Importance of Evangelism

Teaching “evangelism” to your students. . . . Strikes fear into many youth pastors. Unless of course, you have the gift of evangelism. Then you teach and train this on a regular basis. But if you’re like the average youth leader, it’s not that you don’t believe in evangelism, or that you don’t want to teach it, or that you don’t want to see kids come to Christ. No, in fact, that’s one of the main reasons you got into the ministry to start with. The issue often lies with the fact that evangelism is really not a discipline to be taught, it’s a by-product of a life surrendered to Christ. Oh sure, you can teach the Biblical mandate, the commands, the theological reasoning, and even the many methods to share the faith, yet the real heart of the matter comes down to motivation. A person can hear teaching and methods constantly, but if there is no motivation to share the Good News with others, then it really is a moot point. So, how do you create an environment of motivation in your students?

First, pray. Pray regularly that they will fall more in love with Jesus. We talk about what we love. If they love Him, they will share Him. Sure, some more than others, but more than anything, their lives will begin to reflect Him and cause questions among their peers.

Secondly, teach it. Students do need to know what Scripture says about sharing their faith.

Third, show them how. One of the simplest and best methods is having them write out their testimony. Have them answer these questions/finish these statements.
—Tell what your life was like before asking Jesus into your heart.
—Tell how you were introduced to Him. How did you come to know Him?
—Share what He has done in your life since you began a personal relationship with Him.

Encourage your students to be able to share their story in three to five minutes. Have them get into pairs or trios and share their story with each other. Practicing on a “friendly” audience helps make the first real situation a little easier.

Lastly, give them a resource, a tool, to help in situations where someone is interested in knowing more about the Gospel. This is really the best way to use a tract—to take someone through the Scriptures and the plan of salvation after you have shared your own story and faith walk. Then, also, a tract is a great resource to leave with someone, because it gives them the way to Jesus, with or without you. If the person you have shared with is alone and the Lord moves in his/her heart, he/she can pray right then and know what to do.

The bottom line for each of us is “evangelism” is sharing a love story—from God to man and from His heart to your heart, then from you to your own circle of influence. Each of your students has their own circle. You may never get a chance to speak into that circle, but they do every day. Teach them, train them, equip them, show them how to share their faith. Then pray for boldness and opportunity for them. Your students will then become well-trained stewards to share their own story of faith.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to
everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. —1 Peter 3:15a