Just a friendly note to ask you how you’re doing on your extended missionary venture at your school? “My missionary venture?” you ask. YES!
Now that you’re back to school, and the year is still new, it would be a great time if you could make an adjustment in the way you think about who you really are, and what you’re really doing at school every day.
Not forsaking the fact that you are in school to learn, grow, and become more educated, you are also a follower of Jesus and a co-laborer with Him in his great “Co-Mission.” So, below are a few things you can do to open the door to ministry and mission on your school campus. *Note. This blog post does not include bull-horn-turn-or-burn-preaching in the student commons area, cafeteria, or gym. With that in mind, consider embracing a few ideas on your campus.
1. Bring your Bible to school and read it during lunch, breaks, and down time (and not during class, unless it’s a bible class). People may ask you what you’re reading, and that can prompt discussions.
2. Speaking of lunch, pause, bow your head, and pray silently over your lunch before you eat (whether you eat alone, or you’re with a circle of friends). I’m not encouraging you to show-boat your faith, but to model faithfulness (compare Mat. 6:5 with Dan. 6:10). Unbelievers may be intrigued by your devotion and want to talk more, and the lonely Christian who has been asking for a Christian friend on campus will see you, feel relieved, and come and talk to you. If your group gets large enough, you can do the next thing.
3. Start or join a Christian club on your campus that emphasizes supportive prayer, biblical devotions, and outreach to fellow students. Beware of building an us-vs.-them mentality in your group, and try to develop an us-for-them motivation. Look for ways to reach fellow students together, and to support one another as fellow missionaries to your campus. If you’re effective in getting people to listen to you on the campus, you could do the next thing.
4. Have a party or mixer at your house or at a neutral place and invite a combination of fellow Christians and people you’re all trying to reach out to. Have good refreshments, encourage your friends to engage with others, and just be together forging friendships.
5. Invite your friends to your Sunday service, college group, young-adult group, youth, or Jr. High group at church. You could even partner with your youth pastor to have two events in this group per year that are “Friend”events, and ask your pastor to preach something that could end with a call to salvation. Some of your friends may accept Jesus at your group!
6. Look for people who are struggling, crying, confused, angry, stressed out, or generally having a hard time and reach out to them. Be the Christian that they know, and offer to support, encourage, and yes, PRAY for them. You might be surprised how open a hurting person is to a supportive and prayerful Christian. One day, when they’re sharing their salvation testimony, you may hear them say “My Christian friend was there for me when I was hurting, and lead me to Jesus.”
7 (8, and 9). You can also do other things like wear a Christian t-shirt, listen to worship music, and put a Christian poster in your locker that might encourage people to ask you about your faith. However, I’d be careful about this one. Some of the messaging on Christian clothing and print media is pretty alienating. Stick with encouraging messages.
10. Don’t forget you’re a Christian at school. This is just my general encouragement not to forget that Jesus’ call on your life is the most important aspect of who you are. What your friends think about you, the pressure they’re putting on you, and even rejection should not motivate you to either jump in and become wordily, or to pull back and become an angry prophet who can’t relate to anyone.
A final thought to those who say, “This doesn’t apply. I go to a Christian school.” Listen, there will be lots of kids at your school who have doubts about Christianity, and they may be full-blown atheists or skeptics whose parents want them to have a private education for the academics, and don’t really care about the spiritual dimension. Or, they could be the rebellious kids of Christian parents who don’t pass their faith to their kids at home, so they want the school to do it for them. Regardless of the reason unbelievers go to your Christian school, they do! And, you’re there to be a light to them. They may be willing to listen to you if you are a genuine and authentic Jesus-follower who will be their friend.
So… ONWARD ye school missionaries. The harvest is plentiful, and the serious Jesus-followers on the average school campus are few. Be one of the few. Be a missionary to your school!