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Ephesians 2:8-9 A Mentor‘s Multiplied Impact

Today's post was written by and shared with permission from Rusty Wright.

I didn't really like him at first. But once I got to know him, he impacted my life – and those of millions more – forever.

This suspicious-looking guy in his early thirties carried a briefcase and appeared at the campus Christian meetings I'd begun to attend.

Sometimes he wore a trench coat. Was he a secret agent? My young mind entertained fanciful theories. As a skeptic, I bristled at some of his answers to my spiritual questions. I had lots to learn.

New Life

In 1967, Bob Prall was the Campus Crusade for Christ director at Duke University. During that era of campus revolution, he and my Christian friends said God offered me personal spiritual revolution. They said I couldn't earn divine favor, but needed to be forgiven by God through faith in Christ. As the Bible indicates about believers:

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I trusted Christ, and eventually would devote my life to spreading that message. But I still had much to learn.

Puzzling Questions

When a fraternity brother asked me some faith questions I couldn't answer, it bothered me deeply. Later, Bob answered them for me. "Always remember," he advised, "just because you don't know the answer, doesn't mean there is no answer."

For two years I followed him around, watching as he shared Christ with skeptics and listening to his speeches. Bob's loving, learned example and teaching helped me sink my spiritual roots deeply into God's truth, and provided a foundation for over four decades of interaction with unbelievers. Looking back, I'm sure it was the Lord's hand that put him in my life.

Global Ripples

God has graciously sent me presenting Christ and biblical perspectives on six continents before university students and professors, on mainstream TV and radio talk shows, with executives, diplomats and professional athletes.

He's had me writing for secular newspapers, magazines, and the Internet about subjects like sex, death, current events, humor, and reasons for faith … seeking to help influence one billion people for Christ. Bob's impact is spreading far and wide. I'm now able to answer others' questions just as he answered mine. I shall always be grateful for his mentoring.

Ministry by Walking Around

Some Prall-isms:

"If Christianity is a psychological crutch, then Jesus Christ came because there was an epidemic of broken legs."

Focus on Jesus: "I don't have answers to every question. But if my conclusion about Jesus is wrong, I have a bigger problem. What do I do with the evidence for His resurrection, His deity and the prophecies He fulfilled? And what do I do with changed lives, including my own?"

You've heard of "management by walking around"? Bob practiced "ministry by walking around," telling stories, asking questions. Sound like anyone else you know of?

And he's still at it. Recently, over dinner in Houston, Bob filled me in on his latest projects and online resources. Reaching young people remains a key concern.

Word Dynamics

He's developed Word Dynamics, a unique outreach tool to help high school and university students improve their vocabulary and also consider Jesus' claims. This digital vocabulary builder can help students excel in school and prepare for the SAT and GRE exams. Youth groups, homeschoolers and teachers might find this educational software with a spiritual twist especially useful for study and outreach. tells more about Bob's training and outreach resources. I hope he reaches lots of students. I'm sure glad he reached me.

So…might mentoring fit into your life? If you're young, should you seek a mentor? If you're older, should you ask God for someone to mentor? It can make an eternal difference.
Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively.