Deep down inside every youth leader is a desire to see their youth ministry grow—and not just spiritually. We want to see our youth rooms filled with students so that we can continue to share the gospel and disciple new believers. Yet there is a difficult question that all youth leaders are aware of: How can the gospel compete with the world?
There are so many distractions pulling at each teen. Some good… some bad. They have their friends, films, video games, dating relationships, parties and social acceptability. Bottle this together with the inherent struggle of sin and a culture that doesn’t respect Christianity and you have the perfect recipe of resistance from youth group.
Try This! ❯
During this next season, schedule an outreach event for your students. Give them an opportunity to live externally.
The temptation is to try to appear more like the world. But in an effort to appeal to students, youth ministries can run the risk of watering down the gospel message or, in some cases, treat the gospel like an afterthought. So how then does a youth ministry grow in all the right ways? Simple, realize that the church cannot compete with the world. BUT! The world cannot compete with the church!
Here are three reasons the world cannot compete with the church.
1. The need for God is in our DNA
Your students need the gospel. In fact, their souls are desperately craving to find meaning and life that only the gospel can provide. It’s in their DNA; every person who has lived and who will ever live has one thing in common: they are the product of God’s design. This means that every person has the fingerprint of God inside of him or her. The world can try to send everything it has to satisfy this need, but, in the end, the gospel is the only thing that can satisfy the soul.
Live in this truth. When you give a message to your teenagers remember that you aren’t selling them on gimmick-gospel, but providing a soul-restoring message. Don’t be concerned about the results. There are moments in my own youth ministry when I feel as if I am doing a poor job delivering the gospel message (if you ever struggle with delivering the gospel message, try memorizing the GOSPEL acrostic), yet despite my own insecurities or shortcomings people get saved! These moments remind me that it really isn’t my own efforts that draw people to the Lord, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 6:44). The world cannot compete with the Holy Spirit.
2. Christians do it better
Being a Christian is like playing soccer downhill—you just can’t miss. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of him or her (Ezekiel 36:27). Scripture reminds us: “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). God in His sovereignty has already made the arrangements; you just have to be faithful to show up. Live this out by thinking of ways to push the envelope by dreaming big and challenging your students. Plan an outreach event with your teenagers. They may find it uncomfortable at first, but remember that God already made the plans so let Him be responsible for the results.The gospel is never going out of style. Click To Tweet
3. The gospel is never going out of style.
Most trends within culture are just that—trends. They are here one moment and gone the next. The secular world cannot provide the everlasting treasures that God offers. Don’t be afraid to do things that are counter-cultural if they have spiritual significance. For instance, on a recent mission trip I led, I took all of the students’ cell phones and told them that we would be focusing on serving and spending time with one another. They were mortified as I snatched their phones and squashed their dreams of playing Pokémon Go. They awkwardly did not know what to do, but as we like to say at Dare 2 Share, “Awkward is awesome!” Soon enough, the students were hanging out, laughing and singing songs with one another. No one missed their phone because we offered something better—Christ centered community.
Christians cannot compete with the world because they are in a whole other league. The God of the universe who overcame this world stands in our corner as we engage others with the gospel. There is no way to compete with that. With God, the gospel will advance because there is inherent power in its very message. Hold onto these reasons and watch your ministry grow in all the right ways.