by Keith Davy
There isn’t a student out there that wouldn’t say that evangelism is their number one priority on a daily basis, right?… WRONG!
Of course that’s wrong, any minister reaching out to college students knows that finding a student passionate about Evangelism is like finding a precious stone at a sandy beach. Many students today find the idea of trying to persuade someone else to follow their beliefs reprehensible. It goes against all the ideals of open-mindedness and tolerance. They have to be willing to confess that what they believe is right and what others believe is wrong. Other students wouldn’t say that it’s so much reprehensible as it is flat out terrifying. Needless to say, helping students open themselves up to living their life as an Evangelist to their fellow students can be an uphill battle.
Thankfully Keith Davy and the production team at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) came up with a set of materials named ‘CoJourners’ to help change the perspective that students have on Evangelism. These materials include an Equipment Pack, a Transferrable Concept, and a 28 day Devotional.
What it is
The CoJourner Devotional provides biblical motivation and training for sharing Christ with close friends as well as recent acquaintances, as daily prayer and meditation on God’s word aid in breaking down walls and personal barriers to evangelism. Students not only get to explore the Biblical foundation for a lifestyle of evangelism, they get the chance to spend a month meditating on the CoJourner philosophy of evangelism:
“Every person is on a spiritual journey. We can’t help it, God created us that way. Granted, some are moving toward God and others are moving away from Him. Some are in pursuit of other so-called gods, who are no God at all. Still others are stuck in a spiritual quagmire and aren’t currently moving at all. There are those who are spiritually open, while others are closed. Some are spiritually involved, some are not. But in each case, they are on a spiritual journey. And this is where it gets exciting.”
“Because people are on a spiritual journey and because God is already at work in each person’s life (whether they realize it or not), we get the privilege of entering into these journeys and becoming a part of what God is doing. (By the way, the suffix “co” means “with” and “journer”—well, that’s obvious.)”–Keith Davy
The whole idea of being a CoJourner means that students will get to meet their friends and classmates where they are at spiritually, and begin to meet their needs there. They won’t have to push a gospel presentation on someone before they’re ready. They get to time things out appropriately through relational evangelism, which is way easier to stomach for those students that fear coming across as a closed-minded, intolerant Christian.
How to use it
The devotional can be started by anyone at any time. It is self-explanatory and sectioned out into daily portions. As was already pointed out, this study is best implemented for those students in your ministry that either have been hesitant to adopt a evangelistic lifestyle and attitude or lack the training to do so.
Tip: The CoJourners Equipment Pack and Transferable Concept, while usable independently, compliment the Devotional very well. If you had a small group in which you really wanted to focus on evangelism, you could start the first night reading over the transferrable concept, continue the proceeding meetings with the equipment pack material, and have the group complete daily devotionals between meetings.
Be careful to find a good balance between focus and over kill. Relational evangelism styles can be very easy to loose momentum, so continued focus in your group or with your student may be very necessary to show results. However unrelenting focus on evangelism can also cause fatigue in students.
Tip: Focus on evangelism for the month of the devotional, but then allow your student or group to blow off some steam with something like a movie night or a game of pick up. This release can help your student(s) maintain a lifestyle of evangelism over a longer period of time.