How are you doing at praying and programming evangelism into the DNA of your youth group? Are you actively seeking to inspire and motivate your students to get serious about THE Cause of making disciples who make disciples?
If God has called you into the role of youth leader that means it’s your job to LEAD the way for your students when it comes to this core aspect of the Christian life. Do you need to be an expert evangelist? No, you just need to be one step ahead of your students when it comes to helping them develop a mindset and lifestyle of sharing the good news of Jesus with others in word and deed!
If people can’t see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
they are most blessed.,
As leaders of youth, we are the standard bearers for evangelism in our groups. We must cast the vision for advancing the gospel. It’s our job to help our students see their God-given calling to participate in God’s work in the world. And like I mentioned in the last energize article, we have to lead with expectancy—with “the permanent and unshakeable belief that God will routinely do a significant Kingdom work in our midst.”
To help you build evangelism into your group’s spiritual DNA, I’m providing a simple Group Discussion Guide below that you can use to walk your students through some of the varying motivations Scripture provides us for actively sharing the gospel with others. You can use it with your student leaders or with your entire group—whichever is the best fit for where your group is at right now. Feel free to cut and paste it into a discussion handout for your students, if you think that would be helpful.
What Gets You Pumped?
Group Discussion Guide
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then for the Gentile (Romans 1:16).
God’s Word provides us with a variety of motivations for sharing the gospel with others. Here are a few examples:
Jesus called us to. “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
True compassion. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
Pure, loving purpose. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all… We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:14, 20).
There’s hell to pay. Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).
Judgment Day. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).
- Is one motivation for sharing the gospel better than another? Why do you think that?
- How does knowing and understanding your motivations for evangelism help you be more consistent and effective in your outreach efforts?
- Can you think of any additional motivations that inspire Christians to share their faith?
- Is it possible to have wrong motives when it comes to sharing your faith with others? Why do you think that? If so, what are some wrong motivates?
- Which of these motivations for evangelism is the strongest for you personally?
- Why do you think people hesitate to share their faith despite the clear commands in Scripture to do so?
- Do you sometimes hesitate? If so, why?
- How would our community be different if THE Cause was thriving on every campus?
- What schools are represented in our youth group?
- Do we believe that we can be used by God to reach every teen at every school in our community with the gospel?
- What’s one thing you can do this week to help you keep your primary motivation in front of you every day?
Create a Storytelling Culture
Challenge your students to come back next week ready to share stories about their faith-sharing efforts during the week. Whether they’re praying for their unreached friends, serving them through acts of kindness, or initiating spiritual conversations and sharing the message of the gospel, invite your students to share their stories with the whole group. Encourage them to share the good, the bad and the ugly—including missed opportunities that they didn’t think of until after the fact. If you’ve never before built an evangelism story telling culture into your youth group programming, inform a couple of your student leaders beforehand and ask them specifically to be ready to share something during this time. Be ready with your own personal story to share, as well!
After each story, stop and pray specifically for the people involved. Together brainstorm appropriate next steps that might be taken with each person.
In the weeks to come, begin to routinely incorporate this storytelling time into your ongoing programming. It will help keep sharing their faith on your students’ radar in their day-to-day lives, and they will draw inspiration from each other’s efforts.
Lead the way. Cast the vision. Help your students find their own motivation for outreach. Share stories. And watch what God does.