BREAKING THROUGH BARRIERS IN REACHING THE LOST ON CAMPUS
How do we get the Gospel to this generation of college students? What keeps followers of Christ from engaging the lost campuses of our world? Here are some suggestions of how to break through the barriers to share the Gospel to these future leaders.
Barrier #1: Fear of Rejection:
University students desire for Christians to be authentic and vulnerable. They desire to have someone who is genuinely interested in them. College students want to belong first so that they can experience Christian community and then believe. The latest LifeWay Research survey indicates that “56% of Americans are open to hearing about faith from a friend or neighbor.” If you know how to be a friend, if you can help a college student belong to your community, if you can pray and share your story of the Gospel in your life, then you can lead collegians to Christ!
Barrier #2: A Lack of Non-Christian Relationships:
Our culture is becoming increasingly more post-Christian. We must all understand that we are to live like a missionary. Living like a missionary among college students means going where they are and seeking out opportunities to build relationships. Relationships for this generation trump everything. There are needs for mentors, sponsors for registered student organizations, Greek organization sponsors and mentors, tutors, an invitation to a free meal, athletic event workers and trainers. There are multiple ways to connect with college students. Pray and ask God to bring you into the harvest of the collegiate world.
Barrier #3: Sharing the Gospel in a clear, compelling way:
This does not mean changing the message of the Gospel, but directing the message to hit the heart of the college student. It’s not fog and lights that college students are interested in, but a life filled with passion and purpose. Barna research says that “90% of Millennials are looking for resources to help them live a more meaningful life.” College students want to know how faith and spirituality apply to the issues they face. There is no greater time to tell college students of the abundant, purposeful life that comes with a relationship with Christ.
Whatever the reason, whatever the barrier, we are called to take Christ to the lost campuses of the world. It takes a personal interest, building relationships, and passion to reach college students. Let’s go and make disciples!
Lynn Loyd is the Missions Consultant for the Collegiate and Young Leaders Team at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Lynn and his wife Rebecca live in Fayetteville.