II Timothy 2:2
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
In 1961, I was a 25 year old graduate of the University of Oregon, with a degree in business, had served my country as an officer in the Infantry, had my Oregon Real Estate Broker’s license, and had played in golf tournaments in eleven states -- including the 1957 U.S. Open at the Inverness in Toledo, Ohio.
I thought my life was on cruise control, and that I would have a good life as a real estate broker or maybe as a professional golfer on the PGA tour. But God had other plans for me.
A girl friend insisted that I attend church with her on Sunday evenings. I met with Bob Luther, the church's young pastor, and in the Spring of 1961 I trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Bob invested a lot of Second Timothy 2:2 personal time to help me grow spiritually, and we became good friends.
In the fall of 1961, Bob enrolled at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (now Western Seminary), and I decided to attend seminary with him -- just five months after I had became a believer.
I was still thinking of professional golf, and won the Oregon State Amateur Championship both summers between my three years in Seminary. The possibility of a life on the PGA tour was appealing. But when I graduated in 1964, I knew I was called to minister on college campuses as a staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ. The sports page in one of Portland's newspapers had a story about my call to the ministry, instead of professional golf.
After my first year ministering at Oklahoma University, I started a new ministry at Western Washington State College (now University) in my second and third years on staff. God blessed that ministry, so Dr. Bill Bright and other senior staff leaders sent me to lead the launch of Campus Crusade's ministry in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Campus Crusade (now CRU) was a young ministry in 1967, and my team had only five other staff members (one young married couple and three single staff girls) all in their first or second year on staff). I married one of the girls, Jane Fletcher from Atlanta, Georgia, and she was my help mete for 46 years until she went to be with Jesus in 2014.
During the first couple of months in that start-up, Rusty Wright, a freshman at Duke University, trusted in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Rusty wanted to grow in his new found faith, and I knew that personal time with new believers is an important part of a II Timothy 2:2 ministry. .So just as Bob Luther spent a lot of time with me, I spent a lot of personal time with Rusty. The following is from an article Rusty wrote for the April/May 1999 issue of Moody Magazine:
I still remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was a university student, a young believer, and my faith in Christ seemed like a house of cards that had just crumbled. For awhile, the Christian life that had been so exciting and joyful became a myth. I felt rootless, adrift, and confused. One of my fraternity brothers had just asked me some questions about Christianity that I couldn’t answer.
This bothered me deeply until Bob Prall, a pastor and campus Christian worker, answered them for me. “Always remember,” he advised as he finished, “just because you don’t know the answer, doesn’t mean there is no answer.”
For the next two years I followed him around, watching as he shared Christ with skeptics, listening to his speeches, and observing how he dealt with non-Christians. Bob’s loving, learned example and teaching helped me sink my spiritual roots deeply into God’s truth and provided a foundation for three decades of interaction with unbelievers. I shall always be grateful to him for equipping me in this way.
Fast forward to 2013. Rusty, who now lives in California, visited me in Houston. Over dinner he asked me, “Do you remember speaking on The Resurrection of Jesus Christ at one of our meetings on the Duke campus in 1968.” I responded, “I don’t remember the meeting. But I know what I said, because I have shared that message many times.”
Rusty replied, “I remember that meeting very well, because it was the first time in my life that I grasped that Christianity is actually true and that solid evidence supports it.” That message, and my personal time with Rusty, helped prepare him to fulfill the II Timothy 2:2 promise God gave to me in the Word of God. The following is from an article Rusty wrote for the ASSIST News service:
A few weeks before Easter in 1971, I began to wonder why no one had published an article on evidences for Jesus' resurrection in our university newspaper, the Duke Chronicle. I was in my final year at Duke and had been following God for about three years. Our campus considered itself intellectually sophisticated, I reasoned. The resurrection evidences were sound; students and professors needed to know this.
"Why doesn't someone write this article?" I grumbled to myself. Then, after several days I began to wonder, "Maybe I should write it."
Incorporating insights from my mentor, Bob Prall, and others, I wrote the article and took it to the editor, who was Jewish. He read it as we sat in his office; I prayed silently that he would run it. After a few minutes, he looked up and asked, "Can we put this phrase in italics?", referring to the punch line at the end of the evidences: "Christ is risen." While I had been praying, he had already decided to use it.
The Lord began to use other versions of the short article. Campus Crusade for Christ published it in a newspaper distributed at their Explo '72 music festival in Dallas featuring Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Billy Graham. An estimated 150,000 attended. Later CCC (now called "Cru") used it in a nationally-circulated university outreach publication. Students and campus workers worldwide used reprints as conversation starters.
