An interview with Jimmy Seibert: A vision ignited
This is the first in a four-part series about Jimmy Seibert, a college ministry legend who started a worldwide movement.
I grew up in an era when Christians went to church on Sundays—but REAL Christians went back on Sunday night. My mom was a REAL Christian and made sure we were too.
So after a morning jammed with Sunday school and church services and afternoons filled with lunch and the NFL, our evenings were consistently spent on the front row of the balcony in our beloved Baptist Church.
Honestly I didn’t mind. I loved our church’s worship, yet was always frustrated when the preacher would get up to interrupt it and launch into another sermon. Hadn’t we just heard one that morning?
So would go our Sunday routine, week after week…until THAT night. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was in middle school, and we had just completed another amazing worship time. I figured we were headed into another long-winded sermon when the preacher announced we were gonna change it up a bit.
He introduced a young married couple named Jimmy and Laura Seibert who had started a one year discipleship school for college graduates.
After nine months of seeking Jesus intensely, they had set out for a three month mission trip to Eastern Europe, and they were here with their student group to share their testimonies. No preaching = happy Carl.
One by one, these young men and women described how God had drastically changed their life in college, the radical steps they had taken in this discipleship school (that I had never heard of) and the wild salvations and miracles they had witnessed take place overseas.
They shared hilarious, powerful stories of God miraculously helping them get through blocked border crossings.
They described Romanians being healed of specific sickness and pain when they prayed for them in Jesus name.
I can still recall them saying,
“One evening around midnight, we were exhausted and were going to head to the hotel when an Albanian lady stopped us and said, ‘Why are you so anxious to leave when the people are so desperate for Jesus?’”
Convicted by her hunger, these young powerhouses stayed up until the early morning hours telling people about this man, Jesus, and leading many to faith in Christ.
All I remember thinking was, “Can this be real? I didn’t know this stuff happened today. The only place I’ve ever heard of these things occurring is in the book of Acts!”
As we stood up to leave that Sunday night service, my heart was beating out of my chest.
While my 13-year-old self didn’t have words for it, this was the first time I had heard a vision worth giving your entire life for.
This wasn’t a Christianity based on doing more good than bad. It was about an intimate, wild adventure with Jesus that I did not know was possible until that point.
As we walked out, I leaned over to my mom and simply said, “One day, I’m going to be just like those people!”
Oh, what I would pay to go back in time and tell that insecure middle schooler, “You know that Jimmy Seibert guy who inspired you so much? One day, he is going to disciple you personally. Together, you will plant a church and travel the world. He’ll become your boss, your lifelong mentor, and one of your best friends!”
That was almost 30 years ago.
Today I serve as the college pastor under Jimmy and Laura at our church in Waco, Texas.
No one has taught me more about Jesus, evangelism, discipleship, prayer, community, family, vision, leadership, the nations and the local church than Jimmy.
So at Steve Shadrach’s suggestion, I decided to do a few video interviews with Jimmy in hopes that they will inspire and mobilize the next generation of college leaders who want to see the book of Acts come alive.
So if you would like a little wisdom from a college ministry legend who started a worldwide movement and changed my life as well, the first of four discipleship segments begins now:
Tune in to part two to hear Jimmy and I discuss teaching the basics of discipleship in order to change the world.