You’re a youth leader. A leader of youth.
But can you effectively lead if you aren’t walking the walk yourself? Not really. You can’t expect your students to follow you down the Gospel Advancing Ministry road, if you’re apathetic about reaching out in your own circle of influence. Which is why Value #3 of a Gospel Advancing Ministry is: “Leaders fully embrace and model it.”
You don’t have to be the model of perfection when it comes to personal evangelism in order to lead others; you just have to be one small step ahead of them. Since summer is a great time of year for connecting/reconnecting with neighbors, friends and extended family, what better time to take it up a notch personally when it comes to sharing your faith? Here are four simple steps to help you amp up both your passion and your plan when it comes to your personal outreach efforts.
Try This! ❯
It’s critical that your students know you are sharing your faith with others. Set a plan in motion to spend some quality time with someone who doesn’t know Jesus..
1. Blow your apathy out of the water.
If you struggle with being apathetic about sharing your faith, you’ll need to start with a passion infusion. Many of us have drifted into the mindset of the culture we swim in. It tells us that “other’s spiritual beliefs are none of our business.” But if you possessed the cure for cancer and had a friend who was stricken with this life threatening disease, would you feel compelled to share the cure? Of course! Similarly, if we truly believe that Jesus’ message of grace and forgiveness is a life-giving message of hope and promise, inviting those we care about into a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe is the greatest gift we can give them (Colossians 1:15-17). If you’re not feeling very willing to put out the effort to share the hope of Jesus with others, start by praying that God would make you willing to be made willing (John 14:15-17). For further help with a passion infusion, check out 5 Steps to Passionate Prayer for the Lost and adapt the steps you find in that article to fuel your personal outreach efforts.
2. Hatch a plan.
Start with prayer for those you are seeking to reach with the gospel. Then hatch a plan to spend time with them. Build the relationship deeper, so that asking questions about the important issues of life that drive toward spiritual conversations can unfold naturally. Summer is perfect for this! Choose from one of the following practical ideas or come up with your own. Then set the plan in motion this week! Lay the groundwork and get it on your calendar so it actually happens. Invite someone who needs Jesus to…
- Go for a walk.
- Eat ice cream.
- Go camping.
- Come over for dessert on the patio.
- Meet for coffee.
- Go to a park.
- Go downtown and people watch.
- Meet for lunch.
- Go fishing.
- Go to a free concert in the park.
- Come over for a BBQ.
- Watch fireworks.
3. Talk about what really matters.
When you get together with that someone God has laid on your heart to reach, don’t just talk about the surface stuff of life. Start there, of course. But listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit to take the conversation deeper. Pray for the right opportunity to ask questions like…
- “How are you really doing these days?”
- “What’s the best thing you’ve done since we got together last?”
- “Are you happy with your life?”
- “What’s your biggest challenge these days?”
- “How do you feel about ___________?”
- “What’s the one thing you’d change about your life if you could?”
- “Where do your reserves of inner strength come from when life gets hard?”
- “What are you looking forward to? Why is it a big deal to you?”
Listen with care. Then look for opportunities to talk about Jesus and share from your heart about what He means to you and how He infuses meaning and joy into your life—even when everything is going great. Share the gospel.Talk openly with your students about your personal faith-sharing efforts. Click To Tweet
4. Talk to your students about your personal outreach efforts.
One of the keys to modeling outreach is to routinely share about your efforts with your students—“Take 5 for THE Cause” is a great way to do this regularly. Share the good, the bad and the ugly. If you have a “bad” or “ugly” story, it’s actually just as much a teachable moment as when good things are happening in your personal faith-sharing efforts. Just fold in what you learned as you share from your own life, and indicate that you are continuing to pray for the person you had the big fail with. Modeling through the tough stuff is sometimes more impacting for your students than sharing successes.
There’s an old adage that characterizes evangelism as “one beggar showing another where the food is.” Because of this simple truth, you can step up confidently to share the gospel with love and care.
Model this for your students in your own life. Get your adult leaders on board to be modeling it, as well. Talk about it openly with your students. Seeing you striving to live out an evangelistic lifestyle will inspire and encourage them to share their faith with their friends.
Want more practical advice on mobilizing your teens to share the gospel? All of our Mobilize stories offer great ideas for training your students and building a Gospel Advancing Ministry. Sign up here to receive this free, hands-on, weekly resource in your inbox!