I feel like one of the biggest questions everyone asks about their youth ministry is, “Why wont they go out and tell their friends?” Evangelism. It’s hard and tough stuff for high schoolers for some reason. I truly believe there is a ton that goes into why they do not go out and share: fear of disappointment, failure, looking “weird” in front of their friends, etc.
One of the biggest things we need to instill in our students is letting them know that it is not about whether or not their friend comes to Jesus (it is eventually) but it is about whether or not they are going to be obedient to what Jesus says about going out and making disciples in Matthew 28. It is about them realizing that their jobs are to have the conversations, plant the seeds so God can work in the hearts of those they share with and hopefully one day they turn to Him.
There are a few things this year we are helping our students focus on to help push and challenge them to reach out to their friends about who Jesus is and to bring them to HSM.
Equip them to share their story – I think a lot of the time they do not share because they don’t know how to do it effectively. I think for many students, they cannot fully articulate how God has changed their lives so it’s hard for them to share with others how God can change their lives. Equipping students to reflecting on how God has moved in their lives and helping them understand it will only help them better share to others.
Help them understand the importance of going out – There are countless stories in the Gospels of Jesus where Jesus meets someone, their life is changed, and they immediately go out and tell others about Him. Helping our students understand and know that there is life change that is exciting within them and how there is no reason to keep it within themselves.
Who are they reaching out to? – I think challenging them to go out and evangelize is great, but it can be overwhelming. Is it to everyone they meet? Family? All their friends? Some of their friends? Focusing on a group of smaller people might help students be focused because they are thinking, “I can’t reach my whole school, but I can reach my 3 friends because I already know them.” When we think evangelism, most students think big, but what were to happen if we let them know it can be as easy and doable as reaching out to a few friends a year?
By the way, the series we just did on this is up on DYM. Click HERE to check it out. Also, there is a small group material that goes along with this series coming out soon to with more in detail of how we challenged students in this area.