Evangelism Myth #12: We need to adjust the gospel message to make it more appealing to a postmodern generation.
The gospel message just doesn’t work anymore. I mean, let’s face it, teen culture today is more saturated, sophisticated and skeptical than back when we were kids.
So how can the seemingly dated gospel message possibly compete in a wired world of information overload populated by the likes of Google, Facebook and nonstop texting? How can a Middle Eastern carpenter who lived 2,000 years ago be expected to face off against a shiny new iPhone? We clearly have to change the gospel up some to make it more appealing.
Have You Lost Your Faith in the Power of the Gospel?
This is the insidious nature of e-myth #12, which purports that we need to adjust the gospel message to somehow make it more appealing to a postmodern generation.
Now maybe you wouldn’t come right out and phrase it this blatantly, but maybe, just maybe, it’s time to do a reality check to see if you’ve experienced a subtle shift in your beliefs and behaviors. Is there any level at which e-myth #12 has crept into your ministry approach? Are you living like you’ve lost your faith in the sheer power of the gospel message?
For example, if you really believed in the gospel’s power, wouldn’t you be building a gospel presentation into every ministry event you plan? Wouldn’t you make motivating and mobilizing your students to share this message with their friends an urgent, ongoing priority?
As I travel the nation, I see Christians – especially adults – who have lost their faith in the ability of the simple gospel message to truly transform lives. Most sing about its power on Sunday morning, but it’s only lip service. They don’t carry that melodic confidence into their day-to-day lives and relationships.
But I refuse to be discouraged. And let me tell you why – because I have the privilege of training tens of thousands of Christian teenagers to share the gospel message each year. What I see in the eyes of these teenagers is a hunger. They believe in the power of the gospel of Jesus. They don’t quite know why it works; they just know that it works. So much so, that when I challenge them to grab their cell phones and take a risk by calling or texting their friends in order to start the conversation about Jesus right away, they do it.
It is awesome to watch them suddenly “get” the power of the gospel message and the urgency of evangelism.
Our Relational God
Over and over I hear the stories of souls saved and lives transformed by Jesus’ message of grace. It’s clear that the gospel needs no postmodern adjustments. A relationship with God, through the faith in Christ, changes everything.
That’s why we train students to have dialogues, not monologues, as they launch into spiritual conversations with their friends. We coach them to be sensitive to the person they are talking with, so that they can adjust the way they communicate with different audiences without compromising the gospel message itself. Just like the apostle Paul adjusted the way he presented the gospel to the Greeks (the end of Acts 17) from the way he shared the gospel with the Jews (the first part of Acts 17).
Becoming a Leader Worth Following
So I’ve got to ask you. Are you sharing the gospel? Both within your youth ministry and outside of it? Are you leading the way and modeling your conviction that there’s transforming power in the gospel message?
If you want to amp up this area of your life and ministry, here are a few free resources that will help get you started:
- Live THE Cause Web Resources. Go to THE Cause webpage for free training and tools to help you and your teens learn to share the gospel in a clear and compelling way.
- “How to Reach…” Worldview Web Resources. Checkout the “How to Reach…” section of the Dare 2 Share website. It’s packed with helpful insights on how to reach thirteen different spiritual belief systems (Mormons, Deists and Atheists and more).
It’s time to purge any possible permutation of e-myth #12 from your approach to youth ministry. Put the gospel of Christ front and center in all you do and get ready to see God transform the hearts and lives of teenagers through its power!