One of the best things to ever happen to youth group game time was the advent of Minute to Win It games—you know, the ones where players have 60 seconds to perform some entertaining physical challenge that can result in triumph, embarrassment, and/or food being grossly mishandled. The key to winning usually hinges on understanding the limitations of the situation (mostly time), and adjusting your approach accordingly. Similarly, if you and your students don’t adjust your approach when sharing the Gospel, you might not experience much success.
In the Bible, we see different styles used to share the Gospel. At Dare 2 Share, we’ve categorized these styles into four areas, as you see in the chart below.
To help your students make the most of their sharing styles, first identify your own. Which comes most naturally to you? What are the limitations of that style? For example, if you tend to use a buddy approach, it might not be very effective in the minute or two you have to talk to a cashier. Then, determine your second-strongest style.
Next, help your students identify and develop their strongest and secondary styles. It might help to explore with them the way Jesus shared. In the Gospels, you’ll see He utilized all of these styles and adjusted His approach depending on the situation.
For example, He was quite a talker at the home of Martha and Mary or with the Samaritan woman at the well. He was leaning into His shocker style when he told the rich, young ruler: “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me” (Luke 18:22). Jesus was a buddy to Zacchaeus and all those He healed, and He was often a brain with the Pharisees.
As we grow to be more like Jesus, it’s great to develop and deepen our ability to share the Good News by challenging ourselves—and our students—to use a different approach. Try this to help them practice:
- Come up with a variety of Gospel-conversation scenarios: a friend who just received some bad news, an outreach event at the park, with a server at a restaurant, a neighbor who needs help, a cashier, etc.
- Split students into pairs. Have them decide which approach would work best for each situation, and then role-play using that style to have a Gospel conversation.
Keep in mind that the process of identifying and then expanding approaches will likely be a challenge, but with time and multiple opportunities to practice throughout the year, it can help your students and leaders become increasingly comfortable and effective in sharing the good news of Jesus.
Then Take the Challenge
To “win it”: Complete the following task in 60 seconds (or maybe 60 hours?).
- Within the next 60 hours, find a situation and a person you think would respond best to your secondary sharing style and share the Gospel with them.
- Next, challenge your students to do the same.