Take Route

Guest Author: Philip Jenkins

My Pawpaw came up with this idea that when the grandkids were in the 11th grade, he would take us with him to Belize on a mission trip.

I mean of all grades, really? The 11th grade? Didn’t he know what he was signing up for?

In the 11th grade, I was everything stereotypically bad about a teenager. My parents got on my nerves. I wanted to play music. I didn’t want to leave my girlfriend for a week (even though we’d only been dating for less than 2 months).

I wasn’t exactly psyched about spending spring break with my Pawpaw—I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of using my spring break to go on a mission trip either.

Time for hotel room assignments. Of course I was assigned to Pawpaw’s room.

Time to assign door-knocking partners. And guess who mine was: Pawpaw again.

Time for new door-knocking partners! Nope—still with Pawpaw.

Time flew by over the course of that week, and before long it was time to go home.

Time marched on…

It’s been 13 years since Belize, four years since Pawpaw passed.

God uses time to change a lot of things—to teach us perspective, to introduce us to people that help us along our journey, to say goodbye to those we love, to learn tough lessons, to crash and burn and gain wisdom.

It seems that the older I get the more I discover about my Pawpaw, Jerry Jenkins, this pioneer of a man that I probably didn’t take seriously enough—his wisdom, the stories people have about him, the gem that he was.

And even though we didn’t spend hours upon hours talking, and even though we weren’t as close as a lot of grandkids and grandparents are, there are still moments where I find myself thinking, “I hope I’m like him.”

And I find myself thinking about my 11th grade trip to Belize more and more.

“Of all grades, the 11th grade? Didn’t he know what he was signing up for?

I’ve decided that he knew exactly what he was signing up for: a once in a lifetime opportunity—an opportunity not to say something to me, but to show me something to me. An experience. One that I could look back on, and would carry with me for the rest of my life.

Belize would be the one trip that I would take with my Pawpaw, the trip where I would spend more time with him than any other time, the trip where I would see how to sit down one-on-one and study the Bible with someone, where I would get the opportunity to observe my Pawpaw “in his element” —sitting down with individuals, helping them to understand God’s Word for their lives in a simple, effective Bible study he had written called “God Speaks Today.” Belize would be the trip where I would baptize my first person into Christ.

That trip planted a lot of seeds in my heart, and I am excited to introduce you to one of the fruits of those seeds: an interactive Bible study called “Take Route.”

Take Route is a one-on-one Bible study that I have written to help point people in the direction of Jesus, emphasizing that if we want to be saved we must follow Him, and that if we will walk with Him, He will lead us where we want to go.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity (or wanted to have the opportunity) to sit down and study the Bible with someone then you understand some of the challenges you face:

  • It’s difficult to know where people are coming from.
  • It’s difficult to know where to start.
  • It’s easy to get sidetracked.
  • It’s easy to leave the impression that they’ve “finished” when the Bible study is “finished.”

What I think you will love about this study is the way that it is laid out to address concepts like these, describing the journey to heaven as just that: a journey.

The book is broken into four major parts: the Map (Where You’ve Been), The Star (Where You Are), The X (Where You’re Going), and The Route (How to Get There).

Lesson One, “The Map,” begins by laying the all-important groundwork of being able to trust The Map, the Word of God. One thing that I especially love about lesson one is how it allows for some really, really important dialogue about “where you’ve been.” The two people studying each sketch out a map representing some of their story—things like:

  • Did you grow up going to church?
  • Are you new to the Bible?
  • Have you been saved?
  • What has opened your heart up to the idea of having a Bible study?

Lesson Two, “The Star,” talks about where you are (as in the “You Are Here” star on a map. It takes a look at our sin problem, and addresses our need for a Savior.

Lesson Three is about the destination, or where we want to go, the X on a map. It points people in the direction of Jesus, the One who came down from Heave (the “X”) and blazed a trail here on earth for us so that we could be where He is.

Lesson Four stays parked in the chapter of Acts 2. I didn’t want people to have to jump around a ton in order to see the simple, yet unfathomable message of the Gospel. It takes an-depth look into the events of the Day of Pentecost, and strives to emphasize Peter’s call to action. As I’ve heard it put before, “If we will do what they did, we’ll get what they got.”

There is much more that I would love to say, but I think it’d be better for you to check it out for yourself! I think you’ll be pleased with this resource. It’s extremely user-friendly, and it looks incredible—I can say that because I didn’t design it! Scott Utter did a tremendous job of making the concepts leap off the page. His work is second to none and his work makes Take Route even better!

Go here if you’d like to order some!

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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Tim Gunnells February 13, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Good stuff. Your Dad was one of my early mentors, and your grandfather was always very gracious to me when I visited with him through the years. My wife’s grandfather was an elder at Woodlawn and later at Roebuck Parkway for 42 years. He was a great man. He passed on quite a legacy of faith to his children and grandchildren, which might be his greatest work. Blessings!

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