InterVarsity began developing Proxe Stations in the mid-2000s, and Proxes have been gaining popularity as an evangelistic strategy ever since. Here are six reasons why:
1. Proxe Stations transform people.
"I used to cut myself because it made me feel better when everything in my life was going wrong. I was getting molested. I had two suicide attempts. The last thing I was looking for was Jesus. I was an atheist. I went from knowing nothing about a man named Jesus to singing him praises everyday. Through God, I have learned my true value, and I don't look to guys to find my acceptance anymore; I look to the Creator. I don't want to kill myself anymore, instead I see each day as an opportunity to get closer to God." - Tamera, a student at Western Michigan University who accepted Christ at a Proxe Station her freshman year.
2. Proxe Stations have a proven track record.
Thousands of people have accepted Christ nationwide. At the Price of Life Invitational at The Ohio State University in 2010, for example, more than 100 people made decisions to follow Jesus at Proxe Stations in just four days.
In cases where staff and student guides have shared the entire gospel, people regularly respond to Christ.
3. Proxe Stations clearly communicate the gospel.
Proxes help you speak the language of a postmodern culture that values images, experience, and process. One way Proxes do this is with their guiding theme; so far, some themes have been: hip hop music, dating relationships, the environment, and life purpose.
The script that accompanies a Proxe uses dialogue that naturally segues into the gospel in the context of that Proxe's theme. For example, the Scars Pocket Proxe script discusses each key component of the gospel presentation by incorporating language that fits the scars-specific context. One InterVarsity staff worker said, "The Scars Pocket Proxe script made it very easy to approach people and begin the conversation about the gospel."
4. Proxe Stations let you know where the Holy Spirit is at work.
Proxes let you know where the Holy Spirit is at work on campuses and in the individual lives of students.
“We were overjoyed to find that students openly shared what they were struggling with and seemed to really enjoy having someone ask about their spiritual struggles," said NCF staff. "It seemed that, while the Proxe Station was a springboard into spiritual conversations, it was also an instrument of healing as it uncovered Christian students’ spiritual needs as well."
5. Proxe Stations help you take a person's spiritual temperature.
Proxes help participants share their spiritual stories with you and help you become aware of the readiness of someone's heart to respond to the gospel. Understanding a person's spiritual interest enables you to respond to each individual differently and to come alongside them in their spiritual journey in unique and authentic ways.
Jesse Roselius, an area director in West Virginia, met a Clarion University student named Kara while running a Proxe Station. Kara quickly let him know that she had "heard about God from televangelists." From there, they had a conversation about hell and godly justice, and he was soon able to share the gospel with Kara. While she wasn't ready to respond to Christ, she was interested in a Group Investigating God (GIG).
6. Proxe Stations make space for connections with non-Christians.
Proxes help you cross paths and begin relationships with people you may not have otherwise.
"God brought so many international students, athletes, and people groups that we would normally not get to talk to," said Kelly Joiner, campus staff at UCLA. "Two of our students led conversations in different languages. The table was so attractive we couldn't retain all the people who came by! Praise God!"
"Staff and students shared how they were able to speak the gospel to people they had wanted to share with for a very long time, years in some cases," said an area director from Delaware. "We believe this will have ripple effects for witnessing in our area for years to come."
And one bonus reason, at no additional charge: Proxe Stations can bring new vitality to your chapter and student leadership. Take Wake Forest University, for example.
"Talking to others about Jesus is not as scary as I thought it would be. It was actually exciting getting to share the gospel and talk about how Jesus quenches our thirsts. I am so thankful that we took this leap of faith and followed through with this Proxe Station because I believe it was a growing experience for everyone involved."
Patricia, a shy senior from University of Nevada-Reno, was challenged to grow as well:
"The morning before the Proxe Station, I was a nervous wreck. I was stressed and nauseous, flipping through my Bible looking for anything that might encourage me before going out to do the most terrifying thing imaginable: talking to people. I approached the Proxe knowing that I would have to choose between being paralyzed by fear and relying on God. I chose to rely on God. And he was faithful.”
For the next three days, Patricia shared the gospel with a variety of students and even invited two students into a Bible study with her."I discovered that my joy is most complete," said Patricia,"when I can cast aside my fears for the sake of the Gospel."