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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

3 Essentials for Evangelism in College

If you are a college student talking with classmates about Jesus Christ, you encounter all kinds of problems.

Some just don’t seem open to spiritual things. As you step toward the subject, they step away. Sometimes you bring up spiritual things, and they say, “Wait a minute. That book you call the Bible is such an ancient book and so full of contradictions.” Other times you may talk to your peers about the Lord, and it becomes obvious they are trying to make a fool out of you. So, you try to prove your tongue is sharper and your mind is faster. Just as they asked questions you could not answer, you try to ask them questions they cannot answer. Soon you realize you have not had a conversation about Jesus Christ. You have had an argument that may even require an apology. Discouraged, you throw your hands up and say, “How do I reach other students on this campus for Christ?!”

In the book of Colossians, God used Paul to give us some tremendous guidance as he tells believers how to relate to people on the street. In Colossians 4:2-6, God gives what could be called three essentials for evangelism in college.

Pray Properly

In verse two, he says, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (NKJV)

Prayer should come from your lips like water comes from a dripping faucet. Pray when you get up and pray an hour after you are up. Pray before breakfast. Pray after breakfast. Pray on your way to class and pray on your way back to the dorm.

Then he mentions one thing you should pray for in your relationships with non-Christians on campus. That is, a door of opportunity. He continues in verse 3, “Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word.” (NKJV) That phrase a door for the word literally means a door of opportunity. That is, God has to so work in a hearer’s life to cause him to be interested and willing to talk about spiritual things.

Nowhere in the Bible are you told as a Christian college student to create such an opportunity. That is something only God can do. Once He provides such an opportunity, you can take advantage of it. He may open a door through a student whose good friend committed suicide because life had lost its purpose and meaning. He may do it through a classmate whose parent was just diagnosed with cancer. He may do it through a professor who has raised serious questions about the existence of God leaving fellow classmates unsure what to believe.

Pray properly. Ask God for a door of opportunity.

Live Properly

He says in verse five, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” (NKJV) That word wisdom means good common sense.

He adds “redeeming the time.” That means buying up the opportunity. Look at your time on campus as a chance to live out your life around non-Christian college students in such a way that it draws them closer to the cross. Your life should help your message; it should never be a hindrance. Your conduct as a Christian matters. Walk in good common sense toward those who don’t know the Lord, buying up every opportunity to influence them for Christ.

You will have those opportunities in the way you greet them before that early morning class, the way you handle disappointment with your grade on a college exam, as you jump in the car to drive to class with a fellow student only to discover the car’s battery is dead, or your behavior at Friday night’s football game.

Live properly. Live in a way that makes them attracted to the one you call Savior.

Speak Properly

Paul says in verse six, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (NKJV) The word grace there means to let it have a pleasantness about it.

As you witness on campus, there is no need for harshness, no need to be rude. There is never a cause for biting sarcasm. Instead, let your speech be like salt in a person’s life. Let it give him an appetite for God and let it strike him as being wholesome. That way, your speech—just like your life—will move them closer to the cross instead of away from it.

Maybe his speech will reveal that he has been turned off by what he feels are judgmental Christians. Maybe his speech will reveal that he is bitter against God because of a particular handicap he lives with every day. Maybe his speech will reveal his addiction to something he feels he will never escape.

Speak properly. Cultivate the gift of pleasant, wholesome conversation that you may know how you should answer each person.

Conclusion

It’s been said, “When the world is at its worst, Christians need to be at their best.” As a Christian college student who wants to make a difference on campus, you can do that by practicing these three essentials.

Pray properly. Live properly. Speak properly.

Copyright © R. Larry Moyer, used with permission.

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