Investments

When my friend Moe sent me an email last year with his vision for Discipulus I was stoked. I am eager to read more (you should to!) and learn more about his heart in this particular area.

Not only do I view discipleship as an important part of our growth as believers, I have also personally experienced the effects of someone investing in my life.

Photo credit: Pulpolux (Creative Commons)

In high school, I had a small group leader who cared about me and what I was going through.

In college, I made a dear friend who invested his life into mine and showed me first-hand what it looked like to follow Christ.

A couple years back I made a year-long commitment to “do life” with a group of 7 other guys. I learned their stories; they learned mine. We grew closer and developed a bond that was beyond the surface-y, “Hey, how are you?” Sunday morning conversation.

This past year, a couple at church intentionally invested in our marriage. We sought advice, gained wisdom, and as a result, grew closer as a married couple.

Experiencing first-hand what happens when someone invests their life into yours is inspiring. I’m grateful to have received these types of investments over the last 15 years.

As I look into 2012 I want God to move in my heart to share more about this — what it looks like for me personally and how I want to extend my life out to my family and others. Specifically, there are a few areas of my life that I want to focus on: my family, my students (high school boys at church), and some men in my life.

Like financial investments, these deposits may not have an immediate return. They make take time. They may require ‘monthly contributions’ of seemingly insignificant amounts. But in the end, the results — I believe — will be great.

I have some exciting things in store this year that I can’t wait to share about — and they fall in line with exactly this: purposefully investing in something else and, in turn, intentionally being available to share your life with others.

::

Tell me about someone who invested into your life.

31 Comments

  • Jim F

    January 10, 2012

    When I was a teen I had a youth pastor invest in me. Dave poured himself in me and then through the years he continued to help me be the pastor that I am today. We still talk but not nearly as much as we used to but he is someone who really poured himself into me.

    Excellent thoughts as always!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 10, 2012

      Very cool – that is neat to see that even now, year later, he is someone who still impacts you.

      Reply
  • Jon Stolpe

    January 10, 2012

    I immediately think of Ray Rivera. Ray was one of my youth leaders growing up. He spent all kinds of time with me – talking about dating, faith, softball, and other things. I learned a lot from Ray.

    Thanks for the encouragement to pay it forward. In 2012, I need to be more intentional in investing in others.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 10, 2012

      Another ‘youth leader’. Common thread.. love it & thanks for sharing, Jon.

      Reply
  • arny

    January 10, 2012

    I know this sounds cheesy but…my wife invested her life in me…that is sooo humbling…

    Christ has used her in my life in sooo many ways…

    I want to invest in others this way too Dustin…

    can’t wait to see what God has instore for you this year my friend…

    Reply
    • John

      January 10, 2012

      That’s not cheesy at all Arny. I would have to list my wife as the person who has invested the most into my life. She has been a great friend, counselor, and helper and I don’t know where I would be without her. I can only hope to do the same for her.

      Reply
      • Dustin

        January 10, 2012

        Agreed – that is very cool Arny (and John). Countless times my wife has challenged me to be a better husband, friend and father. Wouldn’t want it any other way!

        Reply
      • arny

        January 11, 2012

        Thanks for these thoughts John!

        Reply
  • bill (cycleguy)

    January 10, 2012

    I am excited seeing what Moe has developed so far. I am stoked to hear what you have “up your sleeve.” I pray God gives you the wisdom to pull it off (whatever “it” is). :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 10, 2012

      Ha, thanks Bill. I appreciate the encouragement. :)

      Reply
  • JBussell

    January 10, 2012

    I have a friend that has really poured into me over the past year or so. He’s much farther ahead spiritually than I am, but not too far ahead when it comes to other aspects of life. It’s a great relationship because, hopefully, he’s not always giving, giving, giving, but is getting something in return.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 10, 2012

      That is awesome, Jeremy. I tend to forget sometimes that we need people like that in our lives — those who just have more wisdom & experience than we do.

      Reply
  • moe

    January 10, 2012

    When I worked at Amex at the World Financial Center, a friend would take lunch with me and go to Borders at the World Trade Center. We spent numerous hours there going over scripture, questions, support, prayer and some good laughs. I never took for granted those times. The majority of my growth has come from those meetings.

    Investing in people matters. I don’t know where I would be if people didn’t do that for me.

    *sad that the bookstore was destroyed on 9/11. I always have good memories of that place.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 10, 2012

      And I bet, at the time, some of those instances seemed small/insignificant. What will a simple cup of coffee do? Looking back now… a whole lot.

