September 17, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” —1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)
One of the biggest lies the next generation can believe is that they can’t make an impact because they’re young. Calvary is passionate about the next generation because Jesus was, and that’s why it’s important to create opportunities for the students of our church to commit to sharing the love of Jesus on their campuses where they might be one of the only influences available.
One such campus missionary is Danielle Anderson, who attends a local public school where the gospel is highly opposed. She serves on her student government where she works to help her student body.
“My job is go out and try my best to spread the love of Jesus Christ. In my school, this can be difficult because it’s really divided—everybody has their own cliques, and there’s a clear separation of people because of what they believe in and what they want to do with their lives. Nobody really wants to integrate with anyone. So, my hope is to spread the gospel to these already divided people,” shared Danielle.
With Danielle’s role in student government, she works with people who have vastly different beliefs than hers, but she still makes a point to invest in having relationships with them. “I’m really grateful to know them, and I look at it as having open-door opportunities. They’re my friends, and they don’t back away from me just because I go to church or talk about God. They’re really amazing people who don’t judge. I feel so many opportunities have presented themselves where I’ve been able to have conversations with them about Christ. It’s been really cool.”
Danielle has also been a massive advocate for bringing in more Christian clubs and opportunities at her school. “Our school board will often shut things down that have a religious affiliation because they don’t want to offend anyone—and it can sometimes feel like nothing will ever change. It’s important they know the decisions they make have a negative effect on us and they need to do a better job of representing religious groups the way they represent other groups. We want the freedom to start a Christian club without having to worry about it being shut down.”
As a campus missionary, Danielle has taken on an essential role in her community, which can be scary. But she encourages those who are interested in doing the same for their schools to not let fear get in the way because they can make a huge impact. “People get one life, so just go and do it. It doesn’t matter what people think. Here’s what I live by: If I’m a Christian, people are going to talk, and if I’m not Christian, they’re still going to find something to say about me. So, I might as well just live the way God has called me to. People notice when you live like Jesus—and that can make a huge difference in their lives.”
Such wise words from someone so young and influential!
Get connected with your campus’ youth services by visiting CalvaryFTL.org/Visit and selecting your campus!