Investing in faithful men changes lives. In fact, it has a ripple effect we may never see that continues to multiply.
If you listened to Podcast Episode 29 with Dr. Ed Gomes, Director of Spiritual Development of the Flames football team at Liberty University, you heard his testimony of how his life was drastically changed by two young men who were willing to invest in him.
“Russell and John were intentional about becoming a spiritual big brother for me. I can say because of that I got off on the right track.”
It not only changed the course of his entire life, but it shaped the future of his family, as well as countless others he has invested in over the decades.
What does it take to change a life?
From day one, Russell and John focused on two things: teaching Dr. Gomes by the way they live and teaching him from the Word. It’s a common theme, modeling and teaching. Simply because they lived their lives with the Bible as their foundation, Dr. Gomes recognized something in them that was irresistible. These men were by no means perfect. Just like you and me, I am sure they had daily struggles, but they remained faithful and allowed God to use them where He had begun a good work in the life of Dr. Ed Gomes.
Where do we begin?
Listen closely to Dr. Gomes, and I think you’ll hear 3 simple ways we can begin.
1. Pay attention to what is going on around you.
Dr. Henry Blackaby suggests in Experiencing God, “We don’t choose what we will do for God; He invites us to join Him where He wants to involve us.”
Dr. Gomes Shoe-Shine Ministry is a perfect example, and it started just because he noticed a need in someone else. “When shoes need polishing, I know exactly what to do.” Actions speak more powerfully than words, and this small act carries large implications. It builds a bridge and builds relationships. It fosters conversation and trust. I recall another servant leader who didn’t shine shoes, but He washed feet. Jesus modeled this humble act of serving for us.
2. Focus on being a blessing to those around you.
“When I focus on how I can be a blessing, how I can be an encouragement, everything changes.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap, even subconsciously, of waiting to be blessed. Dr. Gomes suggests we reject that passivity and take the initiative to bless someone else. Actively seek those opportunities. We are at our best when we focus on Christ first, then on others. When we think about what Jesus has done for us, it overflows into the lives of others, and if you are around Dr. Gomes for long, you’ll witness this firsthand.
3. Begin with the local church.
“The bottom line is about serving where He wants. It’s not about what I want.”
It’s about paying attention to what God is doing in and through our local church. God has you there with a purpose. Instead of worrying about who we are, Dr. Gomes reminds us to be faithful where we are, where God has us planted, to make a difference. How does God want to use you to help someone else grow in their faith, right now, where you are today?
No matter where you are, every single one of us has a story. “Let God take your story, so He can make it his story, so we can encourage someone else in their story.” Dr. Gomes story has not only affected his family, but also every young football player he has invested in over the decades. His testimony emphasizes how one person’s life, changed by the Gospel, affects others for generation after generation.
We may never see, this side of heaven, just how far the ripple effect goes. And it all begins with investing in one faithful man.