For three years, Jesus walked the gritty streets with His disciples. His ministry with His inner core was life on life; He modeled a lifestyle of living and giving the gospel in word and deed.
Like we talked about in a previous issue of energize, more is often caught than taught. Which is why modeling a lifestyle of evangelism yourself is one of the five essential keys to nurturing a faith-sharing focus in your youth ministry.
I encourage you to actively look for ways to “do life” with your core leaders—both adults and students—so they practically see the ways that serving and sharing Jesus permeates your life. From running errands, to coffee shop conversations, to just hanging out and having fun, modeling your faith out loud is where the rubber meets the road.
Your goal is to multiply your ministry impact! And one of the most effective ways to do that is to help the leaders under your spiritual care learn how to live their faith out fearlessly, and in turn, begin to disciple others, as well.
So gather your leadership team together and use the following discussion guide on living out your faith as the focus of one of your times together. Then talk about ways you can more consistently “do life” together, and make disciples who make disciples.
Living Your Faith Out Loud
Group Discussion Guide
As Jesus’ followers, we’re called to continually grow in our relationship with God, and to help others do likewise. As Biblical truth floods into our lives, and we plug into the power of the Holy Spirit, we can increasingly live out of our “God grid”—seeing our daily interactions as opportunities to live our faith out in word and deed, and nudge others closer to Jesus. Whether the practical application comes in the area of self-image, relationships, sharing our faith, sexuality, addictive behaviors or whatever, we want to continually keep God front and center in all that we are and do, and to be open and authentic about our faith with those around us. Living your faith out loud is an important part of the process of helping others become disciples who make disciples.
The following Bible passage provides a glimpse into how to live out your faith in front of others. Take a look and see if you think it’s describing the process of making disciples.
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:8-12).
- Do you tend to think of living out your faith as a solo undertaking?
- Do you think it’s easier to grow in your faith alone, or with others alongside you?
- Summarize how the Apostle Paul describes living out the Christian faith in this passage.
- Does Paul share just the good things happening in his life with others? Why or why not?
- Paul describes his relationship with his disciples as how “a father deals with his own children.” What implications might this perspective have when it comes to your relationships with people you are seeking to reach and disciple?
- How willing are you to share your life with others?
- How available are you to share your life with others?
- Is there a difference between being a coach and a buddy when discipling others? If so, what’s the difference?
- How might you go about determining who you might come alongside and personally disciple?
- What might this look like week in and week out in your own life?
- What’s one thing you can do during the next week to powerfully and effectively live out your faith in front of those you are seeking to influence for Jesus?
- How might you initiate a discipling relationship with a peer? Here are a few ideas to get you started. Which one do you like best?
o Send them a text
o Call them
o Post some thoughts on Facebook and ask for feedback, or ask a spiritual question
o Invite them for coffee or ice cream now
o Ask them if there’s anything you can pray about for them.
o Request free copies of the Life in 6 Words book at www.share6campaign.com, and give them away as spiritual conversation starters. Then talk in greater depth about the six spiritual truths the book explores.
Model the discipling process, and get your leaders reproducing that process in their peers. Let them see you out in the gritty streets making Jesus’ message and mission the focus of your life! Let’s show our students how to live their faith out loud and reach their peers!
And BTW, for any of you who are passionate about reaching this generation with the gospel, I invite you to join me and other youth ministry leaders from across America in Plano, Texas, November 10-12 for the Accelerate national leadership summit. Accelerate is a convergence of youth ministry leaders teaming up to reach every high school and middle school student with the love and truth of Jesus Christ. I’ll be speaking on “Evangelism and the Gospel: the Heart of the Mission.” We’ll be discussing our progress in leading students to Christ and discipling them to follow Him…AND together we’ll be exploring recalibrations to accomplish this God-given mission in our ministries.