Every Christian Should Be an Evangelist…
Even College Students
What do most students really think when they hear in a weekly meeting or discipleship group of the billions worldwide who have never heard of Christ?
I think many reason, “Sure, I need to do something about that in the future, but right now don’t I have to be a college student first?”
Many of our students may not be asking this question out loud, but it has probably run through their subconscious.
“Isn’t college a time for me to learn, grow, develop myself and have fun?”
If we want to be effective as college ministers, we’ve got to become proficient at answering these sorts of objections towards personal evangelism.
College should be a place to learn, have fun and develop yourself. But it can be so much more. It is also a season full of opportunity for serving and honoring the one true God.
Sin living in all of us causes us to shrink back from the task of evangelism and discipleship God has called us to. College students, however, sometimes feel they have a few extra excuses to help them avoid evangelism.
How can we properly motivate them to risk being involved? Two big reasons rush to my mind.
It is commanded.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus told the Church to “make disciples of all the nations.” Some will try to say this command only applies to the apostles. Certainly Jesus spoke it to them as the leaders of the Church, but it seems He wanted the entire Church to be involved in this process at some level.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that the risen Christ appeared to over 500 people at once. There is good reason to think this happened when Jesus spoke the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. The commands and promises Jesus spoke that day were for the full Church. Of course the apostles led the way. Ministers should continue to set the pace. But the New Testament never says they should do the sum total of evangelizing and discipling. All Christians should be involved in this great task–including college students.
Some students may feel they have little to offer. One huge asset students have, however, is free time on campus around future leaders. These future leaders in college are often very open to new ideas. Most non-Christian students won’t attend a church, so they’ll have little chance to hear some great preacher share the gospel with them. But these same leaders will happily have coffee with a friend after class.
Don’t underestimate how God can use your students right where they are today. As a college minister, it’s our job to help them see the part they can play in God’s grand plan of redemption.
It is assumed.
Mark 5 tells the story of a naked, insane man living in a cemetery. He is possessed by demons. Jesus casts out the demons. The man trusts in Christ and wants to follow Him. Jesus commands the man to go home and tell what God has done for him. If a man who moments earlier had legions of demons inside of him can be commissioned to evangelize, do you really think your students have a good excuse not to?
John 4 tells the story of an adulterous woman who trusts in Christ. She immediately runs back to town and starts telling everyone she can find about the Messiah.
Acts 1:8 and 5:32 indicate that all Christians have the Holy Spirit and seem to imply that one of the main reasons we have the Holy Spirit is to tell others about Christ.
Acts 8:1-4 is even more instructive. There is a persecution in the church at Jerusalem, and many were scattered into other cities. They went about preaching the word. The text specifically tells us the apostles stayed in Jerusalem. Those who were especially gifted for and ordained to preach and evangelize stayed home while average Joe and Jane Christians spread the gospel around the Roman Empire.
In 1 Peter 3:15 Peter tells all Christians they should be able to explain the gospel to others. These are just a handful of examples to show that the New Testament expects all Christians, including college students, to be personally involved in evangelism. This means personal conversations with people about Christ.
Are you being faithful to encourage your students to share the gospel with the friends God has given them? If not, why not?
Wherever you are in this process, pray God would fill you full of His Holy Spirit and use you more to start a movement of average Joe and Jane college student Christians sharing the gospel with their friends regularly.