It's not as if Sam wasn't a Christian.
In fact, he spotted the other Christians at the Fresher's fair in Durham University long before he clocked the Guinness Club's free bar. It took him just two weeks to find a good church in the quaint Northern city, much to the delight of his youth worker back down south.
And within two weeks, he was well and truly 'in' with his fellow believers and behind his back the Christian committees on campus had singled him out as a potential leader of their community. Sam never got drunk in the three years of his studies up north, never smoked weed and never stayed up late having sex with a girl outside of marriage. His fellow students always described him as a 'good lad' who 'had his head screwed on'. Sam even went on to lead student bible studies on Wednesday nights and gained a very strong reputation for his homemade chicken sandwiches and great selection of soft drinks. He followed in the footsteps of thousands of Christian students in this land by cementing his place in a Christian world within the walls of academia. Sam never shared his faith with one non-believing student at Durham University which houses 15,529 young men and women. According to the teachings of Jesus, Sam failed the University Challenge.
As students, we talk freely about society, sport and secularism at deep levels with our friends but for some strange reason, we still rely on 'evangelistic events' to share the most important news ever to cross the horizon of this world. We take deep a sigh of relief when the outspoken Christian lifts their head above the parapet. We then have the audacity to thank God for that person who has the 'gift' of evangelism whilst consciously erasing the great commission of our Lord Jesus from our mind. And somewhere in our consciousness, we ignore Paul's wonderful second letter to Timothy where he says: "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."
After studying the scriptures, I am assured that God calls us out of this world to speak truth back into it, however, we refuse to do this and simply create another world for ourselves...a much quieter one. It is in this semi-spiritual existence where our countless meetings silence the scriptures dwelling in our hearts which call us to bit the bullet of our reputation. We are comfortable watching the odd Christian standing next to the empty cross with a gospel in their hands attempting to win students for the greatest cause in history; the cause of Christ. We watch this lonely soldier from a distance whilst eating our chicken sandwiches and sipping our Dandelion and Burdock.
Sam glanced down at his graduation certificate from Durham after three lovely years buried in the North of England. A sudden sense of sadness filled his heart as he spotted the university's motto stamped on his document of education: "Fundamenta eius super montibus sanctis" which translates "Her foundations are upon the holy hills" from Psalm 87.Guys, the foundations for sharing our faith are already there. The green light for evangelism was turned on within a second of Christ's resurrection. Someone had the guts and faith to share the message of Jesus with us until the day we believed, and it was on that day we agreed to do the same for others. University is not a holiday from evangelism, but a place to lay the foundations of the Gospel in the hearts of those who do not yet know the news you have. So go do this dangerous thing.
You can read more from Alex Willmott on his weekly blog ‘Words from Willmott’ at the Christian Vision for Men (CVM) website.