Getting teenagers to share the Gospel with their peers may seem like a daunting task. But when teens begin sharing their faith they begin growing in their faith. Why? Because the social risk involved forces them to trust in God, die to themselves (and how their peers perceive them), and walk in obedience to the Father.
So how can you get teenagers to share their faith? Here are 7 simple ideas:
1. Teach them to share their story.
At Dare 2 Share we use a simple method called "Before-Then-After." Have your teenagers answer the question, "What was your life like before you met Jesus?" Then have them share the "then"..."then a friend invited me to youth group"...or..."then my parents explained to me the message of Jesus"...or...."then I read the book of John in the Bible and it clicked." Finally, have them share what their life has been like after they put their trust in Jesus.
2. Give them a faith-sharing app to use.
At Dare 2 Share we developed the Life in 6 Words app which is an amazingly simple way for teenagers to share their faith. They simply ask a peer which six words on the app's opening screen would best describe their life. They then ask them why they chose those words. Finally, they ask them if they could share with them how the Bible may describe life in 6 Words. If their friend is open they can swipe through the Gospel presentation with Bible verses on some beautifully illustrated screenshots. The app is free on iTunes or GooglePlay.
3. Teach them to "Ask, Admire and Admit."
When our teenagers learn how to ask good questions to get to know someone and then transition to asking spritual questions to discover where they are at spiritually, walls begin to break down. Then they find what they can admire in their belief system. Instead of looking for areas of difference have them look for areas of commonality. This builds bridges instead of burning them. Finally, they admit the reason they are a Christian is that they are so messed up they needed Jesus to save them. After that they have opened up a door to share their story and the Gospel story. For more training on this, click here.
4. Show them how to "Salt" Gospel conversations.
Dare 2 Share has developed a series of Gospel conversation starting videos called "SALT." They come complete with a training curriculum so that youth leaders can equip their teens to use them with their friends.
Here's a sample of one taken from our YouTube Channel:
Teenagers can post one of the SALT videos on their Facebook page and navigate the Gospel conversations that erupt as a result. The curriculum does a fabulous job of helping you prepare them for these important conversations.
5. Have them text a friend a question.
- "Do you believe in God?"
- "Do you have a spiritual background?"
- "Do you go to church anywhere?"
- "Have you ever wondered about the meaning of life?"
Questions like this are great opportunities for teenagers to begin Gospel conversations with their peers. You can coach them how to navigate the dialogue that are sure to ensue as a result of these kinds of questions.
6. "Gospelize" a service project.
Coordinate a local service project and make sure it has a faith sharing component to it. Too often we have an either/or mentality when it comes to outreach. It's either service projects or evangelistic outreaches. But Jesus did both. Jesus healed both bodies and souls. He provided both bread and the Bread of Life. He gave both earthly and eternal hope.
Challenge all of your participating teenagers to engage in at least one full Gospel conversation in whatever outreach project you choose to do. After all there is no lasting justice without Jesus.
7. Take them through Shine.
Last summer I was part of a film project called "Shine." This six week faith sharing curriculum was filmed in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado with six Christian teenagers from across the United States. In this high energy "reality series(esque)" setting, we combined extreme activities (from rock climbing to wake boarding on a cold mountain lake to mountain biking down a huge mountain on steep dirt trails) and honest conversation to train teenagers how to naturally navigate a Gospel conversation.
Here's a preview...
What are some other ideas/resources/tools to get believing teenagers sharing "the greatest story ever told that's hardly ever told"?
Leave your ideas in the comments section below!