A way to “test” the true saints

In collegiate church planting, I am a firm believer that to see any sort of success, unless you are holding people at gun point and forcing them to come through your doors on Sunday, you have to go to the students on campus. I spend 4 days out of the week connecting with the students at USF through specific intentional evangelism, not to mention doing personal mentorship/discipleship with many young dudes those days as well. Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are my days to do this.

But on the first Wednesday of each month, Aletheia participates in a weekly event that USF calls “Bull Market.” It’s simply a time for campus organizations to promote themselves and push their group. I happen to think it’s a really strategic time to get the Word out about Aletheia. So we have chosen to participate in it once monthly as I stated previously. Many connections have been made with tons of students over the past few months and subsequently, many spiritual conversations have ensued. We have also seen many students come to our Sunday evening worship experiences a a result.

Other than the first few that took place, I have chosen not to participate in “Bull Market” because I use Tuesdays and Wednesdays as my main Bible study days. Those days are my Acts 6:4 days in which I “give myself continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.” I get ahead in my Bible studies as well as prepare for Sunday’s message. But Ashlee, my wonderful and amazing wife has chosen to do this “waiting tables” or “stirring up dust” portion of our ministry, along with many of our wonderful core group people made up of USF students and working professionals (who take their days off to be there I might add).

Today, Ashlee had a really interesting and hilarious encounter. A guy walked up to her and was showing interest in Aletheia. He asked what we were all about and asked her what distinguished us from other groups. Then, he started asking tougher questions about spirituality and God and everything associated with the subject. THen my dad joined the conversation. Basically, it turned into a full-out evangelistic encounter. Ashlee was so excited because as the new mom that she is, she hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to get out and share her faith lately. God had provided her with one here and she took full advantage of it. And of course my dad, the crazy evangelist was loving every minute of this…

Until the guy told them that he was actually a strong believer in Christ and that he was with a campus organization at USF called “Navigators”. They were in utter disbelief and shock. The guy said “I did this to test you; to see if you were legit.” How’s that for a crazy situation?

We must always be ready to give a defense as Peter tells us to…whether it’s with a Christian “testing” the validity of another saint, or whether it’s an unbeliever who is headed towards an eternity disconnected from God.

I wish I could have been there today. That guy really took 1 Thessalonians 5:21 where Paul says to “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” The approach was unorthodox, but the results were achieved!


  • Kevin says:

    That guy was definitely testing the spirits!! Good for him!! And… hopefully… He’ll come get plugged in with what you guys are doing, and the ministries can work together for the advancement of the Gospel to the unreached in Tampa!

  • Groove says:

    Immediately after that I talked to a nominal Muslim and non Muslim friend. Tell you about that some time!

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