The InterVarsity chapter at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico, has been teaching its students to become more active in evangelism. Rod Pauls, the regional director and part-time staff worker at the school has seen the InterVarsity students develop their evangelistic skills over the past couple years.
Because the leadership team has expressed excitement about evangelism the chapter is motivated and has already witnessed the Holy Spirit working through them; they have seen one student become a Christian and have shared the gospel with many of their friends.
Last year the chapter began to discuss how to do evangelism more actively. Because they had not spent much time focusing on evangelism in the past, the students started incorporating it into the chapter slowly, deciding first to train their peers in how to lead a GIG (Group Investigating God, a Bible study for non-Christians). Leading Bible studies taught them how to have honest and open discussions with their non-Christian friends.
The GIGs gave students the confidence to take their evangelism efforts further this year. In September they hosted a Proxe Station outreach called Extreme Makeover. It focused on the question, “What would you change about yourself?” A display was set up on campus, and as students walked past, they could stop and post their answers to the question onto the display. They then had the opportunity to talk with an InterVarsity member.
The Proxe station yielded about sixty conversations over three days, and the gospel was presented in at least half of those discussions. The experience was very freeing and exciting for the students – many students who were afraid of sharing their faith got over their fear after realizing that the response from their peers was mostly positive. The chapter felt so encouraged about the Proxe Station that it has decided to host another one this month.
In between Proxe Station events, the chapter hosted an event in the middle of December that it called the “World View Café,” in which the students gave away hot chocolate and invited their peers to talk about worldview issues. Once again, the chapter presented the gospel to many students.
Perseverence in Evangelism
Part of what impresses Rod about this InterVarsity chapter is the students’ perseverance to pursue evangelism without a full-time staff worker to guide them. “I’m very encouraged with the different structures that they have in place,” said Don Paul.
Part of their persistence comes from their student leader, CJ. CJ is the chapter’s evangelism coordinator. He has a deep desire to bring his classmates to faith in Christ, and his enthusiasm spills over to the rest of the InterVarsity leadership team. Rod said of him, “I’ve seen in him a desire to grow in his own faith, but also to see other students come to know the Lord. In his friendships with non-Christians he really tries to be the kind of friend that makes the gospel attractive to them.”
With student leaders like CJ helping to guide the chapter in evangelism, InterVarsity at New Mexico Tech is being used by God. One student this fall has become a Christian, which has spurred on the chapter’s growing excitement about evangelism. The chapter is ready to invite more people into relationship with Jesus, and Rod expects that its evangelism journey is only beginning.