As a University student, there are so many amazing opportunities to share Jesus with your peers. The Christian Union put on fantastic events that are the culmination of many months of careful planning, and events week, in particular, is often the focus of the Christian Union’s calendar. I think it’s important, however, around this season of events, that we also remember Jesus’ call to share His good news with everyone, not just those who we might relate with more naturally.

I am often reminded of how Jesus challenged His followers to look beyond the people who were like them. Just before He leaves them, Jesus tells His disciples:

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. – Acts 1:8

As Jews, this might not have been easy to hear. God’s mission did not just extend to the Jewish areas of Jerusalem and Judea. Jesus tells them that they will be His witnesses in Samaria, to Samaritans, a people with whom Jews did not readily relate (see John 4:9). From what we can understand of the culture of the time, this would have been significantly outside of the average Jew’s comfort zone – but Jesus does not stop here. Jesus tells His disciples that they will go to people even further than Samaria, to nations and people groups completely dissimilar from them, for the sake of His gospel. 

As followers of Jesus, this call is the same for us today. Jesus tells us to be His witnesses to those who we consider to be like us, as well as to those who we see as completely different. He calls us to share His love and truth with our student peers, but also with the other people who surround us each day. Just as the early disciples needed to leave Jerusalem and Judea for the sake of those outside of these Jewish regions, so too must we step out of our regular comfort zones for the sake of those outside of them.

Jesus tells us to be His witnesses to those who we consider to be like us, as well as to those who we see as completely different.

Thinking practically, this will look different depending on your situation. Perhaps it means getting to know your neighbour or stopping to catch up with the woman who sells you vegetables. It might mean choosing to spend an evening sat with someone who is homeless, or it could look like buying a coffee for the next person in the queue. 

In any case, here are a few tips I have found helpful when seeking to share faith with those around me in everyday life:

  1. Pray for opportunities, and eyes to see them:
    Often the opportunities surround us but we miss them because we do not see, or we do not choose to see. In prayer, God can shape us to see things in the way He sees them.
  2. Take the opportunities when they come
:
    Be alert for the people that God might nudge you towards, and be obedient when He does. This might happen in the moment, or God might stir your heart separately.
  3. Offer to pray for people
:
    Offering prayer can be a great way to demonstrate God’s love towards people in a range of situations. From the waitress before you eat at a restaurant, to the insurance salesman who intercepts you in town, to the person you notice sat alone on a bench, the simple question “is there anything that I can I pray for you for?” can go a long way.
  4. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong
:
    If you’re anything like me, you’ll get things wrong along the way. You might not connect with someone in the way that you hoped, or they might not even want to speak to you. The good news is that in Christ we need not be afraid of failure, because His love for us is unshakeable.

Let’s rejoice in the opportunities that Christian Unions provide for the Kingdom to advance. But let us also heed Jesus’ words and be witnesses not only to Jerusalem, and Judea, but also to Samaria, and the very ends of the earth.