Evangelism is a process. In SYFC, this starts with befriending young people God brings into our path. We vary in our approaches to engage youths of different ages and segments. Michael Yong, Ministry Coordinator of Teaching Ministry, explains that “this is inline with 1 Corinthians 9:20-22 where we go to the students’ level and do whatever is necessary to share the gospel with them.”
When we do get to share the gospel with the youths, we are careful to stay true to its content. That explains why we take our evangelism training very seriously.
For every batch of Project Servants, the first module is always on gospel content. In recent times, we have even devoted as many as six sessions for them to know and understand the gospel message and to think through the implications for themselves. For this gospel series, Michael uses ‘Two Ways to Live’ by Matthais Media as it is a systematic framework for anyone to understand and use.
At our weekly staff meetings, our first component is always teaching from God’s Word – a reminder to us to grow in our understanding of the gospel and to live consistently with the gospel we preach.
After sharing the gospel with young people, we invite them to respond to what they have heard. Often, many are not ready to submit to Jesus’ Lordship. But occasionally there are the few who surprised us by expressing that they believe the gospel is true or they are interested to find out more about Christianity. Whenever their response is positive, we continue to think how we can faithfully follow up with them.
Chan Mei Yee, a Polytechnic Ministry staff, shares how a student who was initially not interested in the gospel, turned around. “Last year, Caroline (another Polytechnic Ministry staff) shared the gospel with Ariande. She wasn’t interested. This year, a grad servant met her and shared the gospel with her again. Ariande said she would like to find out more and in May, prayed to receive Christ. Now Caroline is meeting up with Ariande to help her understand what it means to be a Christian.”
Ariande’s encouraging story is uncommon. Mei Yee laments that Polytechnic Ministry gets to follow up with only 50% of the students they shared the gospel with, hence they constantly think of creative ways to follow up with more students.
At the end of every evangelistic event, they have an Evangelistic Bible Study (EBS) corner where participants who have made a positive response to the gospel can start the first lesson immediately. Students become excited about future lessons while those who are wary at first, now know what to expect. Through EBS, the young person can understand who Jesus is and what He has done, then come to a clear decision to become a Christian.
For the past two years, Polytechnic Ministry has also invited students to their Mind Brewing Cafe where students get their questions on topics such as “Is the Bible trustworthy?” answered over a cup of coffee and light snacks. The friendly, informal setting promotes further interaction.
While other SYFC co-workers also take pains to connect with each student who responds at events or through personal contact, students’ lack of availability and growing resistance against Christianity from family or friends add on to the difficulty.
Early this year, Soh Wei Ern, a volunteer with the Secondary School and Junior College Ministry, shared the gospel with a secondary one boy. The boy was interested to find out more about Jesus and they met up once for EBS. Subsequently they could not find time to meet and in recent few weeks, the boy has even stopped responding to Wei Ern’s messages.
We press on diligently to meet each young person, working hard to maximize each conversation or EBS session as we may not get to meet him again. We look to the Lord for wisdom, strength and creativity to keep on being responsible in our evangelism and to trust Him for more like Ariande.
As Michael encourages us, “We cannot dilute or distort the gospel (to make it more palatable to the hearers). We must remember we are accountable to God for the work He called us to do.”