Tap on the Shoulder

One man's simple question produces a legacy of life change.

In this story, Brett Eastman, founder and CEO of Lifetogether, recalls how one man's simple question produced a legacy of life change:

I attended college in Southern California, and one day (I remember this like it was yesterday), a guy named John tapped me on the shoulder and asked me how I was doing spiritually.

I thought, "This is odd," but I didn't dismiss him; I actually talked with him for a few minutes.

One thing led to another, and he invited me to join him and a few other guys to study the Bible. At that time, I would have called myself a believer. I attended church, though infrequently. But at the first meeting, the guys actually opened their Bibles (I had never really done much of that) and they began talking about God's Word in a way that drew me to both them and God.

Six months into that journey, I was growing and God was doing all sorts of things in my life. One of the guys in the study said, "Sometime, I'd like you to help me go to your campus and share Christ with some people." I agreed, and not long after one day, while we were on the campus, he stood up on some steps and said, "Look at this: Jesus had a picture sort of like this where he looked over the city of Jerusalem, and he said they looked like sheep without a shepherd, and they looked downcast and distressed. Do you see that?"

"Not only do I see that," I said. "I was that."

Together we then walked down and began sharing Christ with different people. About a month later, he asked me to help lead a group of young men who had just become followers of Christ and were anxious to grow. He handed me a little booklet and said, "Just do what we do in our group. I know you can do this."

"Okay," I said. I called the new believers, and they showed up at my house a few weeks later.

Remember this: this was only six weeks into my journey with Christ. So six weeks after coming to faith, I led my first Bible study.

And so, a few months later, I took one of the guys in my Bible study, Sean, to some steps on our college campus. I said, "Jesus had a picture like this, where he looked over the city of Jerusalem, and he said the harvest was plentiful and the workers were few. They need a shepherd. Do you see that?"

"Yes, I do," Sean said.

Six months later, Sean ended up leading his own group of guys that we led to Christ. Sean kept growing. After I graduated, Sean took over my spot, and today, many years later, Sean is a pastor in San Diego, California.

Now, fast forward to just last year: While at a church in California, I saw someone approaching me across the patio. I thought, "That guy looks familiar."

I excused myself from a conversation to follow this fellow. I walked up to him and asked, "John, is that you?"

He looked at me and said, "Man, you've gotten ugly as you got older."

I smiled, "John, it is you!"

John was the guy who had tapped my shoulder so many years ago and asked me if I wanted to grow, if I'd be willing to journey with him. I thank God I said yes. He had pulled me under his wing, and believed in me.

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