Business student SHANICE TAN talks about the time she risked it all to share about Jesus in a classroom presentation, and how that leap of faith would change her campus life and faith forever.
Please come to the front and introduce yourself to the class in one minute with: Your name, your superpower and a tagline for the class to remember you.
These were the instructions given during my first seminar of a foundational communications class at university. The introvert in me shuddered as my mind raced to think of a million ways I could introduce myself to a room full of 30 strangers.
One by one, I watched my peers walk up to the front of class and pitch their most unique features as their “superpowers” like “I have a really angular jawline” and “I can save lives because I’m an insurance agent”.
As I mulled over my scant options for a worthwhile “superpower”, the Holy Spirit led me to recognise this exercise as an opportunity to talk about Christ in front of 30 souls.
With this revelation, I quickly started crafting a pitch that could incorporate a Christ-centred message instead of a me-centred message.
But God… would this be social suicide? It’s only the first day of class!
As the fear of man started to creep into my thoughts, God seemed to give me a direct rebuttal by reminding me of Paul’s words in Philippians 1: “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached” (Philippians 1:18).
Immediately, my fears were assuaged. I felt a sense of peace as I decided to trust in God.
Even if it would be social suicide, what did it matter?
So, I held fast onto His words as I walked up to the front of class and said: “My superpower is that I can pray because I’m a Christian, but everyone has this superpower too. So, my tagline is: Please pray for me!”
The class chuckled as I walked back to my seat in relief.
This small step of faith I took as a freshman became a building block in my growth towards making evangelism an everyday part of my university life.
So, instead of confining evangelism to periodic, large-scale mission trips, I consciously sought simple ways I could proclaim the Gospel as a student.
And each time I said “yes” to an opportunity, I built my faith muscle to engage in future bolder opportunities to proclaim the Gospel.
Each semester, God has been faithful in showing me innovative ways to share the Gospel as a student.
From analysing Jesus’s leadership style in a management essay to borrowing the parables of Jesus as an application of a literary device, God showed me how witnessing can truly be done “in every way” (Philippians 1:18).
At the same time, I got to look at God’s Word through fresh lenses, helping me cultivate a deeper appreciation for the reflection of God’s nature and handiwork across various academic disciplines.
In my second year of university, I made the best decision to join Cru.
Being plugged into a community that focuses on discipleship and evangelism tore down many barriers to becoming a winsome witness in school.
For one, I could go witnessing with kingdom friends! As witnessing to complete strangers was (and will always be) unnerving, having a familiar face to engage in conversations with unbelievers made the feat much less daunting – oftentimes even enjoyable!
Moreover, campus witnessing became a unique way for me to hang out with friends from Cru. Beyond arranging for catch-ups over meals, we would initiate meetups around the added benefit of witnessing together on campus.
Looking back on my final semester in business school, campus witnessing has borne some of the most unexpected yet meaningful friendships in school.
While my peers may choose to invest their time and money in the stock market – to which some have reaped large financial rewards – the Bible reminds me that these are only temporal rewards that will eventually be destroyed by rust.
Choosing to spend my limited university days winning souls, on the other hand, stores up treasures in heaven that will last forever (Matthew 6:20).
To that end, taking the bold steps of faith to evangelise on campus will always be the best investment a Christian student can make.
Nevertheless, God’s Word also warns us of the persecution we may face for proclaiming the Gospel.
As I pitched my “superpower” in front of my communications class, I vividly remember a girl sitting in front of me rolling her eyes.
But it is through such moments that I gain a greater appreciation for God’s Word, which forewarns me to be mentally prepared for persecution, while encouraging me to be unashamed of Christ and join Him in “suffering for the sake of the Good News” (2 Timothy 1:8).
After all, the persecution I may face today will always pale in comparison to the incomparable cost Christ has paid for me on the cross.
Ultimately, evangelism is God’s work – and all I have to do is say yes.
This excerpt is adapted from a message Shanice Tan gave during the Cru Singapore’s #READY webinar series.
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