5 Ways Our Gospel Presentations Flop  - Dare 2 Share
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students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

5 Ways Our Gospel Presentations Flop 



We all want people to know the beauty of being a Christian, but often the way we articulate the Gospel to a crowd can be confusing, unclear, or incomplete. Paul expressed to the followers of Jesus living in Colossae the importance of being clear: 

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.

Colossians 4:3-4 

Here are five things we tend to do that cause us to fall short of delivering a compelling and clear Gospel message: 

1. We make assumptions. 

There are two major assumptions we make that are usually wrong: 

  • No one in the audience cares.  
  • Everyone understands our churchy language.   

Even if you faithfully deliver the Gospel message each week, it’s easy to feel—because you work with a demographic that’s prone to sarcasm and apathy—as if no one in attendance really cares. But the longer you stay in youth ministry, the more you’ll realize they are listening and care much more than they show, and it’s likely there are some in attendance who aren’t believers—even if they’ve gone to church their whole lives.  

The other major assumption we make is that everyone will understand words and references that are common in Christian circles. This includes terms such as the cross, prayer, the Trinity, the Father, sin, and the Bible. Make sure you use words everyone will know or explain them briefly.  

2. We talk about Jesus, but the message of the Gospel is unclear. 

In this Greg Stier Youth Ministry Podcast, pastor Rick Long shares a story of a pastor who thought he was giving a clear Gospel message but was frustrated with a seeming lack of results. As Rick asked more questions about how the man explained the Gospel, he noticed that Jesus was mentioned, but His death on the cross and the significance of that sacrifice weren’t.  Rick encouraged the man with these words: “You need to make sure you clearly share that there is no salvation apart from the cross.” After the pastor made this adjustment, he began to see people accepting the Gospel and entering into a relationship with Jesus.  

3. We don’t explain repentance very well.  

The way we communicate the idea of repentance can make it sound like there’s a checklist of things we have to do before we can trust in Christ. It comes across as if we have to clean up our act and change our behavior before Jesus will accept us. But this standpoint neglects the idea of grace alone, which is clearly laid out in Scripture:  

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 

4. We ask people to come forward for “more information.”  

Sometimes, instead of explaining the whole Gospel, we just allude to it and then ask those interested in knowing more to come forward. There are a few problems with this—the biggest one being that many teens might not be brave enough to actually ask for more information. Additionally, you’re missing an opportunity to reinforce the details of the message with your believing youth (so they can remember how to share it), and you’re missing the chance to remind everyone that the Gospel is the most important thing about your group’s identity.  

5. We neglect to invite them to respond. 

No matter how well we get through explaining the Gospel, it’s easy to leave out the offer for our listeners to accept the invitation. Whether it’s because we’re afraid no one will raise a hand or we’ll make people feel uncomfortable, or some other reason, this key piece of a Gospel presentation is often omitted. In this Greg Stier Youth Ministry Podcast, Rick Long says that “Will you?” needs to be a part of the Gospel invitation. Remembering those two simple words can be a game changer in seeing God transform lives with the power of the Gospel. 

Among the endless things you have to do each week, make sure to take the time to prepare the most important thing you’ll do or say—the details of the Gospel—so it can hit the mark of your students’ hearts.   

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