As you coach your students on the how-to’s of sharing their faith with their unreached friends, it helps to provide them with some structure that breaks the process down into bite-size pieces. Of course, the intent of providing some faith-sharing structure is NOT to “formula-ize” the evangelism process. Each searching soul is unique in how he or she responds to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and prodding, so “methods” or “formulas” are not the intent.
Plus, each believer who sets out to share the gospel will have their own unique sharing style that feels “right” for them, which is another reason to steer clear of a rigid formula. You’ll want to help your students discover how God has uniquely wired them to share their faith most effectively.
That said, I’ve found it immensely helpful to provide teenagers with a few small, easily-relatable steps along the faith-sharing road. It helps make the process of reaching out to their friends more concrete and approachable.
Using THE Cause Circle
THE Cause Circle is a simple tool that breaks the evangelism process down into more understandable, incremental sub-parts. The Circle’s three basic components—Pray with Passion, Pursue with Love and Persuade with Truth—are simply steps along the way that can help your students get a feel for the amazing privilege of introducing others to Jesus. This tool can make them more confident, purposeful and effective, and it gets them thinking about evangelism as both a mindset and a process.
The Circle’s initial step is simply to identify three friends they want to share the gospel with. This gets their “evangelism radar” turned on and tuned in to faith-sharing relationships and opportunities. But it’s the first of the three P’s (Pray-Pursue-Persuade) that really gets things moving spiritually.
Why Prayer is an Essential First Step
Prayer. Scripture assures us that something mysterious happens in the spiritual realm when we pray. And while our human reasoning can’t entirely wrap our minds around how prayer works, Jesus tells us to pray, and to pray specifically for God’s kingdom to come. That makes prayer the bedrock foundation for any spiritual endeavor we undertake. Prayer is so essential and powerful because it connects us to God—His presence, His power and His wisdom.
If you can get your teenagers praying for just a few of their unreached friends, all sorts of good things get set into motion—including the Holy Spirit’s work in hearts and minds! Plus, when your teens are praying for their friends regularly, it also serves as an internal prompt for them to consider and pray about their own role in the process of introducing their friends to Jesus.
Keep it Simple!
Everyone can pray! While your students need you to model prayer and encourage them to take praying for their unreached friends seriously, there are no secret passwords or magic formulas needed for praying with passion. All it takes is a heart for the lost and an authentic, honest and open conversation with God, begging Him for the souls of their friends. We’re to pray with childlike faith—which further reflects the pure and simple nature of this first step.
You’re the coach, so get your students familiar with THE Cause Circle (explain THE Cause, if they aren’t already familiar with this terminology). Encourage them to identify three friends they want to reach with Jesus’ message of grace, then get them started praying. If you want provide some more specific coaching for them on what and how to pray, here are some “prayer request” categories, compliments of the Apostle Paul, along with a Scriptural reference for each:
- Opportunities to share the gospel. “Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ” (Colossians 2:3).
- The hearts and souls of unreached friends. Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved (Romans 10:1)
- Reliance on the Holy Spirit. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
- The spiritual battle being waged as souls are being called out of darkness and into His marvelous light. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12).
- Boldness and wisdom. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike (Ephesians 6:19).
This week, nudge your teenagers toward praying regularly for their friends who need Jesus. Help them catch a glimpse of the ongoing—frequently incremental—process involved in sharing their faith. Let them know that whether seeing the gospel impact another’s soul takes 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years, prayer is a great first step on the journey!