This G.O.S.P.E.L. acrostic tells the whole story of the Bible in six sentences. So far, we have a version of this in 17 other languages (C.R.I.S.T.O. in Spanish, G.L.A.U.B.E. in German, E.S.P.O.I.R. in French, I.N.J.I.L.I. in Indonesian, and more!). For the most part, these are different words for the acrostic in the different languages, but the same content for each sentence. Our goal is to have every believing teenager master the acrostic in their own language, so they can explain the Gospel clearly to their friends.
Gospel fluency is a too often missed step when it comes to equipping teenagers to share the most important message in the world. Whether through this acrostic or another method, we must give our teenagers Gospel fluency if we expect to see a Gospel movement.
3. Gospel Strategy
When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures (Acts 17:1-2)
Paul had a strategy or methodology (“as was his custom”) he employed whenever he entered a new city. He would find the closest synagogue, get invited to share a message, and open the Scriptural scrolls to prove to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, using the Old Testament.
Many of the believers who came to Christ under Paul’s preaching did so because they’d heard him teach at their local synagogue. As a former Pharisee, he had enough gravitas and credentials that the local synagogue ruler would invite him to speak, and this strategy served him well in most of the cities he visited.
Teenagers also need a Gospel strategy they can use, after they’ve been outfitted with Gospel urgency and fluency.
And there are many strategies to choose from.
Dare 2 Share has the Life in 6 Words app. Youth for Christ has 3Story. Cru has The Four. Bill Fay has Share Jesus Without Fear. Evangelism Explosion has Steps to Life. And on and on the list goes.
Another simple method we advocate at Dare 2 Share is called Ask – Admire – Admit. To begin, the teenager simply asks a question that opens the door to spiritual conversation (“Do you have any spiritual beliefs?” “What do you believe about God?”).
After the person answers, the teenager finds something to admire about what that person believes (“I’m impressed by how consistently you pray.” “It’s cool you’ve taken so much time to think through this topic.”) They’re not agreeing with everything the person believes, but rather finding common ground and building rapport.
Next, they admit that they themselves need Jesus. This demonstrates humility and vulnerability, and creates a natural opportunity to share their personal testimony and the Gospel.
Which method is best? The one that gets used!
In other words, choose a plate and serve the steak. Pick a methodology and share the message!
4. Gospel Advancing Sustainability
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last… (John 15:16)
Getting teenagers to share the Gospel is one thing—creating a Gospel Advancing culture in which prayer, evangelism, and disciple-making are as normal as breathing is another. But if we’re to have “fruit that will last” and multiply, then we must have a youth ministry setting that treat prayer and evangelism as not just a curriculum but a culture, not just an event but a movement.
This takes intense prayer, perseverance, time, and hard work. It also requires a value-based framework for your youth ministry philosophy. After closely studying the book of Acts, I’m convinced that this Gospel Advancing framework—as outlined in the 7 core values listed below—will transform your youth ministry for the long haul.
These 7 Values also rose to the top as we evaluated the results of a comprehensive research project we conducted eight years ago. The most effective youth ministries across the nation—those that were seeing 25% growth annually due to new believers—had seven common denominators. These youth groups ranged from Baptist to Pentecostal, from urban to suburban, from those that had attended Dare 2 Share events to those who had never heard of our ministry. Every single youth group that was thriving when it came to advancing the Gospel had integrated these 7 Values:
1. Intercessory prayer fuels it. They prayed for each other and their lost friends by name.
2. Relational evangelism drives it. They were infused with Gospel urgency, taught Gospel fluency, and trained with a Gospel strategy.