The Best of the Tradition With a Heart for Evangelism and Discipleship
For over five years years, First Lutheran has reached out to the students at the Central Campus of Houston Community College. Armed with flyers, free lunch and a will to reach the next generation for the cause of Christ, First Lutheran has introduced many to Jesus and helped Christians grow in their faith. The class is always 12:00-1:00pm every Wednesday during the Spring and Fall Semesters. About 1,500 flyers are handed out each semester.
We also spend time outside our church at a table set up to engage college students. Here is a brief statement from Pastor McClanahan on its purpose.
"At our table, we intend to converse with college students who are so willing. To attract a good conversation, I use a variety of signs. One reads "Convince Me to Give Up Jesus" while another reads "Convince Me to Become Christian." I am often told these signs are too confrontational, and yet, we see in Acts the apostles going to synagogues and pagan places and arguing (not fighting; there is a difference) for Christ. Often, people will ask me why I, as a pastor, would want to be convinced to give up Jesus or be a Christian?
But that isn't really the point. I don't believe anyone will or can convince me to give up Jesus or to become what I already am: a Christian. The point is that if you are not a Christian, I want to know why. I'm curious about why you hold the worldview you do, and if you're open to a conversation, I would love the chance to peel back the layers and expose your worldview for what it is. You would be free to defend it with vigor. From my point-of-view, I necessarily believe that if your worldview is not biblical, it is wrong. Far from being judgmental, that should be the default view of all Christians.
And if you are a Christian, I would love to hear why. Often Christians are simply not ready, willing and able to defend their faith as they should (1 Peter 3:15) to a hostile world. As one who has had to learn how to do exactly that, I'm hoping that Christian college students will begin the process of learning how to defend what they believe.
The question for any evangelist is not just what to say when asked, but how to get a conversation going to begin with. I believe in my 7 years of ministry at FELC, perhaps 2-3 students have come to my office to talk. But I would guess that in about 2 years of being at the table, over 40-50 have had conversations. Christians of all stripes, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs , atheists, agnostics, humanists...pretty much every religious identifier has stopped by. If you're at HCC and you see me at the table, know you're always invited."