It’s summer—that time of year when students may actually share prayer requests that don’t revolve around their schoolwork! And because there’s no schoolwork to stress teens out, it’s an ideal time to involve them in your weekly youth group programming.
Here are five ideas to provide students with opportunities to practice talking about their faith in public and in front of their peers.
1. Open-Mic Night
Choose a question or topic, such as:
- Tell us about a time you were out of your comfort zone and how you handled it.
- What’s something difficult you’ve had to overcome?
- Tell about one area of your life where Christ has made a difference.
Then open it up for students to come up front and share with the group. Follow up the open-mic time with a short devo or teaching about the topic that incorporates Scripture and the Gospel message.
Pro tip: Give your students the topic a few weeks in advance, so they can be thinking of what they might want to share.
2. Pick a Letter
For each week of the summer, recruit a different student to share why one of the letters of the G.O.S.P.E.L. acrostic is especially meaningful to him or her.
Pro tip: Practice the acrostic weekly with the whole group, so they have context for what the student is sharing—and as a way to make sure visitors hear the Gospel.
3. Tell Your Faith Story (a.k.a. Testimonies)
Work with students (outside of youth group) to craft their testimonies about their relationship with Jesus, using a before – then – after method (what they were like before coming to Christ, how they came to trust Christ, what life has been like since they trusted Christ).
Pro tip: Require your student leadership team to participate, so they can model this to the rest of the group. You can use a couple of your meetings to coach them on how to develop their testimony.
4. Testimony Talk Show
Some students might be more comfortable telling their faith story in a Q&A format. Have one student interview another one with questions that walk them through their testimony—for example:
- “What was your life like before you trusted in Christ?”
- “How did you learn about Jesus?”
- “When did you put your trust in Him?”
- “What are three things that have changed in your life since you trusted Christ?”
Pro tip: Have the interviewer run the questions by both you and the interviewee beforehand (or you can create the questions yourself).
5. Holy Hot Seat
Choose a student to sit up front and answer rapid-fire, faith-related questions (from you or a student interviewer), such as:
- What’s one of your favorite Bible verses?
- How old were you when you first put your faith in Jesus?
- Who most influenced you to trust in Christ?
- Who’s someone in the Bible you relate to?
- What’s a prayer God has answered for you?
Pro tip: Select students you’re sure have put their trust in Christ. Set a time limit, and have them get through as many questions as they can within that time. You could also do it game-show style: Have two students up front with a bell or buzzer between them. After you read the question, whichever student buzzes in first gets to answer it.