I read with sadness an e-mail announcing the death of Avery Willis. Although I never had the privilege to meet Avery, his work impacted my life. As a seminary student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, I enrolled in a MasterLife class. MasterLife was developed by Willis while he served as an international missionary.
Today, the six disciplines learned in MasterLife still form the foundation of my Christian Walk. I recall grasping the truth of John 15:1-5 and the importance of abiding in Christ. Over the next few years of my ministry, MasterLife was an anchor in the discipleship program of the churches that I served. Today, former members of MasterLife groups are some of my most trusted friends.
Last week at the 4GConference at Ridgecrest, Willis gave a message to the attendees from the hospital. His passion for Christ and for seeing men and women, boys and girls coming to know Jesus Christ as their savior and growing in their faith had not wavered. His final message resonated with my heart. Today, we must pick up the mantle and be determined that all who come behind us find us faithful.
Thanks Avery Willis for your impact on my life and for the thousands that God touched through you. You fought the good fight, you finished the course, you kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV).
FYI, the MasterLife Resouces are still available from Lifeway Book Stores . The six disciplines of Masterlife are also taught in the Discipleship Resource, A Call to Follow Christ, by Claude King. I highly recommend both of these resources for your church’s discipleship ministry.