Train Your Students to Share Their Faith with Anyone and Everyone
There is no discussion or doubt in the minds of any Christian leader. The command of Jesus to go and make disciples, the command to be witnesses of the gospel and proclaim the coming kingdom is one that impacts every space of our existence. It is the mission of God, the mandate of the church, and the central outpouring of Christ’s love onto our world. In other words, ignoring the Great Commission is not an option. Whether you read about the Old Testament mission given to Israel or the new covenant made with the church; God’s people are called to make Him known to all people, in all nations. It is our experience of God’s grace, the risen Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit in the community of God’s people that enable us to give testimony to the truth of the risen Christ.
It is fundamental to who we are as a Church and a vital piece to how we disciple the next generation.
But what does that look like? How does that work? That discussion begins with Israel.
Israel, as God’s chosen nation, was not chosen because there was something special about them. In fact, it is precisely the opposite. Israel was chosen to show off what was special about God. Israel’s missional calling was to look and act differently than the surrounding nations so that those far from God would draw near. Israel was to fulfill her mission by living the message of the gospel while the rest of the world watched. That mission continues with the early church through today. But not only are we called to live the mission of the gospel, but we are also called to declare the gospel.
But that is easier said than done.
Although it is impossible to deny the importance of living out and sharing our faith, it also seems that in an increasingly secularized culture, Christians are less likely to give it a shot. Maybe we just ignore the mandate altogether, hoping the opportunity never comes our way. Maybe the overwhelming task of discipleship has us focused on getting students just to be engaged, read their Bible, or pray. Or maybe we assume that because it is plain and simple in the pages of the Bible, that it needs no explanation, no strategy, no training, teaching, or practice.
Research suggests that among the millennials and older generations, who identify with being Christian, the large majority agrees that sharing your faith in one form or another is vitally important. Very few feel equipped to do it, and even fewer engage in sharing their faith on a regular basis. Translation: we all know we are supposed to talk to people about Jesus, but either doesn’t want to or don’t know how to.
To make matters worse, sharing our faith today is far different than sharing it twenty years ago. We live in a radically confusing culture. Everything is up for grabs. Relativism still reigns as king. And more young people than ever have succumbed to the belief in the absence of absolute truth. In other words, you simply can’t tell a student they are a sinner, and they are in need of Christ. When morals are no longer objective, there is no such thing as sin—only preference.
So what does all this mean?
We need, now more than ever, to be crystal clear about the gospel message and train our students to engage their world in the most productive ways possible.
Jesus left us with the great responsibility to go and make disciples, to be witnesses, and to be his hands and feet in this world. Don’t leave something so important to chance.
This is why AwanaYM decided to follow up Advocates with Witnesses. A high school study designed to train your students to share their faith with anyone and everyone. We sought out some of the best ministry practitioners to help guide your students through what it means to be a witness. You will enable your students to tap into who God made them to be so that they can confidently build lasting relationships, develop their gifts, truly love as Christ did, and confront challenges head-on. You will enable your students to both live and speak the message of the gospel.
Students cannot afford to ignore Jesus’ command to go and make disciples, to be witnesses, to do the things he did, and to be the means by which people come to know Christ. Likewise, leaders cannot afford to ignore the call to disciple our students and properly train them to successfully fulfill their God-given mission.
Whether you are a club in AwanaYM’s Journey program or a youth pastor or leader looking to better disciple your students—heck if your parent, or pretty much anyone who wants to learn more about how to effectively share their faith—you cannot miss this opportunity.
Training begins this fall.
For more information and to request a sample be sure to visit getwitnesses.org
Executive Director of AwanaYMSteve currently serves as the Executive Director of AwanaYM. Previously, Steve spent over a decade teaching high school theology and apologetics from Detroit to LA. Steve holds a Masters degree in Theology from Moody Theological Seminary and a Masters in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Steve is also an adjunct professor at Trinity International University. He speaks and writes on youth ministry, youth culture and apologetics. He resides in Chicago, IL with his wife and four children.
Follow Steve Kozak on Twitter: stevenmkozak
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