How I shared the Gospel with My Fellow Frat Stars in College
By Isaac Jenkins
Trusting the Lord for Hundreds
Several years ago, I read the biography of an American sniper in the Vietnam War that had 105 confirmed kills. He was a good soldier doing his duty, and I began to wander what if God could use me to lead 105 men to Christ. I believe this guy was a great soldier and served his country, but when I finished the book, I began to think that if he could take 105 men from life to death, what if I could take 105 men from death to eternal life? Then a few years ago I read a book entitled American Sniper about a guy named Chris Kyle who had 165 confirmed kills. And just last month I read an article in World War II Magazine about a Russian sniper who had 245 confirmed kills! And what’s crazy is that, with that many kills, he is actually only 10th on the list of best snipers of all time with 450 kills being the record.
My point is you shouldn’t limit God in thinking that you can lead a few people to Christ, when what if He could use you to lead hundreds from death to life? Being in a fraternity or sorority gives you the opportunity to do just that!
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9: “19Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. … 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
Paul would do whatever it takes to reach people for the Gospel. What are you willing to do? What if you began to see your chapter as a huge mission field? Jesus says in John 4:35, “Do you not say, “There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” In other words, Jesus is saying there are people around you right now that are ready to trust in Christ, you just need to tell them the good news.
Saint Francis of Assisi is often credited with a quote (although many scholars say that it is not found in any of his writings) that says, “Share the Gospel often and if need be use words.” But when it comes to being active in Greek life, if all you do is live a holy and pleasing life in your chapter and say nothing, what will people think they need to do to go to heaven? Be good like you. But you and I know that’s not the gospel, and, if they are not followers of Christ, they do not have the power within them to even do good! Sometimes they might even get jealous and frustrated by observing your life and knowing that they do not have the strength or power to do good.
It has been my experience ministering to Greeks in the South that most people believe all they need to do to be acceptable to a holy God is to act nice and have better morals than the people around them. But Romans 3:11 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” I challenge you to consider praying for your pledge brothers and sisters and the actives in your chapter and look for ways to take the initiative to share the gospel.
A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from a good friend of mine, Craig, who recently moved to Wichita, Kansas. Craig called and wanted to let me know he had just taken his kids to Chuck-E-Cheese’s, and while his kids were playing the games, he met a guy named Ryan. It wasn’t long before they both realized they had both gone to Ole Miss and had many of the same friends. Ryan then asked Craig if he knew a guy named Isaac Jenkins. Craig replied that he worked with me with Cru. Ryan went on to say that 18 years ago, while he was a Sigma Nu pledge, I had met with him. He said that at the beginning of our conversation that I had asked him that if he were to die tonight how sure would he be that he would go to heaven? He said his response was 75%, and I responded with a let’s make it 100%! He went on to say that he trusted Christ with me that day and now he’s raising a godly family.
When you are a part of leading someone to Christ EVERYTHING changes for that person. Not only where they will spend eternity, but things like they type of person they will date, how they will raise their kids, and maybe even the type of job they will choose. It is truly amazing and honoring to be a small part of that huge process! If my only reward in heaven one day is getting to high five or shake hands with the people that I had the honor of introducing to Christ, it will be deeply fulfilling.
So how did I lead people to Christ in college? During Christmas break of my freshman year, I was convicted in that I had not really shared Christ with any of my pledge brothers. At the University of Arkansas we had rush in the fall and spring so I knew we would soon have a new group of pledges. Once rush was over and they began having pledge meetings, I decided to speak at the second pledge meeting. Here is what I did:
- I gave about a 5 to 10 minute testimony on how I had come to trust in Christ .
- I would ask them a question: “If you were to die tonight, on a scale of 1 -100, how sure would you be that you would go to heaven?” Next I would have them write it down on a 3 by 5 card along with any questions they had for me.
- I would put the cards in order with the guys who felt less sure of their salvation on top of the stack and follow them up first.
- I would also start a freshman bible study. You might even consider doing a 3-4 week coed study with another sorority to help get guys to the study. If your fraternity requires each pledge to get your signature, I tell them I will give it to them if they come to the study at least one time.
You may have heard this statement: “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I believe it to be a good statement. So, be the most active person in your chapter! As my heart for the lost guys in my chapter grew, I made it my goal to be the most active member in my chapter. I would eat all my meals at the house and attend every chapter meeting. We did have a Chaplain but by my junior year, I kind of assumed that role. Instead of carrying a Bible to chapter meeting I would give devotions by simply reading out of our ritual book. Most Greek chapters are founded on Christian principles, so there is a good chance that your ritual book is full of Scripture and Christian principles.
When I would meet with a pledge for the first time there were a few things I would ask:
Tell me a little about your background. Where are you from? What denomination did you grow up in? Were you very active in going to church? This gives me an idea of how much they know or do not know about the Gospel.
The next question I always ask is, “So based on everything you just told me about your life, if you were to die tonight, on a scale from 1 to 100, how sure are you that you would go to heaven if you died tonight with 100 being that you are 100% positive?” Very few guys ever tell me they feel confident.
Another question I may ask is, “If you were to stand before God and He was to ask you why He should let you into His kingdom, what would you say?” Their answer gives me a good idea what they are trusting in for their salvation.
Most of the time I then pull out the Four Spiritual Laws and read through it, and I have seen a lot of guys trust Christ over the years with it. But if I don’t have it with me, I will use my bible and go through the four points and look up the scriptures that go along with each point. Also you can download the app called “God Tools” and it has a version of the Knowing God Personally that you can show a friend. It also has articles talking about knowing Christ. Some of my friends through the training of the ministry Student Mobilization use what is called the bridge diagram. It is a great way to share the Gospel using Romans 6:8.
The reason I like using the Four Laws or Knowing God Personally is that it helps keep me stay on track and it also helps me bring them to the point of decision. Every time I share the Gospel with a guy, I will close with a few questions:
Based on everything we have talked about today, who would you say that you are trusting in to save you? Christ or your good works? Usually I will not make then answer the question but will immediately go to my next question:
“If you would like to be 100% sure you are in Christ, when do you think would be a good time to make this decision?” If they say they really want to be 100% now then I give them a few options by saying:
“We can pray together right now and Ill lead you in praying to trust in Christ or you can pray silently or you can think about what we have talked about today and maybe we can meet up again next week, but let me be honest in saying that I think this is the most important decision you will ever make, and I would not put it off.”
I also helped oversee or lead an active Bible study in the house. We called it “BYOB” for bring your own bible. I recommend buying a bunch of bibles and putting them in a convenient part of the house. That way you are all reading out of the same translation. Also you may have an active show up who has very little knowledge of the bible so you will be able to tell them what page to turn to verses what book to look up. If you look online you can find bibles for as little as $2 a copy.
One day I was eating lunch at the house when a younger active came and sat at the table with me. His name was Hunter Hall. He said that after the active Bible study the night before he had been so convicted for his need for Christ that he had gone down to our chapter room and gotten on his knees and prayed to trust in Christ! He went on to be one of the key spiritual leaders in the house after I graduated and served on staff with Cru for 10 years after college.
Ill close with two thoughts:
- Over the last 31 years, I have been in fraternity houses at least twice a week over the course of each school year and yet I think I have seen a pastor in a frat house only once. YOU may be the only person they know who can lead them to Christ.
- Remember if not you then who, and if not now then when?