Why Isn’t Gospel Advancing “Working”? - Dare 2 Share
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

Why Isn’t Gospel Advancing “Working”?

Unlock the power of all 7 Values with this one simple weekly activity.



“I’m so frustrated. I’ve been trying to implement the 7 Values for months now, and it just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It makes sense on paper, but students don’t really seem to be sharing, my leaders aren’t getting it, and we haven’t had anyone put their trust in Jesus.”

In my youth pastor days, when I first started implementing Gospel Advancing values into my ministry, I shared these frustrations with my spouse on multiple occasions. I was trying so hard and slowly changing the details of our programming, vision, and leader meetings according to what I had learned, but still there was no obvious “fruit.”


To be honest, this lack of results led me to question if there was something wrong with me, our students, or our church. Maybe it just wasn’t going to work for us, and maybe I needed to give up. I decided to give my youth ministry career and Gospel Advancing one last chance by signing up for Lead THE Cause (LTC), and it was there that God showed me the crucial thing I’d been missing: weekly testimony time.

After we returned from LTC, every week we prioritized a designated testimony time for students and leaders to share how it was going in our efforts to pray for, care for, and share with the people in our Cause Circles. We called it Pause for the Cause (some people prefer to call it Take 5 for the Cause), and it gave us space to share both successes and missed opportunities we had in our interactions with people. The difference this made was incredible.


I knew before attending Lead THE Cause that testimony time was important, but there were several reasons why we still didn’t do it every week:

  • It didn’t seem to fit into some of the programs we regularly did (like small group nights or special events).

  • If we had new students attending, I worried they’d feel like a project if they heard about our students’ endeavors to share the Gospel.

  • I didn’t want this time to go too long and ruin the plans I had for the rest of the night.

  • I thought doing it once a month or “every now and then” was enough to be effective.

  • I was nervous that students would go off topic, say something inappropriate, or explain biblical things incorrectly once I handed them the microphone. We’ve all had this happen!

  • And the biggest one: I was afraid we wouldn’t have a story every week, and the terrible awkwardness of that moment would be unawesome at best and discouraging to me and the whole group at worst.


Although some of the above points are valid, what we found is that the benefits of incorporating Pause for the Cause every week far outweighed these fears and concerns, because it ultimately created a cultural shift that would have been nearly impossible without it.

When we did this, we began to see momentum and confidence build, as more and more leaders and students realized that this wasn’t temporary—this was who we were now—and so they bought into it and took it seriously. With this weekly “huddle” time, we began to feel more and more like a team, and the whole group started looking forward to hearing how God had moved among us.

Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, I’ve recently realized that every single one of the 7 Values comes together in a powerful way when you commit to this weekly habit—and perhaps that’s what makes this ritual so crucial. Here’s how they connect:

1. Intercessory prayer fuels it. As part of Pause for the Cause, after someone shares a story of a person they’re trying to reach with the Gospel, you can have someone else pray for that person’s salvation.

2. Relational evangelism drives it. These stories will encourage the rest of the group to see the value and effectiveness of sharing the Gospel in a relational way.

3. Leaders fully embrace and model it. As leaders (including yourself) share their stories, students and other leaders will begin to catch the vision more and more. Pro tip: For the first few months, be prepared to tell a story about your own faith-sharing attempts, and cue up a few adult and student leaders to do the same, in case there are “crickets.”

4. A disciple multiplication strategy guides it. Encourage students to share stories of how they helped other Christians share the Gospel also. As Pause for the Cause continues, it will naturally lead to more disciples being multiplied.

5. A bold vision focuses it. Introduce Pause for the Cause each week to quickly remind the whole group of your bold vision and why it matters. Pro Tip: Even if only one person shares each week, you can encourage the group with how God cares for every person.

 6. Biblical outcomes measure it. As stories are shared, have a designated student or adult leader who keeps track (using the Life in 6 Words app or some other method) of the number of times students are prayed for (be sure to include the prayer that happens right there during Pause for the Cause), cared for, and shared with.

 7. Ongoing programs reflect it. Because Pause for the Cause reflects all the values, having it as a designated part of your weekly program automatically takes care of this one.

About a year after making Pause for the Cause a part of our weekly programming, I forgot to do it one night. We had a busy night planned, and I just missed it. What a joy it was when a student shouted out: “Aren’t we going to do Pause for the Cause?” And then another one: “Yeah, I have a story to share.” With a smile on my face, I said: “You’re right! Let’s do it right now.” My message might have gotten cut short that night, but my ultimate goal of reaching and discipling students did not.

Are you ready to kick down the roadblocks in your path and commit to a weekly time of sharing stories of advancing the Gospel?

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