Life of J. Christy Wilson Jr. (1921-1999) and His Worldwide Discipling Ministry - page 6

 

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From the Summer 2017 issue of Knowing & Doing:

Life of J. Christy Wilson Jr. (1921-1999) and His Worldwide Discipling Ministry

by Ken Wilson
Author of  Where No One Has Heard, a biography of J. Christy Wilson, Jr.

 
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 On an Overseas Missions Practicum trip to Pakistan to minister among Afghan refugees, Christy and the team of students arrived at the airport with a large solar oven they intended to give to the displaced people. An airline employee said the transport would require an additional fee of several hundred dollars.
 “Well, let me pray about that,” Christy said to the clerk. “Lord, You know this situation, and You know that the Afghan refugees need this solar oven.” Right there at the counter, Christy continued to pray, asking the Lord to work in this situation and to provide a resolution. When he had finished praying, the clerk was either so impressed or so shaken that he waived the fee.
 Christy’s passion for prayer occasionally inspired good-natured jokes. During one of Christy’s classes, a student fell asleep. The student next to him poked him and said, “Dr. Wilson just asked you to pray!” The sleeping student quickly woke up, stood, and began to pray in front of the entire class. When he was finished with his impromptu prayer, Christy graciously responded, “Well, thank you, brother, for those words of encouragement.”

Mentor in Personal Evangelism and Discipleship

 Christy launched a new seminary course in personal evangelism. Its inspiration came in 1969 when he participated in the North American Congress on Evangelism in Minneapolis, where evangelist D. James Kennedy was leading a seminar. Of more than six hundred pastors who attended Kennedy’s session, Christy was astonished to learn that only three, or less than 1 percent, had been taught in seminary how to lead a person to Christ. In fact, looking back on his own education, he quickly realized that he had never been taught how to share the gospel by any of his teachers; he had learned from a Christian layperson who was in the tool business. At that moment, Christy determined that if he ever taught in a seminary, he would teach a class in personal evangelism.
 Although Personal Evangelism was launched as an elective at Gordon-Conwell, hundreds of students enrolled in the course. One, a fifty-year-old pastor who had graduated from an evangelical seminary and pastored for a number of years, had never been taught how to lead a person to Christ, nor had he ever done so. As a result of the training and assignments in class, he brought the gospel to his congregation, and he was overjoyed to lead his first five people to the Lord.
 One day, as Christy’s students entered Lecture Hall 2 in the Goddard Library, they encountered a huge floral arrangement of red roses in the shape of a cross. The students gaped at this extravagant display. Christy made no comment until, finally, several of them queried him, “What’s this all about?”
 Somewhat reluctantly, he admitted that each semester he too made a commitment to share Christ with ten people on Boston’s North Shore. He had gone into a local florist’s shop the day before to purchase flowers. While there, he led the proprietor to Christ. The florist brought the arrangement to campus, found out where Professor Wilson would be lecturing on evangelism, and placed the roses in front of the lectern in gratitude to the one who had shown him how to give his heart to Christ.

 

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