Recently I had some conversations with various young people about sharing their faith. As I began to ask questions, I realized our teens have a very interesting view of what it means to “share your faith” with others.
For most young people raised in a Christian environment, they have come to believe sharing their faith is about one or more of the following three things:
- Love them like Jesus
- Tell them Jesus loves them
- Invite them to church (maybe)
Most seem to have no understanding of how to share the story of the Bible, the impact of sin, the story of Jesus and why he even came, what happened when Jesus was on earth and what we need to do in response to what Jesus did in order to have our sins forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
If we claim to truly want to teach the teens in our churches how to be productive Christians and even Christian leaders, we need to do a much better job in preparing them to share their faith in effective ways with others.
I think part of the reason we haven’t is that we are a little confused ourselves. The Church has swung from faith sharing that was boring and lifeless (film strips) to overly complicated (Bibles covered in color coded scriptures and tiny margin notes) to overly simplistic (lead a good life and they will automatically ask to be Christians). What has resulted is not only fewer conversions, but adults who should be training teens to share their faith effectively who are not quite sure how to share their own faith.
We at Teach One Reach One want to make it as easy for you as possible. There are really three steps to faith sharing your teens need to learn:
- How to use appropriate empathy and love to help the non-Christian feel loved and comfortable enough to ask questions and/or be willing to study with them.
- How to learn the spiritual background and journey the person has been on up to this point in time and what first steps that person may need to take to be ready to study the Bible.
- How to actually study the Bible and what in the Bible to share with non-Christians to help them learn and want to obey God’s Plan for their lives.
Over the next three weeks, I will break down how to teach teens what they need to learn and practice to feel comfortable and competent in each of those three areas. While you are waiting, you may want to take a look at the free baptism study and leader guide we have online. Become familiar with the contents as that will help you with the rest of our discussions about faith sharing.