This month, BCM of Sheridan College has been emphasizing discipleship/evangelism training among their leadership team. Each student is equipped with a “missionary pocket guide” from NAMB, as well as $10 each from the BCM budget to invest in a peer or peer group. The students take the I.I.I.I. approach: Identify, Invest, Invite, and Increase.
Thus far, each student has prayerfully accepted a leading from the Holy Spirit to a specific individual. This is the “Identify” stage. Many students have already begun investing in this person as well. Besides using the $10 to help pay for coffee or a lunch conversation, these leaders are also investing many prayers for God’s guidance in the friendship.
Many would label this as a mere “Christian project.” The risk, of course, is that Christians begin to see people as projects to be “saved” or accomplished. The BCM students of Sheridan College guard carefully against this mentality. By praying for one another within the team, as well as a maintaining a high level of accountability, these leaders see each individual as simply a person who has yet to meet their best Friend and Savior. The Holy Spirit does the saving. The students of Sheridan’s BCM just get to be along for the ride… that is, if they are intentional to join in.
Another way they use the I.I.I.I campus missionary approach is through a Valentine’s Day outreach day. First, the students identified the people God was calling them to: mainly, their peers at Sheridan College. Next, they creatively planned a way to invest in these peers. After tying ribbons that share God’s love to 200 carnations and 60 candy bars, the students handed out the gifts to unsuspecting peers and even faculty members. They hoped everyone might feel loved and wanted on Valentines Day, thanks to the love Jesus has shown for all humanity.
With willing workers in the field, and a long suffering and powerful God, BCM looks forward to the slow but steady harvest they anticipate this semester.
What about YOU?
You can become a “campus missionary,” or even a “workplace missionary” if you don’t find yourself attending college anymore. Instead of leaving “evangelism and discipleship work to your pastor (who can only reach so many people), why not take the initiative yourself?
Identify: Ask God whom he has already placed in your life. Who is one person, or people group, whom God has given you influence with? Do they have anyone investing spiritually in their life yet, anyone sharing the truth of Jesus love? If not, pray about whether or not the Holy Spirit might use you to be that person!
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:2-4
Invest: Spend time in prayer for this person. Engage in conversation, and really LISTEN! Get to know them. Pursue them with love and friendship.
So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Invite: As you listen to the Holy Spirit, be watchful for that “open door” when you might share the gospel with that person. Don’t just invite them to church or Bible study, but share truth in that moment, in your personal friendship. Share your testimony and invite them to ask questions. If they are willing, invite them to accept Jesus as their Savior!
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
Increase: The first 3 stages may take years of patience and constant prayer. When a person does accept Christ, don’t just leave them hanging. Help them to now share their story with others! Train them to make disciples, just as you did. Remember, you can have an “increase” relationship with a Christian individual at the same time as an “invest” relationship with one who doesn’t know Christ yet. Each of these relationships are called “discipleship” because you are actively doing life with someone in the direction toward Jesus.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2
For your own Campus Missionary Pocket Guide, please contact Becky Rosty: firstname.lastname@example.org