After becoming a believer in Christ I was discipled by a man named Don Christianson. We called Don, the Silver Fox, because he had snow white hair. At the time I was 31 years old, married to Elsie, fresh out of seminary, and knew everything! Don, on the other hand, was a 60 something retired grade school principal. Don was a layman and I was a professional! Don and his wife, Inez (we called her Inie), had two married daughters. All were vibrant Christians.
One Sunday as I was exiting the Baptist church where I was the associate pastor, Don stopped me. He took an interest in me and asked if I would like to be discipled by an older man. I knew that the Bible told older men to disciple younger men (Titus 2:2, 2 Timothy 2:2) but no one had ever discipled me. I listened to the conditions Don laid out for me. He would meet me at the local “greasy spoon” restaurant on Monday mornings at 8:00 a.m. each week. He would open the Bible and teach me the practicalities of the Christian life, especially life in the church. The trade off? I would buy him breakfast. He always ordered the same thing every Monday morning: two eggs over easy, hash browns, whole wheat toast, coffee, and a side of Tabasco sauce. For over a year Don poured the Word of God into my life showing me the practical ways it applied. I promptly went home after each breakfast and made notes on what he taught me. I still have those notes and have taught them to dozens of men over the years.
What did the Silver Fox cover with me during those breakfast meetings? Here is a list of the 15 topics Don taught me over the course of one year:
In addition to teaching me what the Bible said about each of these topics, Don gently probed on the state of my marriage and how I treated Elsie. He asked how was I as a father to my three children. He taught about sexual purity and the necessity of not counseling women alone. He spoke about handling money and not allowing it to become an idol or look to it for security. I could go on and on telling you all of the practical truths he shared with me. They have shaped my life and ministry. Don Christianson poured himself into this young pastor and had a tremendous impact on my life.
How about you? If you are older and have been a believer for quite some time, could I challenge you to use the wealth of Bible knowledge you have gained to disciple a young Christian man or woman? It will pay rich dividends for God’s kingdom. You may be saying, “What should I use for curriculum?” Should you desire a copy of Don’s teaching so you could disciple another, just send an email to me. I’m delighted to provide it at no charge.