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Share Your Faith: 7 Steps for Equipping Teens for Evangelism


Do your teens know how to share their faith? And do they actually do so? Read on for insights about student evangelism and how to make that a reality.

Study after study makes the same point: This generation of teenagers, and the ones following on their heels, are coming of age in a culture that is less religious than previous generations. Although this no doubt presents significant challenges, it also presents awesome opportunities. Teenagers who are Christ-followers find themselves in a great position to impact the world around them by sharing the Gospel. As Jesus said, the field is ripe.

Yet many Christian teenagers struggle to talk to others about the foundational truths of their faith. When findings of the National Study of Youth and Religion (the most wide-sweeping study on religion and teenagers) were published in Dr. Christian Smith’s book Soul Searching (2005), one valuable finding was that American teenagers are extremely inarticulate about their faith. Many kids in our youth ministries struggle to put their faith-essentials into words and share them. Faith makes a difference in their lives; they just have a hard time explaining why.

In our current cultural climate, the inability of Christian teens to clearly talk about faith basics hampers their chance to help others come to know Christ. So youth workers must do a more effective job of two things: teaching students the foundational distinctives of their faith and equipping them to share these basic faith elements.

Here are 7 steps for accomplishing those important goals.

7 Ways to Help Teens Share Their Faith

1. Remind teens that evangelism isn’t about being perfect or closing the deal.

First, realize that a culture of excellence permeates the world of many students. Athletic excellence. Academic excellence. Excellence in the image they craft. So much pressure exists to be not only good but great at whatever you do.

I think this trickles into their thoughts on sharing their faith. Many teenagers are terrified of not having all the answers, of being wrong, or of “failing” to lead someone to Christ. Relieve this pressure by reminding teens that, for most people, believing in Christ is a process that happens over many interactions.

Regardless of how effective teens think they are in the moment, God will use their faithfulness to make Himself known. Most importantly, remind students that we don’t save anyone. Encourage them by reminding them that God does the saving. Our role is to be faithful, resting in the knowledge that God is at work and His plans are bigger than us.

2. Make knowing God and his ways the center of youth ministry.

God’s main way of making Himself known to us is through the Bible. Seeing God’s story of redemption through the Bible is an amazing gift we can give our students. Leading them to see God’s character, to love and seek Christ, and to grasp what it means to live as imitators of God are key aspects of faith ownership. This happens through a passion for meeting God in Scripture. A youth ministry in which God’s Word is valued deeply is a great foundation on which to build.

3. Provide students with basic phrases that articulate core theology.

What if you took a page out of the more liturgical-based denominations and crafted some really simple phrases that capture the basic biblical concepts you want students to know? Phrases such as, “There is one God who exists and is the Creator of all things.” Easy, right? Yet it’s a core faith distinctive.

As these themes come up in youth Bible studies, take the opportunity to reaffirm them. Encourage students to familiarize themselves with the phrases so when it comes time to talk about their faith, they can do so through simple phrases backed by deep biblical truth.