At Dare 2 Share, bold is part of our DNA. You see it in our name (what’s bolder than a dare?). And you see it in our vision statement:
Every teen, everywhere, hearing the Gospel from a friend
In a recent article, we began to unpack this statement, which we derived from the bold vision Jesus passed along to all believers: to go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).
We discussed the immeasurable value of every teen in your “cause turf”—the schools, home-school co-ops, clubs, and neighborhoods near your ministry hub that you and your students collectively have the ability to influence. Most of your ministry efforts will (and should) be poured out on the people the Lord has placed right around you.
But we know from Jesus’s command that He cares about every soul on Earth. So if we want our students to have the same passion for the world that Jesus does, we must at times give them opportunities to glimpse the world beyond their cause-turf border. Here are four practical ways to ignite in your students a desire to take the Gospel to the world:
1. Invite missionaries to share their stories.
Real-life stories are a great way to get our students to engage with a new idea, and nothing beats hearing stories directly from someone who experienced them. If your church sponsors a missionary, arrange for that person (or family) to share with your youth group what God is doing in their mission field. Remember, you can always leverage technology: A Zoom call or prerecorded video are budget-friendly ways to connect with someone thousands of miles away.
2. Sponsor a Compassion child.
Consider having your group sponsor a child through Compassion International, a ministry that’s been working since 1952 to release children from poverty in Jesus’s name. They take a holistic approach to child development, partnering with local ministries in 25 countries and blending physical, social, economic, and spiritual care. Your group can exchange letters with a specific child in one of those nations, learning about that child’s life and culture and sharing God’s love and the Gospel in return.
3. Make use of social media.
Our students live in a world without digital borders. They can easily connect with people around the globe who share their same interests, through platforms such as Instagram, Discord, Twitch, Amino, and the like. Remind your students that those teenagers on the other side of their devices also need Jesus! Have a brainstorming session about how they can get a spiritual conversation going in those platforms. (One idea: They can use the QuickStarters from our Life in 6 Words app; download it for free at li6w.com.)
4. Plan strategic mission trips.
During Jesus’s ministry, He traveled hundreds of miles with His disciples, taking them to different regions of their country. They went to familiar areas like Jerusalem, but they also ventured to places that stretched the disciples, such as Sychar in Samaria or the highly pagan Caesarea Philippi. How this looks for your group may depend on your church’s size, structure, and budget, but taking students on strategic trips is a great way to expand their understanding of God’s work in the world. Follow Jesus’s three-tier plan (from Acts 1:8) for the expansion of the Gospel: 1. Jerusalem (across the street) 2. Judea and Samaria (across the tracks) 3. to the ends of the Earth (around the world).
The goal of these activities is to inspire, train, and unleash your students to reach every teen, everywhere, with the Gospel. Jesus once said:
“And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing…” Matthew 11:12 (NLT)
Believe it—it is still going! And with these strategic efforts, you and your students can be part of that strike force of global Kingdom advancers.
Get Them Ready to Go!
Equip your students to share the Gospel with the world! Our weeklong summer event Lead THE Cause will ignite teens’ love for Jesus, help them truly understand the Gospel, and provide opportunities for them to share it with others.