I have been inspired by the apostle Paul for a long time. His transformation as told in Acts 9 and 26, and his humility, boldness, writing, and perseverance have stirred my imagination about the impact of Jesus on his life as well as all of humanity and history. The Savior of all actually walked on the planet in his bare feet. He was arrested, beaten, crucified, died, buried, and then was resurrected to authenticate his claims to be the One True God. Saul of Tarsus (later changing his name to Paul) was yet another example of the life-altering power of the Son of Man.
But Paul also intrigued me because he came across in Scripture as authentic, approachable, and intentional, and an imitatable example. He said to Timothy, one of his many young disciples (or Christians-in-training), “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Paul invested (like Jesus did) in a few for the sake of others. He led people to faith, hope, and trust in Christ, trained them to how to know Jesus and make Him known, and sent men and women onward to reflect Christ in their families as well as the Greco-Roman world. That’s why Paul’s words to the Colossians inspire and equip me to follow his example: “He (Jesus) is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:28-29). Those verses have focused my efforts for years.
Paul used the Old Testament, stories about Jesus, popular culture references, and many of his own experiences as teaching tools and transferable concepts. I’ve used his Romans Road (i.e., verses in the New Testament Book of Romans) to share the message of the gospel many times.
Others have imitated Paul’s example and created transferable concepts useful for evangelism and discipleship. One of my favorites is Tools for Mentoring (TFM) by my friend Joy Schroeder. After 2.5 years of work, the newly revised and expanded TFM is available in digital form at amazon.com. It’s easy to access for Kindle users and anyone with a mobile device.
TFM contains 19 modules of Bible studies covering the most critical topics I believe you and I, and those we disciple, need to know, practice, and master in order to run (as Joy says) “life’s race unencumbered.” The modules are evangelism, water baptism, baptism with the Holy Spirit, overcoming sin, the Bible, prayer, repentance and making a moral inventory, forgiveness, the yielded life, sex and dating, time management, financial management, guidance, talking Christianly, work ethic, worship, suffering, authority, and missions.
Joy has updated a tool many Chi Alpha missionaries and our students (and alumni) have used for decades on campus and in the global marketplace. TFM gives flexible direction for one-to-one discipleship, small groups, accountability friendships, and self-study. There is a clear “how-to” section and video tutorials are on the drawing board and coming soon.
Re-Read Colossians 1:28-29 above. We in Chi Alpha Campus Ministries feel an urgency in these “last days” to keep making disciples as Jesus commanded. Joy Schroeder has provided a proven tool for people to equip themselves and others with the Scriptures so they can stay true to Jesus to the end. Serve globally. Will you follow Paul’s example and look for one or two faithful, teachable people you can come alongside and invest in? TFM is ready for you to use.
Love is a verb,
©2015 by Mike Olejarz