I have a confession to make. I’m an InterVarsity staff and I don’t like Proxe stations.
Like, I really don’t like them.
What’s a Proxe Station Anyway?
For those of you unfamiliar with Proxes, here’s a quick rundown. Proxe stations are essentially creative and interactive public art displays designed to engage students in spiritual conversation. They’re a brilliant and non-pushy way of starting spiritual conversations with strangers.
But I still don’t like them.
Do I Have to Talk to Strangers?
I love evangelism, but I’d rather sit down with a friend and do an investigative Bible study. I’m in my element when I can have a long conversation about Jesus with someone I’ve built a relationship with.
As an introvert, trying to get total strangers to talk to me about Jesus is, well, exhausting and anxiety-provoking. It’s just not my style, and during my time on staff I’ve seen a lot more fruit from other types of evangelism.
So when my chapter began a recent Proxe outreach, I had a less-than-stellar attitude. But I was quickly reminded why these are such an important part of our mission on campus.
Worth It for Even One
One day, I noticed a young woman lingering by the Proxe. She seemed interested, yet shy. I snapped into extrovert mode and decided to approach her and strike up a conversation about our outreach. As I explained the outreach to her, she began to share with me that she’s not religious but has felt like God is trying to get her attention. She saw our outreach as another sign of God’s pursuit of her.
We sat down and talked for about a half an hour. She shared her story and I shared the good news of Jesus with her, and what it’s meant for me to follow him. Though she didn’t make a decision to follow Jesus, she was incredibly close to the kingdom and helped me to realize that there are people all around us who are ready to come to faith. Turns out, Jesus wasn’t lying when he said the whole “the harvest is plentiful” thing.
This interaction reminded me how critical our rhythms of public outreach on campus and in our communities really are. There are men and women around us whose attention God is trying to get, and we can play a role in helping people see where God is at work. Creative outreaches like Proxe stations give us the opportunity to talk with people we never would otherwise, and invite spiritual seekers to join our communities.
As I left that conversation, God brought to mind the parable of the lost sheep, and I felt God say to me, “This week was worth it for her.”
Let’s Do This Again Sometime
Proxe outreach might not be my favorite, but I sure am glad that God has challenged me and our movement to be bold and creative in publicly proclaiming Jesus.
Matt Meyer and his wife, Bekah, are planting an InterVarsity chapter at Ventura College in California. Matt blogs on life and ministry at kingdomintersect.wordpress.com.
What about you? What creative outreaches is God leading you to try in your community?