Life is full of things none of us are particularly crazy about—for your students this includes heading back to school.
For most teens, classes, teachers and homework aren’t particularly high on their list of fun activities. But check out what the Apostle Paul had to say about life when he was facing something tough—jail:
And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. . . And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ (Phil. 1:12, 14).
If the Apostle Paul could view being thrown in jail as an opportunity for sharing the gospel, maybe you can help your students see school with new eyes—Gospel Advancing eyes!
Here are four steps that will help your students begin to see school as their mission field.
Start with prayer and ask for help from the Holy Spirit as you launch into this new school year! A great, highly-visual way of doing this might include inviting your adult and student leaders for a prayer walk around each school represented in your youth group.
Try This! ❯
Challenge your students to invite one unreached friend to youth group this next week.
Cast a vision that helps your students see their school as their year-round mission trip. God has placed them in their specific school this year for a big and important purpose: to be light for Christ and reach others with Jesus’ love and message of grace. For help amping up your students motivation and training when it comes to relational evangelism, get your group signed up for Dare 2 Share LIVE on September 23rd! Learn more here about this exciting student simulcast event that’s happening at 72 site across the country.
Collaborate with your students to set a collective goal for your group to have “x” number of gospel conversation before the end of the school year. Then find a concrete, visual way of tracking your group’s progress toward that goal. For example, one youth leader bought a 700-piece jigsaw puzzle to represent the group’s goal of 700 gospel conversations in one school year. Over the year, as gospel conversations occurred, puzzle pieces were dropped into place each Wednesday night. By the end of the year, the puzzle was finished because the students had met their collective goal for conversations about Jesus with their unreached friends.
Encourage your students to invite their friends out to group. One of the easiest, least threatening ways for your students to stick their toe into the shallow end of the “gospel conversation pool” is to simply invite their unreached friends out to youth group. It’s a great first step! (As long as you, as the youth leader, are intentional about giving the gospel every week! Just take your lesson topic and make a salvation segue to the cross.)
Coach your students on how to take casual conversations and naturally turn them into an invitation to youth group. Here are a few examples of ways your students can redirect these kinds of early-in-the-school-year conversations toward God.
- Encourage them to talk about their schedules and extra-curricular plans for the new school year with their unreached friends. Ask how the other person goes about deciding how to spend their time. This may open the door for your students to talk about how important Jesus is to them and why.
- Coach your students on how to ask another person what they think of church. Listening well as an unchurched student responds to this question is critically important! But listening intently often opens the door to being able to share one’s own experience about church AND about Jesus. Near the end of this kind of conversation, take the risk and invite the other person to visit youth group at least once, so they can check it out first-hand.
Do your students see school as an opportunity to share Jesus? Click To Tweet
The start of the new school year is an opportunity for new beginnings—a time for taking on new activities like youth group. So challenge your students to step up and invite their unchurched friends out for youth group where they can make new friends, have some fun and explore spiritual truths about God. And remember to coach your current students on how to welcome new comers into your youth group. For help with this, check out 3 Keys to Creating a Visitor-Friendly Youth Group.
Don’t wait until students’ schedules are overflowing with other commitments and past due homework. Start the school year by challenging your teens to see school with new eyes—Gospel Advancing eyes!
Want more practical advice on mobilizing your teens to share the gospel? All of our Mobilize stories offer great ideas for training your students and building a Gospel Advancing Ministry. Sign up here to receive this free, hands-on resource in your inbox!