I believe that God has called me to be a professor. He has given me the incredible privilege of teaching hundreds of students in my engineering classes and working on cutting edge research. When I look back from the standpoint of eternity, however, I won’t be surprised if this morning’s conversation will be far more important than the academic work I’d planned for that time. Such “interruptions” may indeed be more important than all my teaching and research. I was reminded again of this verse:
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2
Years ago, this verse gripped my heart and has driven many of my life decisions. I’m convinced that the largest impact I will have in this world, other than through my wife and kids, will be through my disciples (and their disciples and the spiritual generations that follow them).
The message of II Timothy 2:2 has been life changing. It has helped me listen to God’s Spirit as He helps direct my ways in the academy.
1st: Let me encourage you to study 2 Timothy 2:1-7 afresh. Unpack it again with other Christ-following faculty or students. Remind one another of the geometric power of multiplication inherent in it. Count together the possible generations: Paul, Timothy, teachable men and women, others, me, my disciples, their disciples . . . . the world. Be part of the never-ending pattern of the inbreaking Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ.
2nd: As you invest in teaching others, help them get started as well. Help Christ-following faculty or students learn to lead a small discipleship group or Bible study. Teach them how to share their faith journey with pre-Christian friends. If you haven’t done so, begin by studying together Robert Coleman’s 50 year old classic, The Master Plan of Evangelism.
I’ve found that the bottom line for me is this–when a person becomes convinced (or gets interrupted by the vision) of making disciples who make other disciples, their lives are changed forever. Mine certainly was.
Dan Jensen, USAFA, CO