Evangelism can be weird for students. I felt like a salesman trying to share my faith when I was in school. And not just any salesman, but a salesman who sells things people don't know they want or even need.
A perfect example of this is the person at the kiosk booths at the mall. They pace up and down talking to people who aren't paying them any attention. Trying to sell them something they didn't even come to the mall to get is arduous.
I used to feel that way when I would have to go out and share my faith. I would think to myself, "These people don't want to hear what I have to say." It wasn't until I got older that I understood that it would always be about sharing something with people who don't know they need it.
Now, I personally believe God uses a lot of different ways to share His message through us. I will never say one way is better. Because in some way or another God uses them all. But in this post, I want to discuss evangelizing through relationship.
While I wouldn't say it's better, I will say it's my favorite when it comes to teaching students how to evangelize to their friends. Evangelism through relationships teaches students three things:
1. It reinforces the main point of the gospel, which is God's longing to be in relationship with us.
2. It helps students not see the person being evangelized as a project or a deal needing closing, but a person God loves.
3. It helps them speak through their own relationship with God, and from their own story and experiences that can't be disputed.
Therefore, here are the four steps I like to walk students through when it comes to sharing there faith with their friends:
1. Teach them to know the gospel. Have you ever lead someone to a destination you didn't know the directions to? I'm guessing your answer is NO. Well, it's the same when it comes to sharing our faith. You have to know how you got to where you are in order to show people how to get there.
2. Teach them to know their story. A lot of times students are paralyzed by fear because they don't know what to say. So I'll have students write their story out using a template if needed. And it will be about how God has changed their life. They will use this information to share the gospel. I've learned that people are more interested in hearing what God has done in your life, than just hearing what He can possibly do in theirs. So teach them to know their story.
3. Teach them to get to know their friends' stories. A lot of times we know people and are friends with them, but we never engage in any conversations concerning the issues of life. So it's important they know you care about the details of their life, because you are modeling how much God cares about them. Also, you have to earn the right to speak into their life, the same way people have to earn the right to speak into yours. We do that through getting to know who they are. Learning someone else's journey is the quickest way to grow in relationship with that person. Get to know their story.
4. Teach them to understand the gospel and how it intersects with their story. The gospel becomes more real once you understand how it applies to you. For the most part, we are most comfortable talking about ourselves. It's important that we don't just know the verses and the right christianized language. We need to understand the gospel in light of how it relates to our story. And there is a confidence that comes to the one who understands this point.
I hope this helps.
Aaron Crumbey oversees Pastoral Care for the high-school ministry at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. He cares deeply about sharing Christ with students and seeing them reach their full potential in Christ.
For the original article, visit simplyyouthministry.com.
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