My Heart Screams Evangelism
The most exhilarating thing I ever did in college was to share the gospel. While many people find their excitement in the parties and the thrill of escaping responsibility and reality a few nights a week, I’m happy to say that the most adventurous, thrilling, heart thumping, living on the edge experiences I had during my college career were the times when I swallowed the lump of fear in my throat and dared to share the truth about God with someone around me. This isn’t to say that I never found myself held hostage by sin and wrong choices during those four years of intense identity formation, but those reckless choices proved to be dulling dead ends compared the the elation of being used by God.
I’ve been thinking a lot about student evangelism and the college campus lately. Daydreaming, actually, is a more accurate depiction of what’s really been going on. You see, for the past two years I have been working at a small, local non-profit Christian radio station on the Central Coast. I work with seven other Christians and we hear testimonies all the time from our listeners telling us how much the music we play helps them through their days and in their walks with God. And that’s pretty cool, I must agree. I have my own desk, with my own computer and from there I create all sorts of different newsletters and emails, I answer phone calls and attend meetings, I plan upcoming events and offer new ideas for growth. And I daydream. I sit at my desk and I daydream about the college campus just a couple miles down the road.
During my four years at Washington State University I was involved with an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). And they, along with the Lord of course, are the ones to blame for my daydreaming. The things that I learned and experienced and were challenged to adopt into my style of living are as much a part of me still as my left foot is. And over the past couple years since college, God’s plan for my life has moved me from Washington to California, it’s found me a dreamy husband, and it’s introduced me to some incredible people all while my life has continued to transform more and more into the character and life of Christ.
So while by God’s grace my life has continued to progress, there’s still something about being on a college campus that gets me high so to speak.
In an article by Campus Crusade that I read during my freshman year of college I learned that, “Most people who become Christians do so before the age of 22. College students are at a crossroads, and many belief systems are competing for their allegiance. While they’re in this stage of life, we need to make Jesus Christ an option for them.” And in another paragraph of the article I learned that, “As you begin a ministry on campus, evangelism is what will set it apart. It will make the difference between a maintenance ministry and a thriving one like we see in the Book of Acts. It would be tempting to build a ministry solely through the gathering of Christians. While fellowship is vital, it does not encompass everything Jesus cam to do: to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).”
Evangelism does something to a person. It doesn’t matter your default personality setting, whether you’re naturally loud or shy. Whether you like public speaking or hate it. Evangelism, for every Christian, is the key to being unlocked from a boring, middle of the road Christianity, and into an exciting adventure of trusting God and living out His purposes in our lives. I’m convinced of it now more than ever as I sit at my cubicle, with only Christians in the building and with my little bamboo plant as my sole source of company and the object of my preaching. It’s boring.
The opportunities that Christian students have on their campuses is a once-in-a-lifetime golden window. After college, former students may have the opportunity to help lead or support a college ministry, but if you’re fortunate enough to go to college, you only get one shot at influencing other college students with the gospel from that angle, on the ground level, in the thick of a very important time in people’s lives.
Even now, drawing closer to three years since I graduated, the challenge I received as a college freshman is still ringing true to my ears and begging me to rearrange my life: “Build now, so as to leave a legacy.”
So as of late, in my prayers I’ve begun to ask my Heavenly Father for new opportunities in evangelism. I want to spend my days at the heart of one of the most influential centers of the world once again, the college campus.
Romans 1 :16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”