Over the past few weeks, I have reflected on how we have created a pretty decent invite culture within our student ministry. If you missed out on the other posts or missed out on the Youth Ministry Hacks Podcast episodes on it, make sure you check them out.
I want to end this series with the glue to all of what is listed just above here. Now, this concept and phrasing are not original to me, or my senior pastor (I don’t think) but it’s a concept that our entire church has adopted and use weekly in our language and values. It’s something that we have seen become the catalyst to gaining and developing an inviting culture within our group and our church.
The concept is… One Life.
What is One Life? For our church, it is the belief that the best evangelism is done one-on-one. Every believer should have a non-believing friend, family member, co-worker who does not know who Jesus is and we are to be intentional about our life interacting with their life. We are to be hanging out with, praying for, asking them how we can pray for them, invite them to dinner, church, family parties etc. in hopes they come to know Jesus themselves and be baptized.
Anyone who calls our church home, they know what One Life is. It is a challenge and value communicated and lead by example from our senior pastor down.
We have adopted this within our student ministry as well. I would say it is the glue in which we do all the other things. The way we do events, small groups, outreach nights, plan our services are all in hopes students can bring their one life and they can share the Gospel with them. It’s been amazing to see our students take this on.
A couple of thoughts:
- We make it a point to explain this is not to make people a project. We can’t “fix” anyone. We can be like Jesus in our interaction with friends in the hope they see Jesus too.
- We have nights called One Nights where it’s the one night you bring your One Life. Obviously, we encourage students to bring their one life all year round but if they have not yet, One Nights is the night to really be brave and make the ask.
- One Life is not a one invite and done type thing. the goal is to be your one life and that could be a spark in a faith conversation. One life is all about being intentional with being in the life with someone and for someone.
- We use and explain the phrase a lot so no one is confused by what “One Life” is. I used to think it was weird because I thought people would be weirded out because they were a “One Life” but it’s been awesome to hear stories of “Well I was Valerie’s One Life” and then hear a story of life change.
- One Life works because it’s evangelism broken down to a practical goal. Most students when they hear “evangelism,” they think they need to give a sermon or stand up on their lunch table in the quad and preach a message, but this breaks it down to a one-on-one relationship in which cares for the person and shows love. Students see this and go, “Oh, I can do that.”
- It’s been amazing to see student’s lives that have been changed because of this and students who were far from God have come near to God.
- It gives your core students a goal and challenge to actively be inviting friends to see what Jesus is all about.
This is just one story about a student who was a One Life…
Do you have something like this? If so, what do you do? Is this something you can see implementing in your ministry? How so?