Last night, as part of our mid-week program we had two athletes from The University of Michigan Athletes in Action come to share their faith with our high school students. Craig Roh (defensive end football player), and Brandi Virgil (softball player), did a brilliant job sharing their faith in a relational and engaging way. It was promoted as a night to bring friends to, and a night where the Gospel would be shared clearly. It was a brilliant evening! Here are some of the outcomes and takeaways I discovered:
- It was an easy invite for students to bring their friends to: Having a local college athlete share their story is an easy way to get students to bring their friends. We saw a large number of visitors last night who all came with regular students to our ministry.
- A guest speaker can share the Gospel boldly: It’s not that we do not share the Gospel regularly, but there is something great in having someone else share the Gospel to our students. It’s not the same voice or same style and therefore the students tune in and hear the Gospel clearly.
- College athletes make a big impression: After last night, we will be doing this again sometime soon! All our comment cards from students shared how they related so much to the stories being shared and how much they appreciated their transparency.
- Students had a positive role model to look up to: After the message, our students wanted to hang out with the athletes, get photos, and ask questions. It was awesome to see our students getting excited about being around such good role models. So often our students look up to many athletes who are arrogant and involved in too many off the field antics. These athletes are the kind of people we want our students to be around…
- 3 students accepted Christ for the first time and 3 students recommitted their life to Christ: This made the night all worth it! Bruce Dishnow from Athletes in Action did a fantastic job in presenting the Gospel and our students responded to God’s call on their lives. Even students who were strong in their faith shared how they longed to dig deeper in their faith walk.
All in all, it was a great night for us. But what about you? What college campuses are nearby to you? Who can you contact to come and speak to students? Do you have an Athletes in Action group on your local college campus?