What does this have to do with you and me as we minister to teenagers? Let’s not assume the teens we are sharing with understand the story of Christianity. Let’s not assume they accept and embrace the Scriptures as the Word of God. Instead let’s assume they don’t know the whole story and then let’s explain it to them with love and in a culturally relevant way. As we do let’s make sure we use illustrations they connect with and “quote the pagan poets” to clarify the full story of the Christian faith. As we do this we should not hold back on the bad news or the good news. We should use quotes from the Bible (but not necessarily their references) as we witness because the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword and will not return void (see I just did it!) But we must explain the gospel story in a way that is relevant to the minds of these teenagers.
Remember that the average teenager is more Greek (unfamiliar with the full story of Christianity and not accepting God’s Word as fully inspired) than Jewish. So before we unfurl our scrolls and start proving that Jesus is the messiah and that they fall short of God’s standards, let’s make sure they understand which God and gospel story we are talking about. The average teenager, like the average ancient Greek, has all sorts of altars they can bow before. Let’s bring them to the altar to the unknown God and make him known.
Become all things to all men. To the Jews speak Jewish. To the Greeks speak Greek. To the average American teenager use average American teen talk.
Speak the right language to the right audience in the right way. Let’s all take a clue from the second greatest evangelist ever to live, the apostle Paul.
This article about sharing Jesus in muddy water originally appeared here, and is used by permission.