I grew up in a Christian home and came to Christ at an early age. I knew I was a sinner and that I would never be good enough to pay the penalty for my sin or earn my way to heaven. I needed a Savior, and at nine years old, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. It’s the best decision I have ever made.
However, even though I was attending church each Sunday and involved in my youth groups, no one ever gave me a foundation for my faith: assurance of salvation, assurance of forgiveness, the impact of the Holy Spirit indwelling me, how to study the Bible, how to spend time alone with God, and so on.
It’s not surprising that when I went to college at LSU and was lacking Christian fellowship that I began to drift away from the Lord. I am so grateful to Bonnie, a girl on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, for asking me if I wanted to be discipled.
“Disciple.” I had heard that word growing up and knew that Jesus had twelve disciples. I had memorized the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19-20. “Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations. . .” But I had never really thought about what it meant to be discipled by someone.
I said yes to Bonnie because I knew I needed help to get back on track in my spiritual journey. I was not pressing on and didn’t know what to do. Bonnie set an example for me of what discipleship looks like. These are just a few of the things that she did with me:
- She spent time with me, just being my friend. When I was sick, she brought homemade chicken soup to the dorm. When I faced challenges, she was right there praying with me and walking alongside me through those challenges. She even drove me home to Plain Dealing (a six hour drive) for the weekend so I could attend the funeral of my uncle. She spent time with me in so many different ways and our friendship grew daily.
- She taught me the Bible. Not only did she teach me from the Bible, she taught me how to study the Bible on my own. She always used God’s Word in our time together.
- She taught me how to spend time with the Lord – in prayer and reading His Word. She didn’t just tell me how to do it, she modeled it. One morning she took me to the Chapel on Campus and let me observe her “quiet time” with the Lord. It made me hungry to spend time with God by myself.
- She equipped me for ministry. She taught me how to share my faith. Every Thursday afternoon we went on campus to talk to someone about Christ. Afterwards, we would talk through what we could have done differently or how to better answer a question. Those were priceless moments together.
- She helped me get involved with other Christians. She invited me to attend church with her and Campus Crusade meetings. I needed the fellowship and the accountability of a small group. Bonnie and the ministry of Campus Crusade gave me the foundation of my faith that I had been lacking.
Bonnie gave me a clear picture of what discipleship should look like. What is your picture of discipleship? Has anyone ever discipled you? If so, what did it look like? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this. We’ll be looking at discipleship in more detail in the coming posts. Stay tuned!