Taking up the Towel
This semester, I’ve enjoyed taking a class called Evangelism 101. Like the name suggests, EVAN 101 teaches students how to share the gospel with the world around them. Dr. Wheeler is one of the most popular professors on campus and is teaching the course to 1,800 students this semester. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Wheeler and talk about his class.
Dr. Wheeler provides a lot of practical advice in his lectures. He stresses evangelizing through both words and actions and challenges his student to not just serve but to be servants. This means that service shouldn’t just be something we do; it should be at the center of everything we do. Dr. Wheeler says that “life isn’t about what you get; it’s about what you give.” This phrase is so true when it comes to truly living out the Christian life.
The great thing about Dr. Wheeler is that he doesn’t just talk about being a servant; he is one. He has mowed his neighbor’s yard for free and done many acts of service that eventually lead to him leading people to Christ. As class was beginning one day, Dr. Wheeler noticed my friend, Nik, sleeping and asked him to come up front and open the class in prayer. Afterwards, Dr. Wheeler told him to see him after class. Nik was expecting Dr. Wheeler to scold him for falling asleep, but, instead, Dr. Wheeler reached for his wallet and gave Nik a ten dollar bill. Apparently, Dr. Wheeler gives out about $100 a week to students, who he gives a hard time for falling asleep. That's simply how selfless Dr. Wheeler is. He is a proffessor who teaches with his words as well as his example.
Students aren't just hearing and seeing Dr. Wheeler’s teaching, they're using it to reach others. Almost every day, Dr. Wheeler receives emails from students who have led their parents, brothers and sisters, friends, or even strangers to Christ. One student recently lead his 83-year-old-grandfather to Christ two weeks before he died and shared the gospel with his entire family at the funeral. The impact of EVAN 101 extends beyond the classroom and into the lives of people reached by EVAN students every day.
Dr. Wheeler believes that my generation can start a movement for Christ and make a huge difference. His hope is that his students will grab hold of the concept that they are called to be multipliers and will seek to make an impact on the world around them. A few years ago, one of Dr. Wheeler’s students got down on his knees and washed the feet of a homeless man who hadn’t had a bath in three weeks. He didn’t do it because he wanted to; he did it because he understood that being a Christian is about being a messenger of Christ's love as well as a servant, who demonstrates that love. My generation has so much potential; we just need to act upon it. Dr. Wheeler said that he thinks “the world will be changed drastically if Christians take the sword of the Word of God in one hand and a towel in the other and start washing feet. People won’t believe us, until they see the truth in us.”
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