Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Show and Tell: Tell

This "Show and Tell" series is all about evangelism and junior high ministry.

In my eighth-grade-boys small group this past Sunday, we were talking about sharing the Gospel with our friends. They agreed that sharing the Gospel was important, but nearly none of them had talked about their faith with a friend in the past year. They said it would be awkward or they were unsure how their friends would react.

Then one kid asked me a brutally honest question: "when was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone outside of church?"

My long-delayed response betrayed the conviction I was feeling in my heart. I replied that I had shared at a basketball camp two years ago in Portland, but the more I've thought about it, even that moment was church-related (i.e. I was the camp speaker). I realized that I don't talk about the Gospel outside of the church building or programmed events nearly enough. (It doesn't negate the fact that I've shared the Gospel countless times since then, it's just that every one of those moments has been in a "programmed" context like youth group, not a "life" context like over the dinner table.)

In Evangelism Remixed, the authors make a great point: "We're convinced evangelism is at least as much a value as it is a combination of trainable abilities. So while skills might be learned through demonstration and talks, values need to be modeled if they will be picked up." It's something that has to be modeled outside of the "programmed" context and in an everyday life context. Students need to see youth leaders and parents modeling evangelism to them; it has to become a value in their lives as much as a skill.

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