The dynamic combo of our love for God and God’s love for us can meld together in our lives and ignite a powerful evangelism passion fuel. When Jesus has done so much for us, we should feel compelled to serve Him out of a deep love, right? And Jesus made it clear in Matthew 28: 18-20 that serving Him includes sharing His marvelous message with others and making disciples who make disciples.
So how do we fan into flame this “Love for God” type of motivational evangelism fuel in our teens and in our own hearts, as well?
Talking About What We Love
It’s only natural to share Jesus’ Good News if we are madly in love with Him and He has become everything to us.
When you think about it, sharing Jesus should be like anything else we’re passionate about. If we spend time with someone, before long they’re going to hear about the things we love. Like for me, if you hang with me, it won’t be long before you’ll hear about my wife, my kids, my favorite sports team, and so on. We talk with our friends about that which we love. And if we love God deeply, we’ll talk about Him. It’s only natural that we would want to share this relationship that has so profoundly changed our lives with others who need Him too.
Sometimes just recognizing that simple truth can free us up to be bolder and more courageous about sharing the gospel.
Leading Youth vs. Being a Youth Leader
I believe as a youth leader, you can play a vitally pivotal role in cultivating and unleashing
“love for God” as an evangelism passion fuel in your students—primarily by modeling it yourself. By nurturing a vibrant, passionate, loving relationship with Jesus in your own life, I believe you’ll find that serving Him by sharing His message can’t help but become a higher priority. Be open and transparent with your students about your attempts to share your faith because of your love for Jesus—telling them about the good, the bad and the ugly. As your students see this dimension of loving God lived out in your own life, they will begin to get it. You’ll be “leading your youth,” rather than just being a “youth leader.”
And let me stress that you don’t have to be an expert at evangelism to take the lead here, you just have to be one step ahead of your teenagers. In fact, they will often find your crash-and-burn-stories an intriguing motivator and may decide that if their poor youth leader can try his/her best and not worry about failing, then they can too!
Igniting the Passion
So here are a few ideas for some concrete steps you can take to cultivate this area of your life and unleash your teenagers for evangelism with this powerfully motivating passion fuel:
- Set aside some time this week to refresh your walk with Jesus and fall in love with Him again. Pull out your favorite Psalm and your favorite worship song and spend focused time with Jesus using these two worship avenues to take you deeper and higher in your love for Him.
- Once you’ve rekindled your love for God, let it overflow into the lives of those around you who need Jesus by sharing this life-changing relationship.
- Have your students make a list of all the things they are grateful to God for. Then challenge them to turn their gratitude to God into an overflowing love and use something on their list as a springboard for having a spiritual conversation with someone who doesn’t know Jesus. Ask everyone to report back next time on how their conversations went.
- Make evangelism a youth group priority during your weekly “Take 5 for THE Cause” time in your group meeting. Share your own story of your attempts to share your faith with others—whether the outcomes were good, bad or ugly.
Reignite your own love for God and then ignite this powerful evangelism passion fuel in the lives of your teenagers. As they fall in love with Jesus, they won’t be able to not share!