Sam Rine was leading Bible studies shortly after he became a Christian, but was never discipled himself. That was 20 years ago. Now, he mentors new believers with confidence using an online discipleship course.
Sam Rine had been married a month or two when one day, out of the blue, he walked into a Christian bookstore. His wife had recently become a Christian, but when he walked into that store, “nothing made sense to me. Nothing even looked familiar.” He did recognize Billy Graham’s name and picked up his book, The Holy Spirit.
Something inside Sam clicked when he got to page 65—right after Graham explained how to accept Christ and wrote, “It could happen to you—today!” Sam received Christ that night. He was 30 years old.
That was 20 years ago, and today, Sam works for a global financial services firm in Florida.
“I’m a financial advisor, so I ask a lot of questions,” he said. That’s perfect for the other hat he wears—the hat of a discipleship coach with Search for Jesus, BGEA’s Internet evangelism ministry.
“I went through about 18 years of being a Christian with living about 10 percent for Christ and 90 percent for myself,” he said. “I didn’t have someone to disciple me when I first became a Christian,” yet once people saw his leadership skills, they put him in positions of leadership. He led Bible studies but needed guidance himself.
Sam later completed an online discipleship course that he says changed his life. Now he uses his free time to lead others through an online discipleship course through Search for Jesus. That course is called Know Jesus, and it aims to give people the kind of firm foundation Sam wishes he had a long time ago.
Know Jesus is a five-lesson introduction to the basics of what it means to know Jesus and how to live as a Christian. Participants can interact with a personal mentor through email.
Sam encouraged Randy by guiding him through the Know Jesus course late last year.
“The Know Jesus discipleship course was a gifted blend of Scripture, self-examination, reflection and superb direction from a web-based discipleship counselor,” Randy wrote.
“I live by email anyway with my business,” said Sam. He typically gets back to participants within 24 hours, but also puts a lot of thought into his emails. Randy called him “inviting, kind, patient, challenging, knowledgeable and a pleasure to walk with during my journey of faith.”
Although Randy was brought up in church, a personal incident caused him to ask questions about his faith. Sam helped him through that.
“The knowledge, spiritual guidance and engagement of the course and its discipleship coach brought me into a more fruitful experience with my faith,” Randy wrote.
Randy was open about his life and struggles, and Sam continued to pray for him throughout the course. Because Sam has mentored other men through the years, he has a journal full of resources to pull from. Mentoring also sharpens Sam’s discipleship skills, which is useful when communicating with his three sons, all in their 20s.
While not everyone who signs up for the free Know Jesus course completes it, those who do finish get a lot out of it.
“It is a great program for the faithful to the unfaithful, the Bible thumpers to the page flippers,” Randy wrote, and even people who know nothing about the Christian faith.
Since completing the course, Randy has started daily devotions. The Know Jesus lessons compelled him to read the Bible more, pray and reflect on how he can become “a more faithful, loving and trusting follower of Jesus.”