How to Create Your Own Proxe Outreach

InterVarsity and LaFe have created lots and lots of tools to spark evangelistic conversations on campus. Designers have made them look awesome. And you can use them (click here to see those resources).

But what if you want to create your own Proxe, something to communicate to your particular campus and out of your particular community of leaders?

We’re going to show you how.

Know the Bones

Before you get started, you need to know the bones of an InterVarsity Proxe station. Just about every Proxe station has three movements: the Hook, the Turn and the Gospel.

The Hook sparks the conversation. It might be a question that makes someone stop and think. It might be something visual that makes them wander over to your table.  The Hook transforms strangers into conversation partners.

The Turn pushes the conversation in a deeper direction. Not everyone wants to go there. That’s okay. But a good Proxe design gives people on your campus access to a meaningful opportunity to connect with God and another human being. Those don’t come by every day.

The Gospel portion of the Proxe links the deeper conversation to Jesus. The work of the person designing the Proxe is to make sure that spiritual conversations don’t come out of left field but are instead emerging organically from the deeper conversations that people are having a the Turn stage.

An Example: “The Bienvenidos Proxe”

The Hook: Rate how welcoming you’ve found the campus. Ask them to share where they’ve found their place of welcome on campus. Ask “Where have you found your place of welcome on campus?” and “How has finding (or not finding) a place where you feel welcomed impacted your experience on campus?” We also use the big visual panel or a shiny Pocket Proxe to spark conversation.

The Turn: Ask “In terms of religious groups, where have you been welcomed on campus?” and “How did they make you feel welcome?” and “How good are Christians at welcoming people?”

The Gospel: Ask “Why do you think it matters whether or not a group is welcoming?” and share the story and the good news about Jesus. Invite them to respond.

Make it Happen

  1. Brainstorm – Here are some great brainstorming questions that can help you come up with a focus for your Proxe that’s specific to your team and your campus.
    • What’s God doing on campus?
    • What conversations do I hear when I walk around campus?
    • What passions is God placing on our heart as a community?
    • What do conversations do I have with my friends who are not yet following Jesus?
    • What questions have I been getting about God, faith, Christians, spirituality, the Bible or Jesus?
  2. Design – Work through the Hook, the Turn and the Gospel. Try to think of creative ways to get people to engage with questions at each stage. Ask fun questions: “What’s on your bucket list?” or “If your love life was a movie, which would it be?” (PROTIP: The easiest format for this is multiple choice.)
  3. Build – Get artistic and handy. Turn your ideas into panels or posters that can be seen from a little ways away. There’s no wrong way to do this.
  4. Train – Make sure your team has practiced having conversations at the Proxe before you take it to campus. You may even want to write a script to help people learn the transitions between questions and stages of the Proxe.
  5. Pray – None of our creativity and hard work matters if God isn’t doing his thing. The #1 most important thing that happens in any Proxe outreach is prayer.

Pass it Along

If you design something awesome, use it on campus and God does something with it, share it with the world. Tweet to @LaFeTweets or post a comment here. Maybe other campuses will benefit from your creativity!

image credit: Dave Ruark

Steve Tamayo serves as the Special Projects Director for LaFe, InterVarsity’s Latino Fellowship. He’s married to Amy and together they have two sons, Will and Jack. Steve is also the Associate Pastor at Chatham Community Church.

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