I once went flying with my buddy, Vince, but when Vince first invited me to join him for a joy ride in the skies over Houston, I was a little nervous. You see, Vince had just gotten his pilot’s license—plus, he acknowledged that he hadn’t yet passed his instrument rating test. I wasn’t exactly sure what the implications were for this little disclaimer about his flying certification, but his caveat wasn’t particularly confidence-inducing.
Yet, even though I was a bit nervous about him being a newbie pilot, in the end, the only thing I really wanted to know was whether or not he could fly the plane from takeoff to touch down. He assured me he could. So up into the wild, blue yonder we soared. Granted, he threw in a few intentional wing dips to freak me out, and the landing was a bit bumpy, but thankfully, I lived to tell about my adventure!
Equipping Your Students from Take Off to Touch Down
This leads me to Key #4 in our energize series about the “5 Keys to Nurturing a Faith-Sharing Focus.” Key #4 is equip, and my whole flying experience with Vince reminded me of the sometimes bumpy process of equipping our teenagers to share their faith. Think of it like this:
- Bringing God up in a conversation is the takeoff.
- Talking about Jesus’s gospel of grace is when you hit cruising altitude and cover the distance.
- Turbulence is when people want to debate or argue about Jesus.
- Landing is wrapping up a gospel conversation, and seeing which “landing strip” the other person wants to touch down on.
Can your students navigate a gospel conversation from take off to touch down? Do they know how to bring up the good news? Do they know how to explain the gospel? Do they know how to deal with the turbulence that happens when someone wants to argue? Do they know how to bring a person to a point of decision? (“Yes,” “No,” or “I need more time.”) Dare 2 Share stands ready to help you—both with free resources AND training opportunities like Dare 2 Share LIVE, along with books and curriculum. Here are just a few examples of resources you can tap into as you equip your teenagers for God-talk with their peers.
- Take Off: Get your students comfortable with the “take off” by using a simple process called “Ask, Admire, Admit.” Ask great questions, admire what you can about what they believe, and admit that you’re a sinner saved by God’s grace. Familiarize your students with the various questions and compliments available on our website that they can use to spiritually engage others. And if you’re looking for a great youth group curriculum that trains your students for “take off,” check out Dare 2 Share’s Salt.
- Flying: Equip your students to explain the gospel to someone conversationally in a clear and compelling way. At Dare 2 Share, we use the GOSPEL acrostic to help student learn how to clearly and concisely explain Jesus’s message of grace. D2S’s Lifein6Words.com website is also a great seeker friendly tool that students can go to with their friends who don’t know Jesus. For a deeper dive into gospel fluency with your students, I strongly recommend our award-winning curriculum Life in 6 Words: The GOSPEL Explored.
- Turbulence: Sometimes students encounter questions when they share their faith that they just don’t know how to handle. Empower them with the helpful phrase: “I don’t know, but I’ll find out. Let’s talk again soon.” Familiarize them with the helpful website gotquestions.org, or pick up a copy of D2S’s GOSPEL Journey Maui reality series—which conversationally dives into many of the “big” life questions young people are asking.
- Landing: Wrapping up a gospel conversation can be one of the toughest components of sharing your faith. Equip your student with these two critical questions they can ask as they seek to “land the plane”:
- Did what I say make sense? (If not, explain the gospel again, or follow up with further research and conversation.)
- Is there anything holding you back from trusting in Jesus right now? (Check out the book Dare 2 Share: A Field Guide to Sharing Your Faith that has an entire chapter dedicated to this topic.)
The free Dare 2 Share or Life in 6 Words apps can also help your teenagers get equipped to share their faith. Encourage them to download the apps and go over the material that covers each of the areas I mentioned above. Plus, taking your students to Dare 2 Share LIVE at one of our 72 locations near you is also a fantastic way to ignite a faith-sharing focus in your teens.
Equip your teenagers to fly their plane! Then challenge them to take a friend who needs Jesus flying—because lives depend upon it.