The book of Acts is chock-full of stories describing explosive gospel advancement. Each chapter captures incredible happenings of God moving in and through the lives of the first century believers. The miraculous healings, unlocked prison doors and thousands of people who come to Christ within a short period of time are astonishing.
But within our twenty-first century, culturally Christian, American, Western world context, the book of Acts can almost seem fictitious. After all, some of our own youth ministries are struggling to get teenagers to come to youth group—let alone getting students interested in sharing the gospel. What has created this disconnect? Does God no longer move with the explosive might He did in the first century?
Try This! ❯
Before you even look at your schedule this week, start fresh by focusing on Jesus and His gospel. During youth group, remind your students of the vision of your ministry and the mission of the church.
Of course not! Jesus said that anyone who believed in Him would not only do the same works, but greater (John 14:12)! This means that your ministry has the power to do remarkable things in the name of Christ. You are a part of the same mission as the early disciples and, more importantly, you have the same Holy Spirit living inside you. Therefore, as Greg Stier likes to say, “There is no reason you can’t have the same results!” But in order to see and experience these results, you need to have a disciple multiplication strategy that can guide your Gospel Advancing Ministry efforts (Value #4). In other words, you need to strategically mobilize your teenagers to make and multiply disciples. Here’s the how.
You can’t reach them all… If you go it alone
There are 7.4 billion people in the world, and by the year 2100, the United Nations estimates that there will be 11.2. That’s a lot of people! Say it took you one minute to tell each person the gospel. Even if you lined up every living person and took every minute of each day to share the gospel one-by-one, it would take over twenty-one lifetimes to tell each person about the gospel. You could never sleep, never eat and would have to begin sharing the gospel the second you were born.
Unfortunately, there is no way one person can reach them all. But Christ did not call us to lead His Cause on our own. He sent us all out, as His church, into the real world to share the gospel together. Every person (including your students) finds himself or herself in different social context. The people you know and influence are completely different from the people your students know and influence. Learning how to multiple your influence will lead to more students sharing the love of God with others. Help your students recognize that they are needed in order to bring the gospel to everyone. Tell them that you can never accomplish what they can in their own schools and friend groups.
Have a clear vision and mission
If a foreigner came to your youth group and never knew what Christianity was about, what would she say about your youth ministry? Would she conclude that it was about playing games, watching videos and hanging out? This can be a haunting question for ministries that only focus on juggling flaming poodles or, in other words, ministries that only focus on entertainment. Make the bold vision of your ministry as clear as day. In fact, write it on the wall of your youth room so that all can see and know just what is being accomplished.
Teach your teenagers about the mission of God to reach a dying world with the gospel. Demonstrate the gospel with words and deeds to every student, and mobilize them to go out and share the Good News with others. Students who understand the gospel see the importance of making disciples who make disciples. (For more teaching on the Great Commission or THE Cause, check out our Youth Group 2 Go Lesson, Kingdom and Cause.)Jesus is the drumbeat that every Gospel Advancing Ministry marches to. Click To Tweet
It’s all about Jesus
Coming up with a disciple multiplication strategy can sound complicated (especially if you are working as a part time youth leader or have been stagnant for some time). But take hope, because every single Gospel Advancing Ministry begins with a simple focus on Jesus. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your current programing, then take some time this week to just start fresh by focusing on Jesus and His gospel. Make it all about Jesus. If you want to have a disciple multiplication strategy that guides your ministry, then you have to stay focused on Christ.
The book of Acts captures God’s redemptive plan for humanity through the explosive power of the gospel; it shows how a ragtag group of Jesus followers can radically change people, groups and entire cities for Christ. Through these pages, we are invited to accomplish similar feats in the name of Christ. It’s time for us to lead Acts-type Gospel Advancing Ministries today and develop our own disciple multiplication strategy that works in our own unique context. That’s why we’re launching into a new Mobilize series in the weeks ahead that will unpack this important Gospel Advancing ingredient in greater depth. We want to help you with practical ideas for building this essential pillar into your ministry.