Posted by: Brian Musser | August 20, 2012

A Good Day at Work: Evangelistic Priorities in Response to Overwhelming Numbers

On Mondays I write about Evangelism.  Today, I thought it would be good to highlight our recent outreach effort at Drexel.

Looking at Some Drexel Numbers

There are 22,000 students and 6,000 employees at Drexel.  If I were on campus an average of 240 days a year and was blessed by God with the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with one person everyday, then it would take me over 100 years to share the gospel with everyone at Drexel.  I’m not totally against that idea.  If God so chose I think it would be cool to minster to Drexel Dragons until I was 125, but that’s probably not a realistic expectation.  Even though, I may be willing to spend a century here on campus the majority of those 28,000 individuals I’m trying to connect with are not.  Five years seems to be the level of their commitment and that includes employees as well.  So my goal is to do in five years what it will take me over 100 years to do alone.  It needs to be more than just me.

Let’s look at the numbers from a different angle.  Quite a few churches have been known to plateau between 100 and 150 people.  When others investigated this phenomenon they found a simple reason why.  120 people is about the number an average singular pastor can minister to effectively.  120 is the number of relationships and acquaintances most persons have.  I’m talking relationships not just facebook friends.  Now that would mean that if I were to reach my goal of the entire campus, I would have to manage 233 times the number of relationships than the average person.  It needs to be a lot more than just me!

Priorities from Perspective

That perspective has led me to develop two relevant priorities within the ministry.

  1. I need to develop mature Christian student and employee leaders that help me share the gospel with and minister to the campus.
  2. I need to harness the members of local church congregations by providing avenues for the entire local body of Christ to help me share the gospel and minister to the campus.

In other words it can’t be just about me doing the work.  On a good day at work I need to have a lot of others helping me out.

What a Good Day at Work Looks Like

On July 12th we had a day of ministry on campus that can be highlighted as a good example of what we are trying to do in accordance with our priorities.  We gathered our Drexel student leaders and they facilitated a day of engaging our campus with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We partnered with two church youths groups and through them had about 30 high school students on campus helping out.  We also had the help of summer interns from our Baptist campus ministry partners in Texas.  A shout out to the youth ministry from First Baptist Church of Perryville, MD; the Foundry Church in Wallingford, PA and Texas Baptist Student Ministry for joining us and for several of our financial supporters and partners for providing the funds we used.  With the additional hands and support we able to engage a much larger portion of the campus than I could have alone.

During the day we were able to do some really cool things.  We passed out 14 cases of water ~ 336 bottles.  These water bottles were labelled with information about how to get in contact with Christian groups on Drexel’s campus.  Of those 336 people that were given a water bottle 71 individuals were willing to talk with us in more detail.  Nine people took a worldview survey.  47 others took a survey that was related to church planting.  16 of them left contact information indicating that we should give them more information about what Christian opportunities are available on Drexel’s campus. Then another 15 of the 71 people participated in a Soularium survey.  Soularium is a visual, spiritual conversation that asks individuals to identify how the view God and their own spiritual life through pictures.  I have found Soularium to be one of the easiest ways to engage students in spiritual conversations.  Several of the surveys naturally transitioned from surveys into spiritual conversations and then again into gospel presentations.  We did not see anyone make a first time commitment to Jesus as their savior on that day but some of the conversations started that day have not ended yet.

On that day I saw my student leaders at Drexel provide the majority of the organizational support needed for the entire day.  They also lead most of the students through the Soularium conversations and even helped teach some of older high schoolers how to do Soularium.  The church youth groups passed out the majority of the water and conducted all of the church interest surveys.  They also provided necessary logistical support during the day making sure that water bottles, ice and forms were where they needed to be.  Both of the priorities mentioned above were met.  This was a very good day at work.

Looking Forward: Future Opportunities and Prayer Requests

After the success of this day we are looking at many more opportunities to engage our campus with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  One of these days is on 10/11/12 or Thursday, October 11, 2012.  I’ve been part of team that has created the concept of ENGAGE24.  ENGAGE24 is a 24 hour period when college students will make a coordinated effort to engage their campuses with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our desire is to see every believing college student share the Gospel with one person that day.  At Drexel we will be doing a major outreach on that day.  If the weather permits and/or the spaces are available it will probably look a lot like what I just described happened in July.  We will have more specific details as the time draws near.

There is one prayer concern that might effect how we use churches on campuses.  Due to the events at Penn State, the administration at Drexel is evaluating the policies and procedures for having minors (i.e. high school church youth groups) present on campus.  Prior to this these groups were only connected with Baptist Campus Ministries while they were on campus but the university may not feel comfortable without more details.  Please pray for the decisions that will be made on this issue.  I am not sure what would be the best outcome or even what possibilities are being discussed.  So please just pray for favor and wisdom for those involved in the process.

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