College campuses have often been the vanguard of revival in North America,
from the Great Awakening to the Brownwood, Texas, Revival. Realizing that they
have a personal role to play in reaching others is many times the catalyst for
students' evangelistic fervor and heightened level of commitment. On Mission
talked with three students who have found their places in the effort to reach
their campuses for Christ.
Robert Moore, 21, is a senior at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. Heidi
Kitchens, 20, is a junior at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Brad
Stave, 22, is a senior at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
On Mission: When did you realize that you have a part to play in
reaching your campus?
Robert: When I first got to campus I was looking for a
group, a family to fit in. Freshmen are looking for that--I know I was. I did
all the wrong things, drinking, partying. Then I went on a weekend retreat with
a campus group. They were different. I started going to their chapel service.
In November I became a Christian. It wasn't long before I began asking myself,
"What can I do for other people?" I thought I could help bring people into the
same relationship with Christ that I had found.
Heidi: When I started meeting with my campus group as a
freshman they focused on what a Christian's role is. They really emphasized
that. I had never heard it so clearly stated before. It made me realize I
needed to be trained to share my faith. I got involved and started going out on
campus with a mentor who taught me to share my faith by using an outline from a
Brad: I knew I had a part to play right when I walked on
campus. You see the Greek system, you see business majors with dollar signs in
their eyes looking for success. You see people looking for peace, hope and
acceptance. I'm a transfer student and saw the same thing at Eastern Oregon.
You can give people programs or make them a member of a group, but what they
need won't come from that. They need Christ.
On Mission:What ministry are you involved
Robert: We just finished "Different Week" and are following
up with people who became Christians during the emphasis. With "Different Week"
we wanted to see what student Christians working together could do. We ignored
denominational labels, met with other evangelical Christian groups and mapped
out the campus. We had at least two Christians meeting on every floor of every
dorm praying for each person on campus by name. We saw 35 people come to faith
in Christ and saw a bunch of people come to pray and set their lives straight
during the "Different Week" revival. Now we have 35 volunteers who will
disciple these new Christians.
Brad: I'm working with international students. There is a
big population of Asian students here. I'm also helping begin an outreach to
transfer students. For both groups it's a matter of getting acclimated to a new
setting. For the Asian group it's culture shock. For the transfer students it's
beginning all over again. We just try to help them and show that we genuinely
care for them. Building those relationships gives us the opportunity to share
our faith. I'm also mentoring a freshman, but to be honest I learn as much from
him as he does from me. We do Bible study and hold each other accountable.
On Mission:How important has prayer been
to your outreach?
Robert: When I was a freshman I started meeting with 17
other guys to pray for revival on campus. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday
from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. We haven't missed a session in four years and we're
beginning to see revival come. We knew we needed to be serious about our
commitment and that praying a few minutes in the morning wasn't enough. We've
seen evidence of God's control in diverse groups working together in unity with
no ego problems. We've seen schedules changed because we needed a building when
it had already been given to another group. God answers prayer. Prayer was a
major part of "Different Week."
Heidi: It's important to support other Christians in
prayer. When you're witnessing to a girl on campus and she begins to cry
because she knows she needs God, you have to step back and let the Holy Spirit
be in control. If you push things and rely on emotion, you aren't helping her
need. Prayer lays the groundwork for your time to share.
On Mission:Have you found an evangelism
method that works for you?
Robert: I'm outgoing and up front. I like to talk. I'll
stand up the first day of a class and talk to everybody. I know some people
aren't comfortable with good, old-fashioned door-knocking evangelism, but I
like people so much, I just get them talking and find out what they're all
about. I guess I could talk to anybody. The week I was deciding whether or not
to accept the position of campus evangelism director I had several
opportunities to share my faith on campus. That confirmed it for me.
Heidi: I go out on campus and talk to people directly about
their faith. But I'm really more comfortable building a relationship and then
sharing my faith. I know I have a role. I always wanted to be involved in
missions since I was 12, but I've learned since coming to college that it isn't
something far off in the future, it's something I need to do now, where I
Brad: I went to Bosnia on an International Mission Board
trip for six weeks over the summer. The people there are lost, but it's hard to
tell people that Christ is the only way to God. I've learned that people's
beliefs are important to them. You have to first show people that you love
them, then you can tell them why you love them. You have to display your
relationship with Christ and be concerned about the person, and then you can
tell that person that Christ is the only way. On campus you have to make
yourself evident. People need to see you live a Christian life. Then when they
want to know, they can ask you.
Tomorrow I'm going to the recreation center with three Muslim students and
later to a mosque. I've been to a mosque before. It can be a very intense
experience, because Muslims are so focused when they pray. Later we'll go to
the Baptist Student Union (BSU). I'll show them that I respect them and share
the love of Christ with them. Once they know I care about them I can share
Christ with boldness and respect.
On Mission:How did you get involved with
Heidi: My parents met at the BSU. My pastor was a member.
They were all members of the same BSU at New Mexico State. You could say I was
destined. But for me it was the BSU's focus on Christ and the role we play
sharing our faith. They didn't beat around the bush about what the Bible says
and our responsibility as Christians. I really like that.
Brad: I wanted to go some place where I could serve. The
BSU was a real welcoming place. When you come in and sign up they follow up.
The leaders were interested in me and were open with me. I knew I'd be involved
somewhere, because my family showed me that it's important to do your part. My
parents are awesome. They showed me what a close relationship with Christ
means. I've learned just how important that relationship is, and that we are
responsible to show other people that reality.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC