Your adult and student leaders can be your greatest allies in a Gospel Advancing ministry. But getting them on board can feel like nailing Jell-O to a wall. It often takes time and patience to help others see it, grasp it, and go for it. But it’s so worth it!
Not everyone on your team may yet have that “holy discontent” to see the Gospel advance because, well, they’re probably content. This is where I love the saying: “A vision is not taught, but caught.” Just as with a contagious virus, you can “infect,” influence, and inspire your leaders when the transforming power of the Gospel is activated in your personal life and ministry. Here’s how:
1. Equip through training.
Sometimes the best way to inspire is in what you require! Don’t be shy about setting a high standard for your leaders, especially when it comes to sharing the Good News. Creating the climate for the entire ministry starts with the core. Consider putting in a place the expectation that every new and existing leader will participate in an evangelism training class. Maybe you can have a standing rhythm of these trainings open to anyone every quarter, or as needed. Check out the training Takeoff to Touchdown as a potential tool to motivate and mobilize your leaders with the Gospel message.
2. Hit the streets.
I recommend planning a “graduation” for each evangelism training course that is simply an activation: going out together and sharing the Gospel in your community! There’s a great monthly outreach opportunity already in motion that you can plug into called Go Share Day. The last Saturday of each month, youth groups across the globe go out together and share the Gospel in their own communities. Check out goshareday.org for more info. It’s a great way to equip your leaders for outreach and position them to lead the way for others to embrace it as well. Often the biggest obstacles for personal evangelism are fear and not knowing how. Requiring a training and outreach like this for every leader will help them overcome these hurdles, building Gospel boldness and ability into their DNA, and ultimately into that of your entire youth ministry.
3. Story time!
It’s common to kick off leadership meetings with prayer, but what about adding another element as well? Open each session by praying specifically for unbelievers in your collective Cause Circles, and then have your leaders (starting with you!) share stories of Gospel conversations they’ve engaged in. This will create a culture of accountability when comes to sharing the Gospel.
To get things started, try tasking a different leader each time you meet with sharing how they’ve engaged in a Gospel conversation recently. But even if you’re the only one who participates for a while, when your team sees your commitment to personal evangelism, they’ll eventually follow your lead and catch the evangelism fever.
Developing a team of Gospel Advancing leaders around you will not only accelerate your ministry, but it will also provide a boost of biblical encouragement and prayer support for each leader’s faith-sharing journey, including your own. I’m reminded of the words of the apostle Paul when he called on his “team” for prayer support to sharpen his faith-sharing focus:
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” –Ephesians 6:19-20
These simple, practical ways to empower and equip your team can create an atmosphere in which your team also inspires and influences you, as together you fearlessly and fluently march the Gospel forward in your community!