Bill used to talk of his passion for Jesus. From the time he rose in the morning until the time he went to bed, Jesus was the One whom he sought to communicate with. Since seeking and saving the lost was Jesus’ passion, that soon became Bill’s as well.
Bill processed everything he did in light of the Great Commission of Jesus to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20). He invested in a few for the sake of others and was always raising up leaders who could reproduce other leaders who could reproduce other leaders through the use of vision, character, skills and transferable concepts.
My cousin is a nurse in an emergency room and she told me that nurses have a saying: “Watch one, do one, teach one.” It refers to a process to learn a technique quickly, do it with a patient, and then turn around and pass it on to another nurse.
Bill took a similar approach when he started his non-profit organization years ago. He took promising leaders under his wing, shared with them how to wins students to faith in Christ and develop them as Christ-centered laborers, empowered them with ownership and responsibility, taught them how to multiply their influence on campus in the natural networks of leaders already there (i.e., athletes, Greek system, student government, etc), and released them to go out and raise up other leaders for further Gospel multiplication.
Bill knew that every time you reach, root, equip, and send a person to know Christ and make Him known, you plant seeds for greater success. My faith adventure was launched due to the influence of one of his leaders.
Bill modeled a lifestyle of prayer that was focused on his first love – Jesus. He said that was the joy and burden of his heart – that he would love Jesus, know Him better, and serve Him more faithfully and fruitfully. He stated often that you can’t maintain your love and service for God apart from the help of the Holy Spirit, and by daily and obeying reading Scripture, including memorizing and meditating on God’s Word.
Bill said that he and his wife were very materialistic and self-centered when they were newly married. Running a successful business in Hollywood demanded a lot of hours and the rewards were significant. They soon fell in love with Jesus, however, and came to a place where they realized knowing, loving, and serving Jesus was all that really mattered.
So they signed a contract to be slaves of Jesus. They used the example of Jesus as described in Philippians 2:7, where the writer says the great Creator came to the planet disguised as a slave. Bill and Vonette actually wrote out a contract and signed it, relinquishing themselves and all they owned to Jesus to serve Him wherever He called. They thought they would stay in business, but God spoke to Bill and gave him the vision for what we know today is Campus Crusade for Christ. Bill said often that it all started when he and Vonette made the choice to be available slaves of Jesus and do as He led.
Serve globally. Bill Bright passed away in 2003, but his life influenced mine greatly. Bill believed you honor God when you think big, pray big, and plan big. But it all starts when you consecrate yourself to be available to Jesus and His Kingdom. Will you join me?
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz