At Dare 2 Share we use a teaching strategy that we call "Why? What? How? Now!" We didn't sit down and try to create this technique to train arenas full of teenagers and keep their attention for a weekend. It just kind of evolved over twenty years of trial and error.
Here it is...
Why? The opening night of our events seeks to answer these caliber of "why" questions: Why should you be serious abour reaching your friends for Jesus? Why is it important to reach them as soon as possible? Why should you risk everything to introduce your friends to Jesus Christ?
Evangelism is a difficult and intimidating task so it takes a divine urgency and holy compassion to compel young hearts to take it seriously. If there is no motivation stirred in the souls of these teenagers on Friday night it is extremely difficult to get them to mentally stay in the room the next day. But if teenagers are truly energized at their cores with the need to share the gospel you can't hold them back or keep them quiet about Jesus.
In whatever you teach make sure you start with motivation. We have a saying at Dare 2 Share, "Grab the heart and the brain will follow." Use real stories from life and raw truth from God's Word to motivate teenagers to action.
What? After teengers have been fully motivated then it's time to teach them the theology of the Gospel. That's right, I used the words "theology" and "teenagers" in the same sentence. I have found that teenagers who are pumped up to share their faith have no problem sitting through a theology talk about the good news of Jesus. If anything they are more intrigued by it than ever. Why? Because they understand why it's important!
Teach Biblical truth to your teens. Use interactive questions, movie clips and sketches to drive it home but teach solid and powerful passages that force teens to think, wrestle and consider what it means to be a follower of Christ.
How? After we equip teens in the theology of the Gospel we train them how to share it in a relational way. We train them with opening questions, how to share their own faith stories and how to deal with objections. This segment of our training weekend is interactive and heavy into practicing and role-playing evangelistic conversations.
Do more than teach students truth train them how to put it into practice. Think of yourself as a coach more than a lecturer. A good coach teaches theory and then helps his/her players put it into practice in hands on and effective ways.
NOW! After teenagers get their motivation (Why?), information (What?) and application (How?) its time to get them to do something NOW! How do we do this at Dare 2 Share conferences? We have them break out their cell phones and text or call their friend and engage them in spiritual conversations right there. And what's crazy is...they do! When the teens do something NOW they have an immediacey and excitement about the theology of the Gospel they just learned and see it's power in action as they engage their friends with the message of Jesus.
Whatever you teach make sure you give teens a way to put it into practice right then. In our Westernized culture we love graphs and information but shun the grit and grime of immediate application. It's time for us to teach our teens to "be doers of the Word and not hearers only" (James 1:22.)
Why? What? How? NOW!