A Roadblock to Evangelism in Youth Ministry: You? Me?

In my years in full-time youth ministry I have seen a number of  youth ministries who have developed a culture of evangelism… The distinguishing factor? The ones leading the ministry live and breathe evangelism in their lives outside youth ministry. (Or you could say they live and breathe evangelism in every area of their lives). But, for many of us, the only people we talk to about Jesus are our students in our own ministry…

However, if you and I are not living out evangelism in our lives outside of youth ministry, we should not expect our students to be committed to reaching their friends and family either…

Roadblocks to Evangelism

Why should we ask a student to go outside of their comfort zone, when we live inside our comfort zone of youth ministry? Why should we ask their them to put relationships on the line for the sake of the gospel, when it’s a whole lot easier for us to put on our youth ministry hat on at youth group and preach the gospel? Now don’t get me wrong here… It is essential that we preach the gospel and create environments which reach lost students. It’s essential that we encourage our students to bring their friends to hear a life changing message. But here is the issue we face:

Students need to see us and hear about us reaching our neighbors, friends and community outside of our youth ministry. When they see us going outside of our “job description,” they will follow our lead.

When it comes to evangelism, we can’t expect students to do what we are not prepared to do ourselves….

Bottom line: One of the greatest roadblocks to evangelism can often be a leader who is not modeling it to his or her followers.

This is exactly why I play indoor soccer and spend too much time in Starbucks. It’s my way of building relationships outside of church that give me opportunities to share the gospel.

If potentially we are stuck in our church offices all day long, why should we expect students to reach their lost friends? Are you and I a roadblock to evangelism? It’s a real challenge to me as I consider this. How about you? 

Phil <><


photo credit: nateOne via photopin cc

4 Responses to A Roadblock to Evangelism in Youth Ministry: You? Me?

  1. Aaron Helman March 21, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Phil- I couldn’t possibly agree with this any more. Anything that we TEACH but do not MODEL is a waste of everyone’s time.

    Plus, anything that give me another reason to hang out in a coffee shop. I’m leaving the office right now. Thanks mate!

    • philbell March 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      Thanks mate! Enjoy your coffee!

  2. Christopher Wesley March 21, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Phil great post. I struggle in some areas to evangelize, especially my own neighborhood. So not to be a hypocrite I know I have to share this struggle with my teens.

    • philbell March 21, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      I think it’s good when we can honest about it being a struggle. I think students need to know it is challenging, but yet see us making steps to be used in God’s plans to reach our friends, family, and neighbors. I also find it’s incredible when they can hear stories in our own lives that ‘fit’ outside of our job description of reaching students… Thanks Chris.

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