Local newspapers small and large in the US ran it – from the North Myrtle Beach Times to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Over time – now four decades and counting – it's taken on a life of its own.
The fact that Easter keeps rolling around each year certainly helps. The Manila Bulletin, in the Philippines, published it in their Easter Sunday edition (250,000 circulation). The Salvation Army ran it in their Easter War Cry magazine (1.2 million circulation). The American Tract Society turned it into an outreach pamphlet in English and Chinese.
Now it's on the web and – by God's grace – has been used by websites and publications based in nations including the US, Canada, India, China, Abu Dhabi, Australia, the UK, Brazil, and Mexico. A Chinese website uses it in text and audio formats to help Chinese speakers learn English.
You can use the article, too, gratis. It's here in English, Spanish, and Portuguese at:
So, the next time you find yourself grousing about "Why doesn't somebody do something?", be careful. God may have a task ahead for you. You never know where it might lead.
Copyright © 2014 Rusty Wright
Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has ministered on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. Rusty makes his articles available for anyone who wants to use them with attribution, and links to his articles are now on over 1,500 web pages. His website is: RustyWright.com.
This all happened after Bob Luther followed the admonition in II Timothy 2:2 and spent a lot of time ministering to me. And I followed his example and spent a lot of time ministering to Rusty.
While I was ministering on Campuses, the Jesus People movement erupted in California, and migrated all over America. While it was nurtured by churches, the Jesus People movement was spiritually dynamic because young believers were GOING and TELLING.
I knew that local churches are needed to conserve the fruit of evangelism. So when the Jesus People movement peeked in 1972, Jane and I resigned from the CRU staff. Two days before we accepted the call to Grace Bible Church in Bryan, Texas (a small church with only 27 members and a small group of college students), I got a phone call from Dr. Bill Bright, the founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ. Bill asked me, “Are you sure you are in God's will leaving our staff?” When I told Bill that we were considering a call to a church a couple of miles from Texas A&M University, he responded, “Good. You can reach the world from there.”
During my pastorate God used my real estate background to relocate the church to twin-city College Station, a few blocks from the Texas A&M University campus. Within a few years, Grace Bible Church was blessed with an attendance of four to five hundred every Sunday. About 70% were college students. That laid a foundation that God has richly blessed. Several pastors later, Grace Bible Church has four campuses in College Station, has a weekly attendance of over 3,000, and is “committed to raising up next-generation leaders to reach our world for Christ.” www.grace-bible.org
We desperately need another spiritual awakening in America. When I was in the Infantry, they told us, “To win a war, you got to put boots on the ground.” The Great Commission did not encourage us to invite unbelievers to come and listen. Some people do come to faith in Christ by visiting a church – I did. .But the Great Commission Jesus gave us is an imperative to GO and TELL.
I’m now asking God to use me to help
pastors get Christian Soldiers to stop
leaving their boots under the pews.
My ministries have been blessed, but I'm not through. At about 60, I became an author, and now have several books available as eBooks through Amazon. And I have developed a set of Great Commission Business Cards that believers can share with anyone they happen to meet. More info is at:
Drawing from my experience in over fifty years of eyeball to eyeball witnessing to college students, as a pastor, and as a believer in the work-a-day world, I have also developed a set of four mp3 albums on personal evangelism that can be purchased for only $8.97. I want beleivers to purchase these audio mp3 albums, because I know they will help many of them to become more effective as personal evangelists.
The first eight minutes in the first album is a motivating message. Listen to it, and you will want every believer in your church to also listen to it. A link you can click to listen to that eight minute message is available, at no cost to everyone. Just click the first link in:
II Timothy 2:2 can also be the key to success in your ministry. It worked for the Apostle Paul, it worked for Bob Luther, it worked for me, it has worked for many other Christian Soldiers, and it will work for you.
I do not have a staff or an organization people can join, and my ministry does not need financial donations. Ebook and audio mp3 album royalties cover the expenses for hosting the free web pages cited on the Great Commission Business Cards, and my other outreach web pages. The royalties are paid into a trust that will keep the web pages active after I go to be with the Lord.
My strategies will not compete with other ministries for time or money – they merely supplement. Your eBook and mp3 album purchases are greatly appreciated as they will help support this ministry.
Bob Prall, M.Div., Author & Evangelism Encourager
Gospel Gift Books -- PO Box 73486, Houston, TX 77273-3486
bob (at) gospelgiftbooks dot com (I'm 81, and may not answer all e-mails)
Please help make it happen by forwarding this web
page to Christian Soldiers in your and other churches.
And don't forget to send Easter Presents to skeptics.