Have you ever been to a Red Sox Game at Fenway Park? Watching the Red Sox is pretty much the state religion in Boston. There are billboards that say “Keep the Faith” and “Believe.” Thousands of fans make pilgrimage to Fenway Park. Millions more attend their own small group gatherings to participate in Red Sox Nation. And when you go to a game, what an experience: the smells, the sounds, the cramped seats. It always makes for a fun summer evening.
One thing we’ve started looking at when we go to Red Sox games is the food vendors. You know, the guys selling Fenway Franks and Bud Light and Cracker Jacks. At Fenway, they all wear bright yellow shirts. That works really well because they stand out against all the Red, Blue, and White that everyone else wears.
So as you look at the opposite grandstand, you see these Yellow Shirts perfectly spaced out around the stands. Everyone in the stadium is within a hand’s toss of a cold beverage or some kettle corn.
And when we think about our mission in Boston – to turn lost students into Christ Centered laborers; and our vision of the day when every student on every campus hears the good news of Jesus Christ, we think what it’ll take to get there is a bunch of Yellow Shirts.
These Yellow Shirts are students whose lives are so radically transformed by the gospel that they can’t help but tell their friends and take others to do the same. We’re working toward the day when in every pocket of campus there’s a Yellow Shirt, a Christian student connecting with others, joining them on their spiritual journey, and pointing them toward Christ. So on the soccer team, in the ceramics studio, among the Asian American club, the math team and on every dorm floor, there would be a Yellow Shirt.
If that was happening – if there were hundreds and hundreds of Yellow Shirts reaching out to the people around them, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with them, and taking other students to do the same, the City of Boston would be transformed.
A strategic city
Boston is such a strategic college city – 5 of the top 40 Universities in the US, including #1 Harvard and #4 MIT; half of the current heads of state worldwide went to school in Boston; the students who graduate from schools in Boston will go on to lead in every country and every industry.
Given the influence of this city’s colleges and universities, if every student here heard the gospel, the ripples would extend far beyond the city itself. Truly the world would be changed.
That’s our vision: students whose lives are so radically transformed by the gospel that they can’t help but tell their friends and take others to do the same. Pretty cool, huh?
We think it’ll happen by finding, training, and developing students as Yellow Shirts. We’re praying and working with them to see their lives so radically transformed by the gospel that they can’t help but tell others and take others to do the same.
How this works in practice
Very practically, this means that Malisa and Brian spend their time on campuses around the city of Boston meeting with students in small group bible studies, taking them out to share the gospel with their friends, and doing anything we can to create an environment where spiritual conversations can happen naturally.
For Brian, this fall he did a lot of BBQ grilling. Every Wednesday afternoon, Brian would bring 15 pounds of meat and start up the grill on campus. About 50 guys stop by for a burger or a hot dog and we get to talk. Sometimes it’s just about classes, but often it goes much deeper and we get to talk about their spiritual journey. Sharing the gospel like this is the first step to building a movement of spiritual multiplication on a campus like Bentley College. As we begin to see students trust Christ, we work with them to have a heart for the people around them. That’s where Malisa’s story picks up.
Malisa spent the fall meeting with a group of freshmen girls. After some snacks, they’d read the bible to each other and discuss what it means to live a life directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit or what it means to live with an eternal perspective. We’d get to talk about their struggles, and start praying for their friends and for opportunities to take small steps toward sharing the gospel with them.
We’re praying that some of the guys and girls at Bentley will turn into the sorts of Yellow Shirts we’ve been talking about.
As we work to get these students to multiply their lives into others, we’ll be able to work with others in different pockets of campus or on other campuses in the Boston area. Acting as catalysts, we hope to get students excited about talking to their friends about Jesus.
We couldn’t do this without the partnership of others giving and praying for our ministry. You have been such an important part or our ministry that without you our ministry couldn’t move forward.
If you’re not yet a part of our ministry, you too can invest in college students. Click here to find out more. *