Monday, May 14, 2012


Evangelism is one of those words that I think just scares people to death!  I also think it’s one of those practices that we shy away from.


If Matthew 28 is our commission to reach the world for Christ, then why are we not doing it?

Students sit by passively and watch their friends make bad decisions, and we are screaming at them to step up and share their faith!

But let's be honest, the very thing that we are calling them to do, we are avoiding in our lives as well.

To give you a little bit of background on myself, I do not like evangelism. I'm a discipler.  Evangelism frightens me beyond belief.  I get nervous, I get butterflies, I would much rather sit in a small group with a bunch of Christians playing “Catch Phrase,” because it’s safe. But I know that it is necessary.

Christians aren’t called to safety. So with that mission in mind, how can we prioritize evangelism in youth ministry?

Here is what I did.
I incorporated it right into our weekly programming.  It’s not rocket science.

Dream with me for a second.

Envision your student ministry, and basic weekly programming.

If you are like most student ministries in America, you play some games, give out some snacks, have a short little Bible study, and call it a night.

What I did, and I didn’t stray too far away from this already established model, I simply made evangelism a priority in our programming.

The first week of the month we would host a “Big Event.” The purpose of this Big Event was to cultivate relationships with students who don’t attend our church on a regular basis. We wanted to party with them.  Church doesn’t look like “Seventh Heaven,” which is how most people view church. Our goal is to show visitors that hanging out with Christians can be a good time!

The key to “Big Events” is follow up. Make sure you have some way of contacting and connecting with the new students that were at your “Big Event” so that you can get to know them better.  If a student took a risk and stepped into the unknown of your ministry, you better be able to take a risk and step into the environment of your visiting students to follow up.

Then the next 3 or 4 weeks of that month, during your main meeting time, teach on an issue with outsiders in mind.  Whether it is on the relevance of Scripture, choices, Why bad things happen, or an apologetics message. Make your weekly meeting time fun, and relevant. Your goal is to get the “Big Event” visitors to your weekly meeting time, and to make you weekly meeting time high enough quality that they are interested in returning.

Evangelism flows naturally from this model if your mindset in preparing your teachings is for those who don’t know Christ. It also takes away a little bit of the fear, since you’ve already hopefully made a relationship with them through your “Big Event.”

Come back tomorrow to read how we balance evangelism with community, and don't lose sight of discipleship in our youth ministry.

What have you done in your life and ministry to incorporate evangelism? 

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