Conversations on the Road

Posted on by Mike Green

Driving students home after our Monday night Campus Life meetings is one of my favorite things to do.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that there’s only a handful of students in the car or if the ride just feels informal and more laid back.  However, my greatest conversations with students happen on the way to their homes.  A couple of Mondays ago, I decided to really take advantage of our car ride.  I asked them a few questions.
“What did you think about tonight’s meeting?”  One student immediately replied, “It was all right...nothing I hadn’t heard before though.”  Before I could ask another question, Alex chimed in.  “Well, tonight changed my life.  I had heard the concept of who Jesus is before.  I just hadn’t heard it explained the way you did tonight.   I even previously filled out a commitment sheet saying that I was a Christian.  Tonight, I became a Christian for the first time.” 
Slowing down so that I could have more time with them, I began to ask Alex why he believed that he had just now become a Christian if he had identified himself as a Christian before.  He said, “I think my understanding of what it means to be a Christian was partial.  I believed that Jesus is the Son of God.  I believed that He died for my sins.  I believed that He rose again, but that’s it.  I didn’t know that there was more to it than that.  I don’t own a Bible, I don’t know how to pray, and Sunday is my day to sleep in.  When you mentioned those five “R’s” I was checking my list.  God desires us to be in relationship with Him.  I knew that.  Because of sin, we reject that relationship.  I knew that too.  Jesus lived, died, and was raised from the dead to restore our relationship with God.  I had heard that several times.  Then, you said, “Our proper response to Christ begins our relationship with God.”  I thought it stopped right there.  I said I believed all that and so I thought I was a Christian.  Tonight, you added another “R.”  You said remain and I realized that there’s a lifestyle that accompanies being a Christian.  If we’re not remaining in Him, are we really Christians? I want to learn how to live the life.”
I live for moments like these.  As exciting as this conversation was, it’s not unique.  Campus Life staff members are having conversations like these on a regular basis.   We’re learning about kids’ struggles.  We’re meeting parents and family members.  We’re shopping for prom dresses and assisting them with makeup.  We’re giving relationship advice and even being there as a shoulder to cry on when hearts are broken.  We’re challenging students with what they believe and why they believe it.  We’re building authentic, Christ-sharing relationships.  With your partnership, we can empower more adults to build more relationships with more students.
Tuesday evening, Tuscaloosa was hit with a pretty rough hail storm.  I had promised Alex that I would give him a Bible and a “Totally True” handbook on Tuesday evening.  The handbook gives exciting lessons on the basics of the Christian life.  I decided that I wouldn’t allow falling ice to stop me from fulfilling my promise to him.  As I arrived at his home, he was standing on his porch.  When I asked what he was doing outside, he said, “I was praying that God would stop the rain and hail.  I really want my books.  Thanks for not letting me down.”  I told him to call me if he had any questions.  Then, I went home. 
Every day since that Tuesday, Alex has asked me or one of my staff members a question about the Bible.  He even called me at 7:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning to inform me that even though service doesn’t start ‘til 8:45, he had walked a couple of miles to my church and he’d be sitting there until service started.  Not only did he stay for the early service, Sunday school, and the 11:00 a.m. service, but he came back the next Sunday as well.  Alex’s life is changing right before my very eyes. 
Thank you for sharing Christ with Alex and countless students just like him.  Your prayers are reaching heaven.  In return, God is making hearts ready to receive the message of the Gospel.  Your gifts are assuring that we are continually available to share the Gospel with the hearts that are ready to receive it.  There are so many more students who need to hear the Gospel.  Likewise, there are dozens of students who have positively responded to the Gospel and need to know what it means to remain in Him.  To do more, it takes more.  I would like to invite you to give more students like Alex an opportunity to know and remain in Christ. Will you please consider a generous gift to further the vital outreach of Youth For Christ this month? Every penny will make a difference.
Together, we will reach the unchurched, non-Christian teenagers of Tuscaloosa.  Thank you in advance.  God bless you!

In Christ,

Romel Gibson

Share |