testament at Ozark Christian College in May 2015) gets more than honorable mention. This effective teacher/preacher made the New Testament Greek text live and be portable for me. He was competent in every nuance of teaching, committed to the ideals of a classic Bible college, caring of his students, and measured in how he lived his life. He will retire well because he did everything else well.