Evangelism: The Great Commission in action

Students share the gospel at College of the Canyons


Josiah Brown

Ryan Swedberg encourages students before driving to College of the Canyons

Every Monday, a group of Master’s students freshmen to upperclassmen go to College of the Canyons to share their faith with other college students. At 5:45 p.m., the Evangelism Society gathers at the gazebo by King Hall to before driving to the college.

We have a unique and brief opportunity as college students to witness to other college students”

Once they arrive, they join together in prayer before dispersing into smaller groups of two or three. Students in small groups walk around the campus of College of the Canyons finding people to talk to about Christianity.

Nathaniel Brill, a freshman and a Bible major, talked about how he goes about evangelizing. “I pretty much always start with asking if they have a minute to talk. If they don’t want to talk, I’ll give them a tract. If they do have a minute, I’ll start by asking them what they know about Christianity.”

The Evangelism Society is completely student led. Ryan Swedberg, a senior and a Resident Assistant in Hotchkiss, currently takes the primary role in leading and guiding the society. He has been a part of the society for three years. This is his second semester leading the society.

Swedberg says that over the years “little things have changed but The Evangelism Society has largely remained the same.”

The society used to be much smaller averaging three to four people per week. These days, Ryan Swedberg’s email list is around thirty people long with an average of eight or nine students per week. The society has grown in size completely from word of mouth.

Swedberg says the aim of the society is to go out and proclaim the gospel of Christ. “We have a unique and brief opportunity as college students to witness to other college students,” Swedberg said.

“It is very difficult around here to share the gospel because everyone is a Christian. The Evangelism Society has been a good opportunity to go off-campus and evangelize,” Brill said.

We are called to proclaim the gospel. It doesn’t matter to who or how”

Their experiences talking to people are usually positive. Brill relayed his experience talking to Cynthia who grew up Catholic. “We talked about the differences between Christianity and Catholicism, and we ended up agreeing that salvation is accomplished in Christ and not in works.”

“I have not seen one person come to faith completely as a result of evangelizing. But we aren’t saving people but planting the seeds of gospel,” Swedberg said when asked what kind of results he has seen through evangelizing. “Saving people is in God’s hands.”

There is no formal process to join the Evangelism Society. Swedberg encourages students to simply come to the gazebo at 5:45 p.m. each Monday. Students can be added to the email list.

“The reason we don’t have a vetting process is because everyone at this school professes Christ, and I take that at face value,” Swedberg said. “We are called to proclaim the gospel. It doesn’t matter to who or how. It’s not the only way, but the Evangelism Society is a great opportunity to do that.”