Jesus had a plan. It was a master plan and it was the master’s plan and we’d be good to follow it. I’m Joel Fieri, President of Christian Podcast Central. This is what you’ve been searching for and we’re talking discipleship. Stay tuned.
Recently I had what I call a Facebook experience, it’s one of those nostalgic things that comes up on social media once in a while, and it happened to me last week. Some pictures from my college days through a ministry called Campus Crusade for Christ at San Diego State University where I was a student a few years ago, maybe even a few decades ago. It’s always fun. All these pictures of me in college when I was a young man with hair, it’s always fun to see what we all looked like back then and reconnect with people that I hadn’t seen or talked to in a long time. As I said, it was nostalgic, I kind of went down memory lane for a while.
What was significant about this as I showed it to my wife, my wife and I have often had conversations where she will ask me, “Why are you the way you are? How did you develop these certain characteristics that formed your life?” Often I will point her back to this time in my life, to my college days. I was a young, 18-year-old pup, very immature, did not know a thing about life and how to live a Christian life at all.
I came to the Speak University and, fortunately, by God’s grace, I found this group of people through Campus Crusade for Christ and through my church at the time. Through this group there were older people, older college guys, and program leaders, and pastors through my church that took me under their wing, like I said, as a young pup, were patient with me, and poured their life into me, and taught me how to live a Christian life.
Taught me how to study the Bible, how to do my finances, how to treat a Christian girl, how to do all these things that I had no idea how to do, and it was through what they called at the time discipleship. In evangelical circles at the time discipleship was a big thing. What we did is we basically followed a philosophy laid out in a book by Robert Coleman called The Master Plan of Evangelism and, as I said in the intro, it was Jesus’ master plan of how to build his kingdom and how to bring people into his kingdom.
Jesus did teach the multitudes but he had a separate group of people that were his disciples, and within that group he chose 12 men to be his apostles. He chose to live with them, to do life with them, to pour himself into them, to teach them, to be with them. From those 12, he picked Peter, James, and John, the three to give special attention to and be especially close to and pour himself into. Then he sent them out to do the same, to spread his kingdom, to find other men to pour their lives into, and that was his master plan.
The key verse that we often quoted, and that was the basis of this philosophy was Second Timothy 2:2. In that verse, Paul is talking to Timothy and he says, “The things that you have heard and seen in me, these interest the faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” There’s this idea of passing along your faith, finding men that you can pour your faith into and teach and fellowship with, and be an example to, and they will turn around, find other men to do this to who will then in turn find other men. The idea is a reproductive faith idea of discipleship.
It was very effective, it had a big effect on my life. It set the foundation for my Christian walk for the rest of my life, honestly. That is a big reason why I started Christian Podcast Central. It was interesting, at the time we had some resistance to what we were doing by some other people in the Christian community and slowly but surely this plan, or this idea, this philosophy of discipleship kind of went away, I certainly lost touch with it in favor of more program oriented, reach the masses through programs type of philosophy of church.
I never really understood why discipleship one-on-one and small group went away because it seemed so obvious to me in the Bible. When this comes up … Again, through our research, all the topics I talk about here we’ve researched and found out that these are topics that people in the Christian community who listen to podcasts want to talk about. This has come up several times in our research, the idea of discipleship and mentoring, some people call it now.
How do we get back to that? I think it would be good if we went back to the master’s plan, especially with our young men, our young Christian men these days. Society in general has told young men that their natural masculine instincts are toxic and men are slowly and sometimes very quickly becoming marginalized and disaffected and maybe irrelevant, and our society seems to be moving more and more that way. You can see evidence of that in the church today too, there are lots of young Christian men who don’t really see a place for them.
Especially now that we’re entering a season of trouble in the church, it might be good for us to revisit this idea of discipling and training young men and developing them as men, taking those masculine instincts of theirs and molding it, and shaping it, and bringing it under the Lordship of Christ in this time, this coming time of trouble. I think that’s one thing we definitely need to think about and definitely need to get back to.
I’m starting to look for young men in my life to pour my life into. It’s really up to older men like me or men with more experience. Maybe not men as old as me but older Christian men who have life experience, experience walking with God. We need to try and find these younger men who are disaffected and feeling out of place and bring them under our wings and disciple them, show them how to live a Christian life. I think that would produce much more fruit than all the programs we could possibly put together to reach the masses in our society.
Those are my thoughts. Again, I’m opening up the conversation on discipleship. What do you think? What does discipleship mean to you? That’s what it meant to me, that’s the effect it had on my life and many others, and I’ve seen the fruit of that through my life and all those other people from way back when. Most of us have continued walking with God throughout our lives and that time was very key for us.
Join the conversation, comment below. When you look for us online, most of all, go to christianpodcastcentral.com and check out not only this content but other great Christian content. Look for us on Apple, Spotify, all those other podcast platforms. Find us on YouTube and Rumble and look for us on some of the other social media platforms that are coming up. Next week we’ll have another topic that you’ve been searching for. I’m Joel Fieri, thanks for listening.