One of the more nerve-racking experiences for a student (and adults for that matter) is sharing their faith with others. I wish I was exempt from this feeling, but I’m not…neither am I exempt from sharing my faith simply because I’m afraid of what others will think of me. As someone who leans into the lives of students for a living, I believe I am supposed to help them, encourage them, and show them how we can help with the task of sharing the Gospel with those around us less terrifying.
I’m not about to offer a discipleship strategy or a message series on how to share the Gospel, but I do have a few ideas on ways we can encourage our students to make much of Jesus and share their faith with their friends without the use of “Jesus is my Homeboy” t-shirts (pet peeve…Jesus didn’t raise from the dead to be your homeboy…He did that to be your only hope for salvation).
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram…This is the world of a teenager and it is literally at their fingertips. It doesn’t take long to scroll down someone’s timeline to see what is important to them. Just look at their “instas” or read some of their retweets and you’ll pretty much know what’s going on in their lives. They’re an open book and they don’t even know it.
What if we helped students use these social media outlets as tools to invite their friends to church or promote what’s going to happen on a Wednesday night in your student ministry…or even share the Gospel. Create a special hashtag to promote a series or an event and encourage your students to tweet with that hashtag…for example:
Christ died, Christ rose, He’s coming again! #noONEgreater
It may be my naivety, but I believe we can use social media to make much of Jesus.
**Warning: This will work better if you avoid all the Facebook drama
GIVE YOUR STUDENTS SOMETHING TANGIBLE
Invite Cards: Do you have a special series coming up or an event, create a card and put it in the hands of students. Believe it or not, a few of them will actually hand them out. Handing out these cards may possibly begin a spiritual conversation where students can share the Gospel.
The LifeBook: This is a great FREE resource that students can take to school and hand to their friends and talk with them about the hope they have in Christ. It gives a brief synopsis of the Old Testament and then entire Gospel of John. It also includes answers that students may ask pertaining to different passages.
Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder. Encourage your students to continually invite people to your worship gatherings or events. I am not encouraging students to invite their friends to come and see anything, but do want them to invite their friends to come and know Jesus.
I’ve always been told, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” If this is the case then I want students squeaking all over the place. The likelihood of guests just showing up are slim…your chances are better if they are invited.
REMIND THEM THEY ARE SENT
Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are a sent people, and the best way to be sent is to live sent. When we believe in Christ, the commission of Christ is grafted into our spiritual DNA. It’s more that what we are supposed to do, it’s who we are supposed to be. If we are going to encourage students to live sent, then it’s up to us to help them overcome the anxiety that may come with sharing that salvation comes through Jesus alone in a world that believes there’s more than one way to get anywhere.
Train your students…help your students…send your students.
How are you encouraging and helping students live sent where you are?