      Reply
  • Jon

    January 10, 2012

    One of my buddies, Andrew. He’s been a great friend, and really a great influence in my spiritual walk.

    Reply
  • Jason Vana

    January 10, 2012

    I have had a number of people invest in my life in one way or another. It’s because of them that I developed into the leader I am, took my first trip to Europe (and continued to go back), and became the man I am today. They pushed me, challenged me and encouraged me. It’s why I try to do the same for other young people.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 10, 2012

      And that is evident in your life, Jason. Your desire to see a younger generation ‘rise up’ is inspiring. Thanks for what you do!

      Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    January 10, 2012

    I’ve had several along my journey – teachers and friends, parents of course and most of all I would have to say my best friend, and my husband.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 10, 2012

      Cool – thanks for sharing Cindy.

      Reply
  • Keri

    January 11, 2012

    The answer to this question honstly makes me tear up. About five years ago, a missionary I knew was doing a study on the influence of women discipling other women in the faith. I had never been asked to give any sort of recollection on those ideas before and the thought of it just made me weepy. To look back on my life, as far back as 3-4 years old, and see the people {other than my parents of course}, the women specifically, who have nurtured and cultivated my faith is remarkable. I am constantly reminded of Mrs. Schaeffer who came every Wednesday to our elementary school and taught chapel. She gave me the basics and the fundamentals. She taught me the old hymns. I don’t even know if she is still alive, but I think of her often. Her life to me is a picture of His faithfulness. I can’t wait to see her in Heaven and thank her for sowing into my heart the love of Jesus.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 11, 2012

      Wow, thanks for sharing. That is a touching story of simple faithfulness of one person into the life of another.

      Reply
  • Tom

    January 11, 2012

    NO doubt…can’t wait to see what life stories come out of this. As we live life together…pour out what God and others have poured into us…help us INVEST! Thanks, Dustin!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      January 11, 2012

      No prob, thanks for the encouragement Tom!

      Reply
  • jenn

    January 11, 2012

    Duston, I love that you have such a heart for investing in others. This is something I really need to work on. I’ve been praying that God would really give me love for the kids I teach in children’s church. Not that I don’t love them, I do, but to be honest there are several really difficult kids in the class. This past Sunday, since I’ve been praying about it, was so much better. I’m actually excited about the next time I get to teach them.

    I had a youth leader that invested in me as a teenager. I wasn’t very social or outgoing, but she saw beyond my defenses and really loved me. Also my former pastor and his wife invested so much in me. When my ex-husband went to prison they were there for me, not only for a small amount of time, but even later. Now they are like family to me.

    Reply
  • Marlee

    January 11, 2012

    Dustin!
    How have you been my friend? It’s been a long time. What I want to know is how is that you seem to be one of the most balanced individuals I’ve never met? ;)

    My investor of a lifetime goes by the name of a Mrs. Jessica Hewitt. She was a hall mate in college. And on the hallway floor of our college dorm she led me in a prayer that changed my life and it’s significance forever.

    I only hope I can be such a valuable contribution to others.

    I’ll be “seeing” ya, Dustin. :)

    Reply
  • Luther Wesley

    January 11, 2012

    If there are no investments there can be no returns. Discipleship was one of the things we discussed at Church tonight. No matter how ” mature ” we become in Christ we all will always need someone to invest into our lives as we pour out what God, through them, has given us.

    God bless

    Reply
  • rachelle

    January 13, 2012

    My “older sister” and I met when she was interning at my (then) church with the youth group worship team. She’s listened to many rants, sighs/grunts, laughter, and tears (and vice versa).

    The past two years I’ve been introduced to some amazing people who have taken the time to give me advice and expressed their expectations/hopes for me. It’s an indescribable feeling to know these people took the time for you!

    Dustin, I’m excited to continue reading about your endeavors with this. It’s encouraging!

    Reply
  • Loren Pinilis

    January 16, 2012

    I love the concept of viewing this as an investment. It sounds so simple, but it really stresses the longterm nature of this. Oftentimes if I don’t see immediate and dramatic change, I feel like a failure. But we can seldom see the true impact that we’re having at the time.
    I was really impacted by some guys in my youth group back when I was a teenager. Just seeing someone that you look up to living the righteous life was a great encouragement.

    Reply
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  • Adam

    January 27, 2012

    For me the main two are:
    -my wife who is continually challenging me and pushing me to be a better me.
    -my college baseball coach who was sets a godly example for men who are on their own for the first time, and how a godly husband and father are to act.

    Reply

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