What’s the primary driver for you when it comes to bringing urgency to evangelism? Do you find your inner prompting to share the gospel flows primarily out of love or out of responsibility? Is one motivation better than another?
In the last energize, I laid out the scenario of telling my son to make his bed. When I told him to do the job I gave him before I got back from the store, would I want him to accomplish the job out of love or out of duty?
A Healthy Balance
Quite frankly, I want him to be motivated by both. I want him to value his relationship with me so much that it stirs him to do what I ask of him. But I also want him to have a healthy respect for the responsibilities I’ve laid out for him to accomplish. His response to my request that he make his bed shouldn’t just be based on warm fuzzies. It should also be grounded in the reality that there will be consequences as a result of his choices.
If you remember, we were comparing this bed-making scenario with the job Jesus gave us to “go and make disciples.” In the same way that I want my boy to have a healthy balance of motivations for doing what I ask of him, I believe Scripture teaches a healthy balance of motivations when it comes to sharing our faith. Jesus clearly told us to “go and make disciples.” So there should be an urgency to our evangelism that flows out of our responsibility.
For Christ’s Love Compels Us!
But duty shouldn’t be our only motivator, or else we risk becoming like the Scribes and Pharisees who legalistically obeyed the letter of the law, but missed the whole point—a deep, personal relationship with God that is born out of love. So God has given us other motivations as well—like love for Him, compassion for the lost and the reality of hell. The Apostle Paul bundles some of these motivations together for us in 2 Corinthians 5:14, 19-20:
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died… And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 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.
We see a healthy balance of love (for Christ’s love compels us) and responsibility (he has committed to us the message of reconciliation) melded together in this passage. And we see an urgency communicated in words like compel and implore.
As I’ve studied Scripture, I’ve identified 4 distinct motivators that I believe can help mobilize teens to share their faith with urgency. I call them “passion fuels.” In the next few issues of energize we’ll be taking a look at these 4 “passion fuels” so that you can help your teenagers fill up on the type of passion fuel that motivates them most and help them learn to blend it with other fuels! All with the goal of helping your teenagers develop a heart that is more and more like Jesus’ when it comes to reaching the lost!
Getting Aligned With the Heart of God
So I challenge you to take a hard look at your own level of urgency in sharing your faith. Examine your own motivations and get them aligned with the heart of God. Then set the pace for your teenagers and challenge them to share their faith with urgency as well!