October 14, 2014 was the date for this year's Engage 24, a nationwide campaign for every Christian college student to share the Gospel with at least one person during that one day. Engage 24 falls in the middle of the semester, right about the same time as midterms, and it is a great reminder of the real reason we are where we are. God has placed us right where He wants us, and He wants us to share Him with others (Tweet this). He wants us to spread the Gospel. He wants us to love people.
This year Engage 24 fell on a Tuesday, which was convenient for us because we already have an established weekly outreach booth in the student union on Tuesdays. This "booth" is really just a table set up in the student union with our BSM tablecloth, business cards advertising the times for our free lunches and Bible studies, free candy to give away, and something to help students begin conversations with people walking by, such as Soularium cards.
Believing that God would grant us good weather on 10/14, we moved the booth to the open area outside of the student union, where thousands of students walk every day, to be more visible and to be able to have more BSM students there to engage others in conversation. To entice people to talk to us, we offered a drawing for gift cards to Panera Bread, Chipotle, and iTunes, only requiring people to answer a brief survey to enter to win. The survey made it easy to transition into a Gospel conversation, and the good news was shared countless times.
Our staff and student leaders had encouraging stories to tell after working at the booth this Tuesday. Jenny was able to share the gospel with an international student she met earlier in the semester, but had not seen in a few weeks, who happened to walk by. None of us believed that was chance; it was definitely God at work. Shea was able to share with students from her classes who came by, as well as others who just stopped to answer the survey. Jamie was able to share with a cultural Christian, a Hindu, and someone who had never in his life heard the gospel of Christ - something that surprises us as Americans, especially living in the "Bible belt" where it so many claim to follow Christ. Amon was able to share with his classmate who has recently been exploring Christianity and has had gospel conversations with several BSM members in the past couple of weeks.
It is always our desire that students would take what they learn and experience from sharing at the booth and apply it to the rest of their lives. We know that working the outreach booth for 30 minutes a week does not let us put a checkmark on the "outreach" box of our spiritual lives - it is a lifestyle that we desire to have, to constantly be listening to the Spirit to guide us to people with whom we can build relationships with and share the love of Christ. And I have seen much evidence of this on campus. Shea was praying for an opportunity to share with her friend Nicolette, and the opportunity presented itself Tuesday morning after they both got out of class early. Kasey was able to share with a friend and a co-worker; she said, "God is faithful to drop opportunities into my lap, even when I don't feel ready or expect Him to. He makes it clear that these opportunities aren't mine, and I'm thankful for how he works!"
Jamie was also able to share with a friend later in the evening. Many of our students went in pairs to start conversations with people sitting in the student union and other areas around campus and had the opportunity to share the Gospel.
Last Wednesday, in preparation for Engage 24, we spent our regular BSM meeting time in prayer for conversations that would happen during the following week. We prayed for friends who we know and have not yet shared the Gospel with. We prayed for strangers we would meet at the booth and around campus. We prayed for boldness and courage. We prayed for opportunities, and we were given them.
Now we pray that the excitement and encouragement that comes from sharing the Gospel would spur us on to further Gospel-sharing on campus. The semester is halfway over, and we do not want to waste a second of it
Kinsey Cline serves as a campus missionary with the BSM at the University of Texas at Dallas through Go Now Missions.