Campus pastors present the witness challenge

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, APU students had the opportunity to turn in ideas about how to be a witness to others, and receive up to a $500 scholarship for having the best idea. The Campus Pastors office was hoping that this “Witness Challenge” would be a reminder to students about this semesters’ spiritual practice of witness and to go out in the world and preach the word of God.

“This semester’s spiritual practice is the spiritual practice of witness,” campus pastor Khristi Adams said. “We wanted to stay away from planning an event or a single activity, but wanted to somehow challenge the campus community and therefore came up with the idea for the Witness Challenge.”

The basis of this challenge is to come up with an original and creative idea that helps witness the word of God to others. The winner(s) of the challenge will receive up to $500 dollars. Not a lot of students around campus have been aware of what the challenge actually is and how much or what the scholarship money goes to.

“When I first heard Pastor Khristi talk about the Witness Challenge in chapel, I didn’t really know if that many students would partake in idea, but I think that it’s really great that they’re encouraging us to witness to others,” Freshman communication studies major Kristin Atwan said.

The Witness Challenge was first brought up in chapel by Adams on Wednesday, Jan. 23. She was talking about how when she was in college she wished she had had something like this because she had so many ideas and wanted to share her faith around campus. But because of lack of support spiritually and financially she wasn’t able to witness in the way she would’ve liked.

I remember being in college and growing in my faith and wanting to share it with the campus and community around me, “Adams said. “And I had these ideas that I felt could minister the gospel of Christ but many of my ideas didn’t come with support, spiritually or financially. Our intentions were to encourage students to engage in the spiritual practice of witness and get them excited and thinking without the limitations of lack of financial or spiritual support.”

Because the campus pastors want to see the students’ ideas and dreams of witnessing turn into a reality they are giving out up to a $500 scholarship to the winner.

Some students around campus have been confused as to whether the money goes towards the funding of the winning student’s idea or money they’re able to put towards schooling. Freshman communication studies major Heather Wilson thought that the $500 was just going to go directly to paying for school.

“I mean anytime there is a money incentive involved, people will do it. I just hope that the people that submit an idea are doing it for their ideas of witnessing, not the money,” Wilson said.

Adams was able to clear up the confusion by explaining that the money they are giving away is not supposed to just be a prize that students run away with, it is supposed to go towards funding the idea itself.

“For starters, we are giving up to $500 for a project or creative idea that witnesses the gospel of Jesus Christ to those around them,” Adams said. “It will not go towards paying for a student’s schooling but turning their idea into a reality and offering support for that idea. Every idea will not receive the full $500. Only those that are unique and require that amount of money will receive the full $500.”

So far, the Campus Pastors Office has received 30 applications and are still in the process of interviewing students and talking about their ideas. The ideas vary from witnessing on campus to simple acts of witnessing off campus. Once the pastors have finished the interview process and choose a few great ideas, they then plan on helping guide the student(s) with their idea(s).

The campus pastors will be highlighting some of the chosen projects in chapel on Wednesday, Apr. 10, with the hope that this fuels other students to join in on their witness project. Or to create their own way of witnessing the gospel of Christ.

“The witness challenge is meant to get students thinking and hopefully inspire the campus community to engage in a lifestyle of witnessing beyond this challenge and even APU,” Adams said. “Jesus gave the command to his disciples to, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.’ For some reason, we as a body may have gotten sidetracked in the busyness of life and we’re hoping that this challenge will serve as a reminder only, not a cure-all solution.”