p. 100 of The Fuel and the Flame: 10 Keys to Ignite Your College Campus for Jesus Christ, by Steve Shadrach.
Two Kinds of Disciplers
I had two different men disciple me in college. One took me through ministry materials each week during the “mandatory” one-on-one meetings we’d agreed on. At the end of my freshmen year, he graduated, we shook hands, and I’ve never heard from him since! Later in college, God gave me a second man to disciple me, Vic Underwood, who loved me in spite of myself. I’d never met someone who cared, served, prayed, and invested in my life like Vic did. He didn’t do it to impress others or eve out of obedience to God; he did it because he enjoyed being with me, the highest compliment you can pay anyone. Even though I was like a wild bucking bronco when it came to respecting or submitting to his spiritual leadership, he never gave up on me.
Vic and I lived together my senior year and I witnessed his servant’s heart in the way he constantly made my bed and fixed the meals. I repaid his kindness by begrudgingly sitting in his early-morning Bible study with a blanket wrapped around my head to protest the ungodly hour. Once during a prayer walk we took together, in the middle of his very sincere petition, I glared at his bowed head and scoffed, “You’re the biggest phony I’ve ever met!” If there was ever a time i deserved for someone to call me a slimy imbecile and whack me, it was then. Instead, he patiently smiled, put his hand on my shoulder, looked right in my eyes, and quietly uttered four unbelievable words, “I love you, Steve.”
To be honest, I don’t remember any pithy statements or deep doctrine that Vic gave me back in those days, only his unconditional love offered to an arrogant, rebellious college student. He saw potential in me and stayed in the saddle no matter how much I tried to buck him off. The investment he made has reaped eternal dividends, almost twenty-five years later, he still cares, prays, and supports me!
If you want to see your campus ablaze for Christ, purpose-driven, love-filled relationships will have to permeate your life and ministry. Why? Because discipleship is a combination of direction andaffection. My first discipler gave me all direction (i.e., going through materials) and almost no affection (i.e., building a friendship with me). Vic took us through some good stuff, yes, but the core of his discipleship was all about him pouring his life intome. the generation of students we’re trying to reach are crying out not for slicker, more impressive materials, but for someone to believe in them enough to form a lasting bond – a relationship. It’s why we’re here!
Couldn’t have said it better myself!