Of all the campus-wide outreaches we do on our campuses across the state, “[Food] & God” happens to be the most popular and fruitful ones.
It excites our student leaders because of how simple it is, and it truly brings out a good swath of non- Christians who get exposed to the gospel! The outreach is simply a focus group facilitated by a staff or student leader. They will ask a series of questions like, “Do you like chocolate or vanilla?” or “Do you believe god exists?” or “What is your worldview; please explain.” or any other question that digs into students’ view of philosophy, faith and life.
All Cru staff and students do is LISTEN. That’s what makes this so simple. We don’t pause each student and tell them they’re wrong for believing [insert belief here]. Instead we listen, earnestly trying to show respect and understand. (FYI, it’s one of the best ways to do evangelism!) However at the end of the discussion, we boldly share the gospel of Jesus Christ and invite students to place their trust in him for salvation and forgiveness of sins!
At Montclair State Univ., we had a “Chick-Fil-A” and God! Food was donated by the owner of the Teterboro, NJ, location. It went great! It was gone in 10 minutes! And out of the 70 non-Cru students who came, about 15 stayed.
To give you a taste of the spiritual climate of a college campus, I’ve chosen just some of the statements made by students.
“I think religions are so self-promoting,” said one make student. “Most people today are living polytheistic or atheistic lives. Religion usually just comes at you, but discussions like this are good. They’re open. But usually it’s about getting more people into it. It’s like a business.”
Another girl responded, “Religion should be a choice. It should not be passed down to you. When I adopt or have my own children, I will let them choose. I hate that [curse words]. I won’t force them. A lot of times people end up believing something because they are forced to believe. Whatever religion that is.”
“Personally I don’t think you need faith to be a decent person,” another chimed in. “We each have our own standard. My definition is to accept people you don’t understand and just love people. All religion teaches us stuff you can do on your own. I feel I don’t need religion because I have my own hope in me.”
Later, Leanna, a student leader with Cru, told me, “We really needed [this] because two weeks before our event, there were a group of people who came to our campus spreading the Gospel falsely. They were claiming to be Christians without sin but deemed everyone, including ‘false’ Christians, were sentenced to Hell. “Our questions ranged from topics on abortion to whether God/Christians hate gays, but it was surprisingly a positive talk with open and honest dialogue. Rumors about Christianity were clarified.”
Although no one came to faith in Christ at the event, seeds were planted and the students felt heard and loved. Not only this but we were able to clearly present the gospel at the end. One student asked for prayer even though he was not ready to accept Christ. And another has been friends with Cru students all semester, but this was the first event she went to.
Thank you all for your partnership. Hopefully this update encourages but also reminds you of the great need to reach students for Christ! Please continue to pray for all the efforts across the state!
-Joey & Jenn 🙂