College students, others embrace Engage24 evangelism challenge

By Kristen Camp 

College students, others embrace Engage24 evangelism challenge
Enange24, an evangelism movement that began on college campuses, challenges Christians to share their faith with someone within a 24-hour period. Oct. 14 marked the observance on several college campuses this year. This year’s observance also saw participation expand to churches, too. Photo courtesy Engage2

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – College students across the United States were joined by believers of all ages as they participated in Engage24 on Oct. 14, a one-on-one evangelism movement that challenged Christians to share the gospel with at least one person in a 24-hour time period.

When the development of Engage24 began in 2011, Brian Frye, the national collegiate strategist for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), and his team knew encouraging college students to share their faith required an approach that had never been tried before.

“Instead of focusing on the end result, we decided to, first, focus on the process,” said Frye. “Instead of only concentrating on how many people came to Christ on one particular day, we wanted to see how many college students would share their faith on that particular day. And if we did that first, then we could ultimately accomplish the goal of seeing people come to Christ.”

The method proved to be successful for one particular student at the University of Texas at Arlington. A Cambodian with Buddhist roots, Putti Sok came to Christ after a fellow student shared the gospel with her. Seeing how one-on-one evangelism changed her life, she is now on staff with Baptist Campus Ministry at the University of Texas at Arlington and leads their campus’s Engage24 movement.

“It’s very hard to track the results of Engage24 and see how many college students shared the gospel during that day,” said Kevin Stacy, collegiate projects specialist for NAMB. “Hearing success stories like Putti’s is so encouraging because we get a glimpse of the impact that this movement is having on campuses across the country.”

Stacy, who also serves on the Baptist College Network Committee that helps lead Engage24, said that they rely heavily on Twitter to track results and read reports from students who had the opportunity to share the gospel during the day.

Along with the University of Texas at Arlington, schools such as the University of South Florida, the University of Arkansas, the University of Georgia, Texas Christian University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the University of California Riverside and others partnered with their BCM groups and accepted the Engage24 challenge.

However, the movement did not stop with college campuses.

“Basically what has happened is that there’s kind of a snowball rolling down a hill. We’ve gained momentum and things are growing and expanding quickly,” said Frye.

Pastors nationwide were also challenging their church members to share the gospel for Engage24. H2O Collegiate Churches in Ohio as well as Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., are two examples of churches that chose to participate in the movement.

“We are just telling people to make it what you want. This movement will look different depending on the context you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you share the gospel on Oct. 14, or any other day. We just want every college student and every church member to share the gospel with another person,” said Frye.

Stacy said the Engage24 team hopes to have more “success stories” coming in over the next several weeks. Visit engage24.org or find Engage24 on Twitter with twitter.com/Engage24 or #Engage24 to read different reports and stories from students who took part in this movement and shared the gospel.

Kristen Camp writes for the North American Mission Board. 

Date Created: 10/20/2014 2:28:53 PM

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