Don’t you wish that you could sit down and speak with different campus directors across the Philippines? You don’t have to look far! Just send us your questions about leading others and we’ll ask one of our campus directors to answer one of them.
In this article, we asked JV Puno, our campus director from ENC Pasig, this question: “What if I’m the only Christian in class? How do I effectively reach out to others, especially those who are of the opposite gender?”
As we experience God’s immeasurable love for us, we are compelled to reach out to others and preach the gospel to them. But as we do so, certain challenges come along our way, which hinders us from being fully effective in advancing God’s kingdom.
Take for example a student leader who is the only Christian in her class and desires to reach out to her classmates, even those who are of the opposite gender. Is her situation enough to stop her from reaching out and preaching the gospel?
Here’s the thing, when there’s an urge to preach the Good News, differences in gender, in backgrounds, or in context should never be an issue. We are called to reach and preach to people with diverse, contrasting, and varying personalities and upbringing as us. We are called to share the gospel in different settings, whether on campus or online.
Here are three truths you need to remember when faced with any challenging situation:
Identity. You are a child of God. Your effectiveness in reaching out to people—whether you see it as a challenge or not—won’t be based on your gender but on how you apply who God is in your life. When challenged, stay faithful and continue to deposit godly truths to others.
Calling. Our calling is to be a Christian wherever we are. When we learn to constantly live this call, people will be drawn to us—even those of the opposite gender. Their curiosity to get exactly what you have is a good opportunity to preach the gospel.
Mission. Your mission is not based on your gender, but it is based on preaching the gospel. The mission, not our differences, should always have the final say when we reach out. When God calls you to preach the gospel to your classmates, focus on the mission—setting aside all biases and excuses.
Whether you are a male or a female, the mission remains the same. Whether you are alone or not, the mission remains the same. Whether you are reaching out on campus or online, the mission remains the same.
As you continue to be faithful with what God has impressed you to do, here are few practical tips in reaching out to someone of the opposite gender:
We are actually not alone when we reach out to people because the Holy Spirit is in us, empowering us to spread the gospel. This means we can discern where He is leading us in each moment. If we are led to reach out to a specific classmate or group, the Holy Spirit will definitely supply the very words we need to be effective ministers.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
As leaders, we are to live a life above reproach. This means that who we are with the person we are reaching is consistent with who we are with other people. Do not let a person be misled with your intentions in reaching out. It is best to set a conviction and boundaries when needed.
Campus ministry is best done in the context of a church community. It is beneficial to course the person you’re reaching to someone who could fully understand and relate with what s/he is going through—maybe a campus missionary or a small group leader in your local church. Remember that there are times when God will call us to plant the seed and ask someone else to water it. Ultimately, God is the one who will cause it to grow (1 Corinthians 3:6–9).
As we preach the gospel to others, remember that our differences aren’t the real issue but hardened hearts. God’s promise of harvest in the campus is real as there are plenty of opportunities to present and demonstrate His Good News.
As we reach out to them, let’s partner with the Holy Spirit and discern who’s ripe for harvest—those who are ready to surrender their lives and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
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