Interview With a Public-Schooled Christian: Claire Brandenburg

Today, there is a new kind of post—an interview with another public-schooled Christian. The third post every month will be an interview from now on. The interview today is with my friend Claire. She goes to a different school than me, but she loves Jesus a lot and I know that she is living for Him in school. Enjoy!

Hello Claire! Thanks for being here. Could you tell us about your testimony?

I grew up in a Christian home, and I was saved at around 4 years old. I drove home in my car one day from church and it finally clicked for me. I was talking to my mom and I realized, “I want to ask Jesus into my heart. How do I do that?” 

So I was pretty young. And then, continually throughout my life God has reminded me of His love, grace, and mercy for me through different circumstances. 

There are always highs and lows in every Christian life. When I was on a high, like after going to church camp, and came slowly back down from that high, it made me ask, “Wait, was I really a Christian before? That felt so good.” 

And so I would constantly ask Jesus back into my heart, and at around 5th or 6th grade, I was like, “I’ve got to stop this because God has already saved me—it’s not multiple times that He is going to save me.” So I finally stopped asking Jesus into my heart. I know that there’s a book called Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, and I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard things about it.

So that was me. When I stopped asking Jesus back into my heart, it taught me that I don’t need to constantly do that because God is never-changing. What He says is true. 

And being saved at a young age and growing in a Christian home really left me with a lot of knowledge that I use to help people. I’ve grown up with Bible stories since I was little and I can use them because they are so familiar to me. The only danger is you become too familliar with them and then the wonders of the Bible don’t shine like they really should. 

When I read Bible stories, I have to remind myself, “This really is amazing!” instead of thinking, “I have to read this again?” That’s what I’m working through—making sure that I know how good God’s love is for me, and He shows us His love through these Bible passages. And the crazy thing is, we’re so accustomed to the truths of Christianity, when we really should be like, “Oh my goodness, all this splendor and amazement, it’s crazy.”

That’s really good. One thing I admire about you is how open and friendly you are. You can start a conversation with anybody. How do you do that? Do you have any tips on it?

Believe it or not, I was super shy in 5th grade. I was a quiet one, never raised my—well I did raise my hand because I wanted to be a teacher’s pet—but I was quiet. But then, middle school happened and I took journalism in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Journalism really helped me and left me with public speaking skills. Though not everyone needs to have skills to talk in front of a crowd, I recommend learning skills to hold a conversation. 

What we need to remember is that other people can be nervous to talk too, and taking the initiative to make them feel more comfortable and asking them questions is a kindness. Showing interest in someone even shows confidence because you’re willing to go out of your way and talk to these people. Also, my journalism class wasn’t the only thing that helped me socially, but also how I was raised and being taught that I should always make someone else feel comfortable. 

You do make people feel comfortable. Do you ever get scared before talking to people?

All the time. Before talking, I sometimes whisper a quick prayer under my breath to ask, “Lord let me have this conversation, and let it not be crazy.” I’m a human too, so I get nervous too. 

Something else I admire about you is how confident you are. You are confident in your faith in Christ and won’t let anything move that faith. You could probably respond really well if asked about your faith in school. What has led you to that confidence?

Half, like the last point, is from public speaking skills—being able to talk in front of a crowd and not show my nervousness. And the other half is trusting in God. 

I’d say that sharing Christ in this generation takes time. You cannot always rush into it and be like, “Hey, do you want to talk about Jesus?” People will look at you like you’re a crazy person. 

Don’t rush. I’ve been friends with people for weeks, and even months before I share openly about Christ. I don’t rush to put it in the forefront of conversations because I don’t want to scare people off. I incorporate it in conversations only if the conversation is leading there. I don’t want to seem pushy, but if the conversation is leading in that way, I take that as a sign to talk about Jesus. 

Also, I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Christian; I’m open about being a Christian. So I’ll drop things like, “I go to church on Sunday,” or “I have Wednesday night church so I can’t do that.” So I don’t hide my Christian life, but I do things that show I am a Christian. 

