With the beginning of the campus year, our evangelistic efforts are typically focused on reaching Freshmen. Rightly so. It’s during the first weeks on campus that they are the most open spiritually. It is then that many determine their beliefs, their values, and set the direction of their lives.
So filtering to find the most interested students, connecting with them over the Gospel, and involving them in our ministries is a large part of what we do in these weeks. We also give priority to training our involved students to help in these ministry efforts.
However, an often-overlooked aspect of training is in helping our students have ongoing spiritual conversations with those in their dorms or classes. They might share their testimony and possibly the gospel and then may not know what to do next.
My wife, Chris, is coaching, Megan, a former stinter, now a graduate student studying in London and involved in our campus ministry there. She was exposed to their “Snippets” training (also called, “Biscuit Trail”) on a spring break trip. She found it to be very helpful for natural, ongoing conversations with those she sees regularly.
Definition: Snippet: a small and often interesting piece of news, information, or conversation.
Conversations bounce back and forth between people, each having a part in the dialogue. Sometimes they can be short and disjointed. So, while it is good to think through the elements of a testimony and be prepared to offer it, launching into a three minute monologue can seem daunting and might even come across one-sided, closing down further dialogue.
The Snippet is a different way to communicate your story. With brief descriptions and few sentences, answer these questions. You might even answer them from different angles and have more than one answer.
- What was my attitude before I took Jesus Christ seriously? or What were one or two things that used to characterize my view of life/God?
- Why did I say ‘Yes’ to Christ? or Why do I still want to put Christ first in my life?
- How did I say ‘Yes’ to Christ? or Were there any particular points in my life when I reinforced my earlier decision to say ‘Yes’ to Christ?
- What difference does Christ make to my day-to-day life?
- What is a ‘Christian’?
These snippets of information contain the typical elements of a three-minute testimony. But they are packaged in a way that invites dialogue. One more thought: a verse of Scripture could be a great snippet.
Summer Tip Series
- “Organic Church” by Neil Cole.
- “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell.
- “I Once Was Lost” by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp.
- “The Starfish and the Spider” by Brafman and Beckstrom.
- “Go, following Jesus to the ends of the earth.” by Dave Dishman.
- “God Space” by Doug Pollock.
- “A Cry of Hope, A Call to Action” by Charles Gilmer.
- “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell.