As you may know, my faith was transformed through a discipling relationship while I was a college student. I was safely attending a local church. (I even sang in the choir.) I usually attended the college Sunday School class. But then, I met Gary. He challenged me to begin to study scripture for myself. He asked me to describe my faith without using the pat answers I always heard at church. He challenged me to begin to share my faith with others on a regular basis. He also modeled what it was like to make an investment in discipleship. I was forever changed. God has provided the opportunity to disciple college students ever since.
If you have wondered about the first question–the answer is YES. I had another reminder of that fact earlier this week.
For the past few years, a student named John has been a regular part of our Tuesday lunch crew. John was actively involved in a local church and served in a leadership capacity there. While he was “plugged in” to ministry at another location, he enjoyed inviting his friends to join him for lunch at the 2:8 House.
Last semester, I asked John if he would like to begin meeting regularly. Sometimes we meet on campus, at the 2:8, at his house. He has even fixed me breakfast. Every time we share how God is at work in and through us. We talk. We pray. We have become friends—even brothers in the faith.
In a few months, John graduates– that special time in life when a university awards you a special piece of paper and launches you into the next phase of life. We have talked about the “next step,” the job search, the possibility that God has gifted and called him to serve Him in engineering. Last week, I mentioned to John that I had a friend I would like for him to meet.
I called Chris.
On Monday, John and I drove to Oklahoma City to meet Chris. He is an engineer. He moved to Oklahoma City 15 years ago to begin his first “real job.” He now owns the company. He is a good friend. He is a brother in the faith. In fact, he is someone I was able to disciple when he was a student at Pittsburg State University. On Monday, he talked with John about engineering, about interviewing for a job, about spending time with family, about faith.
Chris gave us a tour of his manufacturing plant. He talked about some of his current projects and challenges. He even took us to lunch.
Life was shared. Christ was honored. John noticed.
“I thought it was really cool to be a part of two generations of discipleship,” John said. ” You have been discipling me, and I had a chance to meet someone you discipled before.”
He also was challenged and encouraged by the visit.
“I spend so much time in the classroom, it was really cool to walk through the plant and to talk to someone about who is doing the day-to-day work.”
As I shared a couple of hours with Chris and John, as I listened to them talk about various projects and engineering processes, as they shared parts of their faith journeys, I was reminded of the personal privilege God has given me to be a part of both of these young men’s lives.
God still is in the business of changing lives. He still loves us. He created us with unique gifts and interests. He still calls us into relationship—with Him and with others.
Discipleship works. LOVE WINS.