And then later, when things lead to it, then I’ll drop Jesus into the conversation. You need to build relationships before anyone is going to be vulnerable enough to have a fully good conversation with you, in my experience. 

I have a few more things for this same topic. Your actions show your life. So, what you say and what you don’t say. For example, you don’t curse, or you don’t go along with a certain non-Christian idea. Even confidence in sharing Christ comes from not always going with the flow. 

If people curse and say things that aren’t pleasing to God, then I will hold a conversation with them, but I will not respond with the same explicatives that they use. Sharing Jesus with them comes from your actions and reflecting Jesus to them. 

And then, I would say confidence in sharing Christ can even come from closing your eyes and praying at lunch. I forget to pray at lunch all the time, but I’ve definitely found that if I just close my eyes right before lunch people ask, “Oh, were you just praying?” That way they know I’m a Christian. So I don’t outright say I’m a Christian, but I drop subtle hints in. 

I want to be more open about sharing Christ but also not be pushy. There is a balance that every single Christian in the world is still learning, I’d say. People spend years figuring out what the best approach is, and of course it varies with each person. But these verses stick with me: 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). 

Those are such good verses. Have you found Christian community in school and do you have any tips for doing so?

I have not found any Christian friends in school, but I make up for this with my sisters in Christ from church. I would definitely say I need to remind myself not always to listen to the advice my wordly friends give me, because they don’t live with the same purpose as me.  

I form deep relationships with my church friends and see how people really should act from them, because they share the same values as me. So I have not found Christian friends but I have to take what I can get. I’m trying to help transform my unbelieving friends. I balance my friendships with each other. 

I’m with these people at school all the time but I’m also keeping trying to keep in contact with my other friends as much as possible. And I would say a verse for this would be 1 Corinthians 10:31, which says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 

For those who do have Christian friends in school, don’t just stick to them. How are you supposed to help the lost? You have to go out—even if you do have Christian friends at your school—you need to go out and help people who don’t know Jesus. You want to bring them into your family. 

That’s really important. And it’s a struggle for me because I have multiple Christian friends at my school, so it can be really easy to hang out only around them and not start conversations with new people.

That is the danger because you feel really comfortable around them. You should! They’re your sisters and brothers. But you definitely have to be careful, and know that you need to talk like unbelievers, but you can’t take their advice as close to heart as other people. 

Do you have any last advice?

Stay regular in reading your Bible, even if it means waking up 10 minutes earlier to fill your heart with the Word of God. We take some things for granted. People died for the right to own a Bible and worship the Lord. Sacrifice some minutes of beauty rest to read yours. 

Someone told me that reading a psalm or a proverb a day is impactful. I believe it. It makes me feel more refreshed and calm. Immersing yourself in the Word will change you to be more like Jesus. 

I would also highly recommend memorizing Scripture. I cannot say this enough. Filling our hearts so we can fight the enemy is the number one thing we can do. Remember that you have siblings facing the world just like you that you haven’t met yet, but you will one day.

I’m praying for you. Thank you.

Thank you, Claire! That was wonderful.

5 responses to “Interview With a Public-Schooled Christian: Claire Brandenburg”

  1. I can’t express how much I love this blog. XD This is a BRILLIANT interview!!! Thank you for all the wonderful advice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you! I’m so happy you love it 💛.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome interview!! I want to take a journalism class now XD Perhaps in college. I thought the evangelism advice was wonderful. Lights shine no matter what, if you don’t actively put it under a basket.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! I’m taking Speech and Debate right now and it’s super helpful. A journalism class or something of that type seems really beneficial! And yes, that is so true! Claire had such great advice =D


  3. […] might remember the post Interview With a Public-Schooled Christian: Claire Brandenburg from a couple of weeks ago. Well now, Claire is back with more wonderful advice for us. […]


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