One of my favorite outreaches on campus is called “Pizza & God.” We don’t tend to make a strong presentation of the gospel at it, but it opens FAR more opportunities to share the gospel meaningfully. Here’s a recent example my friendTabithashared on one of her campuses in New Jersey…
I was recently able to attend a “Pizza & God” our student leaders put on at NJIT. This conversation with 6 student leaders and 22 students who were interested in discussing life as it relates to spiritual things… or they were just seeking free food!
Two students from the Middle East who recently moved to New Jersey for school were definitely there with attentive and inquisitive hearts. Sareesh shared how he has pondered for the last 7 years what the purpose of life is and if there really is a Creator. Arvand who was raised Hindu explained his skepticism in all religion but says he believes God exists but isn’t sure who He is or how He reveals Himself to people.
At the end of the evening, Arvand pulled me aside to ask me a few questions.
“If God were to walk into the room right now, what would you do?”
I was first thrown off but as he repeated the question and pointed to a spot on the floor by the door, I couldn’t help but feel a grin stretch across my face! “I would be so happy! I would hug Him so tight!” Even now, my face hurts from smiling as I think of this moment!
Arvand was thrown off by my response saying: “Oh, okay. I didn’t expect that.”
“What did you expect?” I asked.
“Well most Christians I know say that they will fall prostrate on the floor in worship.”
“Oh… uhh… yeah… oops. Probably that too but I’d be so happy to see Him, I guess I’d forget His holiness for the moment as I’d be overwhelmed with His love! Maybe that’s wrong. Oops. Ha.”
“No. Don’t apologize. It’s interesting. Do you think I should fall down to worship Him?” he asked.
I know at one point Arvand and everyone will one day bow down and worship but did I expect him to do that voluntarily at this point? “No. Why would you worship someone you clearly don’t know yet? I think if you got to know Him, that would be a separate thing but right now, you have no reason to worship Him.”
He responded in awe: “Really?! No Christian has ever told me this! I agree! I don’t know Him, how could I bow down to someone I don’t know…. Let me ask you, where do you think I can meet God?”
(Insert shocked face & huge gasp here – could it be this simple?!) “You can meet God anywhere Arvand, even right here.”
Arvand quickly asked his next question: “Okay, so then why do you go to church?”
I could see that he was trying to stump me and so I quickly responded: “Not to meet God. Sure, I can get to know Him better there but I do that on my own at home too. I go to church to be encouraged by my Christian family and friends and to encourage them. See, as Christians, we believe we are better together because God made us each uniquely and when we share with each other what we’ve learned about Him, we grow in deeper love with Him.”
“Wow. I don’t think anyone has ever had an answer to this question before. This answer makes me want to explore your Christian faith more! Hmm… Thank you.”
I’m holding back tears just thinking about this interaction. Arvand connected with Nick, a student leader at NJIT, who hopes to follow up with him. Nick assured Arvand that if he ever came to Cru, they would talk about whatever he wanted because Christ meets us where we are and we desire to imitate Him. Arvand walked away encouraged and even more inquisitive.
Please pray for Arvand and Sareesh. Also pray for Tabitha, and consider supporting her vital ministry to students in colleges all over New Jersey. If you would like to hear more about running a Pizza and God or other ways to reach people for Jesus, I would love to hear from you.