Youth Ministry & Evangelism: Thoughts on Strategy
I was recently contacted by a national missions organization. They were seeking my opinion on a very important question, especially when it comes to youth ministry. The organization asked what I was doing to reach the schools in my community. It's a good question that would no doubt solicit various answers from different pastors and ministries. I thought about it, and here are my thoughts . . . Along with always encouraging our students to invite their un-churched friends to things we are doing (events, regular gatherings, etc.), my primary "strategy" is pretty simple: I help my students discover who Jesus is, and to fall in love with Him and His message. It's my belief that when a student is a committed follower of Christ it will be freely evidenced in their life. People will be drawn to Him.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.--Matthew 5:16
For far too long we've been drawn into looking for the newest and best "strategy" to follow for sharing Christ (4 Spiritual Laws, Steps to Peace with God, Romans Road, 3 Story Evangelism, etc.). There is nothing wrong with being strategic in our approach to evangelism. I simply believe the best strategy is a changed and revolutionized life! When a person is consumed with and in love with Jesus, it doesn't take long for that person to start talking about the One they are so committed to.
Obviously I discuss methods for sharing Christ, but I believe it's more important to focus on discipling our students in the direction of a committed love relationship with Him. Until a student is fully in love with Jesus, no amount of evangelism training is going to make them effective in sharing their faith. Think about it this way: If you were to spend any time at all with your average grandmother it wouldn't be long before she was pulling out her wallet to show you all the pictures of her dearly loved grandchildren. Why? Because she's so in love with, excited about, and proud of them that she can't help it. It's natural. No one had to train her in how to share her grandchildren with other people. There is nothing she would rather do.
So should it be with our relationship with Christ! We must continue to train and equip our students to effectively share their faith with the people in their life. But we must also be committed to praying for and discipling our students so that they fall so in love with Jesus they are overflowing with the good news of the gospel.
- What do you think about Brian's thoughts? What are your thoughts on evangelism strategy for your students?