Probably my favorite part of this calling is sitting down with my students one-on-one for sweet times of discipleship. I also ensure to bring them out for initiative, one-on-one evangelism with unbelievers. Here are a few stories from the last month, where we used the QuEST interview tool (shown above) to spark conversations on campus.
ONE: Jaylen (student leader at Montclair State Univ.) and I got to engage with David, whose Christian upbringing no longer appealed to him. He explained to us that although he loves his parents, the way in which they forced him to believe certain tenets of the faith was indigestible. Instead, he now believes in simply living as morally upright as possible. And while he does not believe in heaven per se, he does believe in some kind of continuing existence after we die.
After listening to his beliefs and asking curious questions, we proceeded to share the gospel with him. We were even able to show him that although his parents were forceful, God gives him the free choice to accept Jesus’ morality instead of trying to please God through our own. Mike was thankful for and engaged in the conversation, but at one point, he abruptly got up and left.
TWO: Makua (student leader at New Jersey City Univ.) and I got to speak with Mike, whose parents divorced in his early years. They raised him Muslim and Christian, respectively. Mike explained that his personal conviction is that one must arrive at his own beliefs through research and enlightenment. At one point, we asked him, “What do you believe was Jesus’ central message?” And although he was partly raised Christian, he could not give a clear answer.
Mike was willing to hear us out. We looked him in the eyes and told him, “Mike, God really loves you. He wants you to know him personally. This is his plan for the whole world, but we as people have chosen to rebel and sin against him. This creates a chasm. Thankfully God provided the solution to this through Jesus! When we place our trust in the work and person of Jesus, God forgives our sins and adopts us!”
Following this impassioned plea, we asked Mike if he wanted to trust in Jesus, but once again, he shared that this journey was something he needed to explore on his own.
THREE: Jon (student leader at Seton Hall Univ.) and I crossed over to New Jersey Institute of Technology. It was there where we met Chris, a young engineer with hopes of working for NASA.
Unlike the others, Chris was reserved and quiet. He did not have much to share, but as we walked him through the gospel-sharing tool we call the “KGP,” (Knowing God Personally booklet) his eyes were fixed on the Bible verses detailing what we told Mike above. Finally, we got to the decision-making diagram (right).
Chris’s answer to the first question on the bottom was, “The left circle.” And his answer to the second question was, “The right circle!” Oh, what joy that a fellow sinner responded to Jesus with trust! Jon and I were elated. We prayed with and for Chris, and we are now following up and prayerfully will see Chris grow in Christ.
The goal of evangelism is never to force someone to believe but to present the opportunity and let them decide. So often, I find myself planting seeds rather than getting to watch them grow, so seeing Chris “grow” was truly amazing. Pray for him, Mike and David! Pray for our staff and students as we continue the work. Thank you for being a part of it!