Teaching Young People How to Evangelize

One of the biggest problems facing the church today is that most Christians do not believe it is their responsibility to evangelize. Or they understand they should be evangelizing, but don’t think they have the opportunities or the knowledge to do so. Some young Christians even believe it is wrong to evangelize, because there are many paths to “God” and one shouldn’t imply judgment of others by suggesting Christianity is the only way to God/Heaven.

If these trends continue, Christianity may eventually disappear, except perhaps in name only. Obviously, Christian adults need a lot of help to turn things around, but why not start making it easier by training kids to share their faith in age appropriate ways from when they are really young?

You may have grown up at a time when you were exposed to some complicated way to study the Bible with people. That can work, but is intimidating to many. A quick read through the book of Acts, shows there’s a much simpler and easier way to evangelize the vast majority of people. This simpler method is easy for even young children to begin learning and practicing.

So how do you teach kids and teens to evangelize? This isn’t the only way, but it is a simpler way than many.

  • Teach them how to introduce the subject. Often, this is the scariest part for many people. Give them lots of guided practice at finding ways to work God into conversations, ask people to church, ask people if they want to study the Bible with them and more. Keep practicing until it becomes as natural to them as introducing themselves to someone new.
  • Teach them how to explain the simple overarching story of the Bible. Sure, there are tons of details they need to learn that will help them, but to evangelize, they just need to know how to tell the basics….God’s perfect creation, the Fall, the sinfulness of all people and the separation sin causes between us and God, the wait for the Messiah and the idea of the Messiah as the perfect sacrifice making restoration between us and God possible.
  • Teach them ways to talk about Jesus. Young people need to be able to tell some of the basics about the life of Jesus, how he fulfilled numerous prophecies and especially about his death and resurrection. They should also understand some of the basic teachings of Jesus as they get older so they can answer basic questions about how God wants Christians to live.
  • Teach them how to explain how to become a Christian. This should include being able to explain baptism as immersion in water for the remission of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Older kids and teens should be able to explain that the “sinner’s and believer’s prayers” were made up in the last couple of hundred of years and are not biblical. While professing belief and repenting of sins is part of the process, one does not become a Christian according to the Bible without baptism. They need to point to Jesus as giving the example in his own baptism, even though he never sinned, as well as numerous examples in the book of Acts.
  • Help them find their own ways of explaining how God has made a difference in their lives. This will vary from one young person to the next. Some will be emotional, some will tell stories of specific incidents, others may point to Creation or explain about their hope for an eternity spent in Heaven. As long as what they are saying is true and biblical, it is fine because it is from their hearts. Revealing part of themselves will be more effective than quoting something they have been told to say.
  • Teach them ways to find help evangelizing someone when they need it. Some people will have questions they can’t answer yet. They need to know they will eventually learn those answers, but in the meantime, it is okay to ask for help from a more mature Christian.

Older children and teens can also begin studying apologetics which will teach them how to honestly, biblically and effectively answer some of the most common objections they may encounter. If you begin working with them on evangelism when young, after several years they should be quite comfortable. They may still choose not to evangelize, but they will no longer have the excuse that they don’t know how to teach someone about Jesus. It’s worth taking the extra time and effort to prepare young people to share their faith.

Note: If they want to go through a study to gain more confidence, try our free Baptism Study with leader’s guide.

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