Proclaim: Students challenged to act on gospel opportunities

By Ellie Lambert | Oct 24, 2023

Every day is a mission trip. If one believes that and has the boldness to pray and act on opportunities to profess the good news of Jesus Christ daily, lives will be saved, and hearts won on college campuses. This was the theme at Proclaim, Christian Challenge’s biennial evangelism conference that was held Oct. 14.

About 150 students from across the state gathered at Foothills Baptist Church in Ahwatukee to be motivated and equipped to reach their campuses for Christ.

Paul Worcester, national collegiate director with the North American Mission Board, shared in two sessions his passion for encouraging, inspiring and equipping collegiate ministry leaders across the country.

“Lost people do not know how to be saved,” Worcester said as he addressed the audience Saturday morning. “They do not know how to put that faith and trust in Christ. They need us to explain that gospel to them and that’s how they get saved.”

Along with two main sessions, the conference included breakout session opportunities that covered a vast array of evangelism topics and strategies. These sessions were led by campus missionaries as well as speakers from the Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists and Church on Mill, Tempe.

Breakout sessions included Gospel Appointments 101, Everyday Evangelism, The Gospel and Sexuality, Prayer and Evangelism, What is the Purpose of your Life and Why Evangelism is the Greatest Act of Love.

For ASU West student Elyse Miller, Proclaim reshaped her perspective on evangelism.

“I think the biggest impact that Proclaim had on me was the urgency to share the gospel with those around me,” Miller said. “I definitely overthink at times and get scared to directly share the gospel with people, but I feel a fire more than ever in me to share Jesus. Jesus is the only cure, and I can’t afford to keep Him to myself.”

Worcester also held a special breakout session for campus missionaries where he shared his heart for reaching the lost on campus, particularly freshmen, as well as shared resources and tools for missionaries to use.

Trevor Bush, Christian Challenge central regional catalyst, serves as Challenge’s evangelism team lead and coordinator of Proclaim. For Bush, Proclaim is an event that provides necessary and inspirational momentum in the equipping of Challenge’s missionary and student leaders.

“We focus on trying to simplify evangelism and make it about building relationships and being faithful,” Bush said. “A lot of what we talk about is this idea of being intentional to meet people and build relationships, but we do it in a way that’s accessible.”

Bush shared the importance of presenting evangelism skills and lifestyle habits in a way that is both practical and attainable for students to achieve.

“Even though it isn’t easy, the concept is simple,” he said. “Every one of us that calls Christ Lord is on mission to share the gospel. If we think that way, there will be plenty of opportunities to do so.”

Amaka Obi, a student at Glendale Community College, shared her excitement for the confidence that was instilled in her as a result of the conference.

“It changed me for the better,” Obi said. “Before, I wasn’t too comfortable in sharing the gospel because of people who might reject what I’m saying. But now, I know how to prepare and make conversation.”

Challenge desires for every student to not only know the gospel but be equipped to share it wherever the Lord leads them. Proclaim served as that catalyst for a heart of evangelism in the everyday.

Ellie Lambert is a campus missionary with Christian Challenge and a member of Mercy Hill Church in Phoenix.

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