Published April 18, 2013
STATESBORO — College sophomore Shannon Kahn would like to be more intentional in sharing her faith, but she admits it just doesn’t come natural.
The same goes for junior Rebecca Henry and, truth be told, most Christians on and off of college campuses. That’s why the two Georgia Southern University coeds spearheaded a campus-wide intentional evangelism emphasis earlier this year.
Kahn coordinated Engage 72, a low-key three-day evangelistic outreach, while Henry helped plan a prayer night emphasis. The outreach, was sponsored by GSU Baptist Campus Ministries as a way to provide a Gospel witness to students as well as faculty.
Students participating in the event carried cardboard signs everywhere they went for three days … to class, the library, the cafeteria, or just walking around the campus. The signs bore very brief attention-getting messages which sought to arouse interest and stir conversation.
Henry’s sign, “I am joyful,” drew curiosity and gave her opportunities to speak to students who she would not otherwise engage in conversation. Each BCM member participating in the creative venue penned their own phrase on the sign which related to their life experience since becoming a Christian.
“This is all about intentional evangelism,” the Marietta resident said.
“But more than that, it’s about making yourself available to those who pass you by everyday but to whom you remain anonymous,” the member of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church explained.
Before very long she had an opportunity to share her faith with three individuals, two of whom were faculty members. Other students carried signs such as “I am forgiven,” “I am free,” and “I am valuable.”
“People don’t generally know how to bring up Christ in a conversation and this really helps. It’s a great ministry tool to let people know what God has done in your life,” she explains.
“I must have talked to 16 people one afternoon. Sometimes it was just a minute testimony, sometimes an extended conversation. I think the BCM planted a lot of seeds on which to develop relationships.
“Living like a Christian but not sharing one’s faith is not giving a full witness. People need to hear specifically what Christ has done in a life and that He’s real.”
Henry, a member of Statesboro’s Friendship Baptist Church and BCM evangelism team chairman – as well as vice president of worship – organized the prayer rally that eventually spread to the entire campus and a dozen faith groups.
“If we want to reach our campus we need to come to God first and seek Him,” she explained.
Henry was vaguely familiar with BCM as a freshman but didn’t know too much about the fellowship sponsored by Collegiate Ministries of the Georgia Baptist Convention. But a friend’s introducing her to the group has made all the difference in her spiritual development, she says.
“BCM has kept me growing in my faith and kept me grounded in God’s Word. If you’re not involved in a group like BCM you can easily slip away from your walk with Christ. It’s important to surround yourself with other believers who hold yourself accountable and serve as a prayer partner.”
Kara Dees I am valuable
“I was walking to campus, kinda afraid and nervous that people would judge me (kinda ironic, I know). But I went to my first class and a girl began saying that not all people who say they are Christians are Christians and act like they should. I asked what she believed and she said that she didn’t believe anything. I don’t know her name but please pray for her.”
Ask me my story
“I went to Einstein’s to get breakfast and do a devotion, but then all of Einstein’s staff wanted to know my story. Then as I went to sit down at a table a guy asked about the sign so I asked if I could eat breakfast with him. He turned out to be an atheist. It was discouraging, but even more encouraging that I see a need for Christ on campus. I said all this to say when we take the first step in obedience He takes care of the rest. I was nervous at first, but He is faithful.”
Garner Evan Wong I am loved
“I was really nervous about being asked about my story because I did not know what I would say. But then I was approached by a guy who asked me and I just shared how I never felt true love until I met Christ and it was astonishing how God gave me the words to speak.”
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