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FIRST-PERSON: Making evangelism good news again

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–A few years ago our campus ministry at the University of South Florida was asked to host an EvangeCube Seminar for church leaders and to encourage our students to attend.

We had no idea what this seminar involved nor did we really want to be involved in a well-meaning evangelism seminar that was unrelated to our campus ministry. We were already using many different types of outreach events and programs. However, since the request came from our state leadership and someone we had great respect for, we hosted the event. Little did we realize the significant impact this seminar would have on our lives and on our campus.

The EvangeCube is a puzzle-like cube with colorful panels that help explain the Gospel (www.evangecube.org). On the day of our EvangeCube training more than three dozen church leaders attended the meeting. Although only two or three students were in the group, this day would mark a major turning point in our ministry. Following the seminar training, we broke into small groups and went out into various parts of the campus to share the Gospel. That day, seven people prayed to receive Christ as Savior. Two days later a student who had seen the Cube placed his faith in the Lord. This was only the beginning of things to come.

During the time of our EvangeCube training, 18 students and leaders decided to take an evangelism trip to NYC during their upcoming Christmas break. The students would work with the Park Slope Church using various events and the EvangeCube. When they returned from the trip they were enthusiastic and excited about sharing their faith with the lost students on their campus. It was like a 10,000-watt light bulb had been turned on in our ministry.

When the spring semester resumed, students started prayer walking in groups around campus. Our students prayed in the Greek village, around dorms and outside classroom buildings. As they prayed they got the idea to stop passing students and ask them if they could pray for any need they had. Following the prayer they presented the Gospel using the EvangeCube. The effect: hundreds of prayers and presentations, dozens of decisions for Christ, and a campus ministry that was able to prioritize cohesively its ministry efforts.

What began as an insignificant seminar became a tool that changed a campus ministry. Anthony Meoli, one of the original students who attended the EvangeCube training, said that the Cube has taken him out of his comfort zone and enabled him boldly to share the Gospel everywhere he goes. He says that “witnessing has moved from an activity to being a way of life through which I am now able to share the Gospel using many different methods.” One of his fellow students, Andrew Bancroft, agreed saying that “by learning and using the Cube I now have a mindset of looking to share the Gospel, whereas before I would not have even thought of taking the time to speak with anyone about Christ.”

This past January Andrew used a large Cube to make a 10 minute Gospel presentation to a group of 170 students which included 15 Muslim students, eight Jewish students and their two spiritual leaders.

Why did all this happen? Because we were open to being instructed in a new evangelism technique that we considered “out there” and we prioritized our ministry. Far too many times we had been consumed by the demands of immediate ministry. Weekly meetings, special events, student counseling, budget considerations and personnel management concerns all consumed our time and distracted us from an awareness of the lost condition of people around us.

Our ministry saw changed lives, real growth and activity that constantly reflected upon God’s power and sovereign hand to move in lives. What great words the Lord has given us in Romans 10:15, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Lydecker is director of collegiate evangelism at the North American Mission Board.

    About the Author

  • Mark Lydecker