4 Tips To Make Evangelism Easy At School

Evangelism can be tough for you when you're a student. It doesn't matter how outgoing or extroverted you are (or think you are) it can be intimidating... and nerve-wracking... and scary to think about bringing up God at school.

If this is you, I want you to know that I've been there.

I didn't start following Jesus until my senior year of college. I had zero practice at this and absolutely no framework for how to bring up the Gospel in conversation with friends and classmates. But what I did have was a group of friends who were much more practiced at good, solid ways to bear witness.

(...it also didn't hurt that they were a lot smarter than me too.)

And I still go back to some of the basic principles I learned years ago whenever I begin talking about God with family, friends, or even strangers.

So... if you're one of the millions of students going back to school this month, here are some quick evangelism tips that you can use at school but that can carry you through the rest of your life.

1. Apologetics is (kinda) important

Listen, Peter told the first Christians that they should "be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15) for a reason. It's good advice! If you're doing it right, people will be confused as to why you live your life the way you do.

But there are many ways to answer the Why? questions and laying out a five paragraph essay to people in an attempt to prove Christ just isn't sufficient anymore. As we like to say... you don't have to defend a lion.

Instead of attempting to prove the truth of the Gospel, try sharing how Jesus has made you a different person inside and out. I've found that the most compelling arguments for Christ aren't in rational explanations, but rather a changed life. Whether it's less anxiety or more peace or a different outlook on life and people and money... use that as the answer to the Why? questions and see if how it does.

2. Evangelism is about relationships

Have you ever seen someone come to genuine faith in Christ as a result of a public preacher who's (loudly) warning about fire and brimstone and the forthcoming wrath of God? I haven't. That's not to say it hasn't happened, but there's a reason the writers of the New Testament have much more to say about how Christians should...

Live peaceful lives
Love their neighbors
Respect authority
Be generous with their time and money

Jesus didn't tell us about the Gospel from on high. He was a born a baby. And worked as a carpenter. And showed us the truth with His whole life.

A friend, classmate, or teammate is far more likely to listen (like... actually listen) to what you have to say about Jesus if they feel safe and respected and loved by you.

3. Bring up the Gospel when the time is right

Some of my best conversations about Jesus and the Gospel didn't start with me (or the other person) talking about... well... Jesus or the Gospel. It started with...

Did you see the game last night?
Have you tried that new restaurant?
What are you writing your paper on?

Jesus gave us a ton of great examples where He let them in on the truth of the Gospel by just starting a conversation—Nicodemus (John 3), the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), and the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15) are just a few examples, but it shows us that evangelism isn't about having a great elevator pitch and solid delivery... it's about being genuine in our interactions with others and then being brave enough to talk about Jesus when the time is right.

4. Faith is public

One of the most effective ways to improve your evangelism has nothing to do with what you say or how you say it or when you say it.

It's about practicing what you preach... and doing the right thing even when you think no one is watching.

A recent survey by Barna Group found that 66% of Millennials would describe Christians as hypocritical. It's their number one criticism of Christianity and the primary reason they reject church, organized religion, and relationships with Christians.

Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22). And if we're going to be successful in our evangelism, we need to have integrity as the hands and feet of our Savior.

Because as the Apostle Paul says, we can speak in the tongues of men and angels, but if we don't have love we are nothing more than noisy gongs or clanging cymbals (1 Corinthians 13).

Okay... time to go!

School is an incredibly important mission field, y'all. The more confident and practiced we can get in our evangelism, the better... because this is a formative time in all our lives. I probably grew more as a person and developed more of my worldview in the eight years of high school and college as compared to all the other years combined.

Got any other tips for us? Tweet us at @ODGApparel! We'd love to talk.