When teenagers share the good news of Jesus with their friends, teammates and classmates, not only does the Gospel advance in others’ lives, but it also has a personal impact on them. I’m convinced that nothing seals the deal for students to own their faith than sharing their faith. As Paul wrote to Philemon:
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 1:6).
Teens who share their faith own their faith and teens who own their faith are much more likely to keep their faith after they graduate. So, it’s vitally important that you crank up the heat of evangelism in your youth ministry.
Here are 7 ways you can raise the temperature:
1. Program prayer for unreached teenagers
Whether you’re opening the youth meeting or leading a small group of teenagers, don’t forget to pray for the lost. Bowed knees for the unreached can keep evangelism top of mind for teenagers and adult volunteers alike. This doesn’t have to take a long time, but it should be passionate, powerful, and persistent. Why? Because when you consistently call out to God on behalf of the lost, not only is Heaven moved to action, but so are your teenagers.
In Romans 10:1, Paul made his evangelistic intentions clear to the mostly Jewish believers living in Rome, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” Paul’s passionate prayer raised the temperature of the Jewish believers’ evangelistic efforts to their own people. Your prayers will do the same for your students.
2. Teach your teenagers to identify one to three of their unreached friends they will pray for consistently
At Dare 2 Share we use a simple strategy called Prayer — Care — Share to help facilitate this process. Teens identify a handful of friends or classmates who need to be reached, start praying for them consistently, and eventually share the Gospel out loud (with words).
3. Give the Gospel every week in youth group
Paul told the Corinthian believers:
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).
If Paul was a youth leader writing to his youth group this passage could read, “When I came to you, I didn’t make my biggest priority playing crazy games or building a fancy youth room, my main focus was Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Subscribe to The Greg Stier Youth Ministry Podcast because, in the next few months, we’re doing a series on effectively giving the Gospel (with an invitation) in every youth group meeting.
4. Tell stories, stories, and more stories
When your main youth group meeting and regular small group gatherings become story-telling havens then you have crossed a powerful threshold when it comes to raising the evangelistic temperature. Stories of teenagers coming to Christ, growing in Christ, and making more disciples is the real party ready to happen in your youth group.
5. Inspire and train your teenagers to evangelize
Teens need to know why they should share their faith, and there are plenty of reasons including the glory of God, and rescuing people from the Hell they’re headed to and the one they’re living through. Get your teenagers motivated to share their faith and then equip them to do it.
On November 11 there will be a day of global youth evangelism called Dare 2 Share Live. I strongly encourage you to register your youth group right away. It will inspire your teenagers to evangelize, equip them to lovingly and confidently share the Gospel, and mobilize them to do it. It’s FREE!
6. Motivate your student leadership team to lead the way
John Maxwell was right when he said, “Everything rises or falls on leadership.” So, if you can get your student leaders sharing their faith, then the rest of the youth group will follow.
Stay persistent and don’t give up until your student leaders are leading students to Christ — and setting the pace for the rest of your youth group in the process.
7. Live it yourself
Everything I wrote about student leaders is doubly true of you. If you want your teenagers to be warm to evangelism, then you have got to be hot. If you want them to be hot then you have to be blazing. If you want them to be blazing, well, you get the idea.
In Luke 6:40 Jesus said, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.”
Cranking the evangelistic heat up in your youth group starts by cranking it up in your own heart. Read my free e-book, Gospelize, to get started.
Greg Stier is the Founder and President of Dare 2 Share Ministries International. He has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of Christian teenagers through Dare 2 Share events, motivating and mobilizing them to reach their generation for Christ. He is the author of eleven books and numerous resources, including Dare 2 Share: A Field Guide for Sharing Your Faith. For more information on Dare 2 Share and their upcoming conference tour and training resources, please visit www.dare2share.org.
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