How to equip teens and young adults for evangelism

March 12, 2019

The generation of teenagers and young adults we are trying to reach today is the most rapidly changing generation yet. It’s also the most tech-savvy generation to date, presenting to us a population that has never known a world without cell phones or digital media.

Ministry leaders are finding it hard to keep up with such a generation, let alone minister to them effectively. How can we relate with these students? What do they care to learn about?

When 60 teenagers were asked what they most wanted to learn about, the majority answer was surprising. Nearly all of them want to learn how to share the gospel and talk to their unbelieving friends about Jesus.

Yes, that’s right – those middle and high schoolers that we assume are disengaged actually desire to talk about Jesus. But, how do we do that? How do we properly and effectively train students so they are well equipped for evangelism?

Believe it or not, research studies have found that this generation prefers face to face interaction. They desire things that are real, not necessarily what is cool. This means that they would prefer a genuine conversation with someone, rather than hanging out and doing something considered cool.

With this in mind, what if we completely reworked the way we train students to do evangelism? What if we stopped giving them an overabundance of phrases and tools, and instead equipped them to engage in actual, non-rehearsed conversations? After all, the peers they’ll be reaching prefer genuine, face-to-face conversations.

What if we completely reworked the way we train students to do evangelism?

You may be thinking, “Well that sounds great, but how do I actually do that?”

Start with the idea of being genuine. For someone to be genuine, they must be personal. As this applies to a gospel conversation, that means sharing why this matters to you. Share your story and what difference God has made in your life.

If you are trying to convince anyone of the reality of Christ and His gospel, they first need to know why it matters. This can be communicated by personal testimony. Teach your teenagers how to share their story. Train them in sharing their life before Christ, how they came to know Him and how He has changed their lives.

The most important piece of a gospel conversation is – you guessed it – the gospel. Our students need to know what the gospel is and how to share it. The gospel is the story of Jesus Christ and what He means for us. It is the message of salvation offered through God in the flesh, who came and died for us, and rose from the dead three days later.

Perhaps the most effective tool I have personally used and would recommend in training students to share the gospel is the “3 Circles” resource. It is conversational and provides a framework for students to make the conversation their own, rather than memorizing an awkward script to read. Find a tool that is biblically faithful and works best for your students, and run with it!

Training students in evangelism looks different in every context. Regardless, we must train and prepare them to be genuine in their conversations, and to have these interactions face to face.

Do you want your students to grow in how they interact with nonbelievers? Take the time to invest in them. Learn their conversational styles, their strengths, their weaknesses and their contexts. Help them find a method that best suits them. Soon after, you’ll get the pleasure of watching God’s kingdom advance through the hands of the students He has entrusted to you.


by Robert Tatum  
/  Student Pastor  /  Central Baptist Church (Wendell, N.C.)

Think like a missionary

How can I think like a missionary?Missionaries live with a deep love and compassion for those who are far from God. They are burdened for those who are lost — those who are like sheep without a shepherd. They live by the words of Jesus when He said, “I have other sheep that are...

Why crisis & unrest should point us to prayerful hope in Christ

If ever there was a time when believers and churches needed to focus on God’s great hope in Jesus, it is now. The COVID-19 pandemic — along with all the racial, social, political, economic and spiritual unrest that has gripped our nation — has, in many ways, cast a cloud of...

Saved from war, man from Congo planting church in Raleigh

Rufus Muhirwe is tall, thin and soft-spoken. Look at this gentle man and you would never guess the years-long nightmare he endured before coming to Raleigh, N.C. He found that God was with him through those years. And the fact that Muhirwe is planting a new church is a testimony...

How families can mentor families to make disciples at home

There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” What if we took this same approach in discipling our families. No doubt, you have families in your church who are doing a phenomenal job discipling their...

Don’t miss the blessing of leading your child to Christ

Most churches stress the importance of passing the gospel on to future generations. We often refer to the family as a primary mission field. To emphasize this reality, we point to passages such as Deuteronomy 6:6-7a, which says, “These words that I am giving you today are to be in...

4 women’s ministry events for you and your church

“Pivot” is a new buzzword brought about by COVID-19, and it’s something every organization and ministry has had to do amid the global pandemic. The coronavirus has forced the cancellation, postponement, rescheduling or shifting of numerous events and conferences, and the impact...

NCMO helps demonstrate Christ’s love in word, deed

The year 2020 has been a year like no other in our lifetime. Events of this year have left many people hurting in numerous ways. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we should be compelled by the love He demonstrated for us through His death on the cross to love others, serve...

Baptists on Mission dedicates Charity Rebuild Center

Two years ago Hurricane Florence struck North Carolina with devastating force. Today Baptists on Mission (NCBM) dedicated its Charity Rebuild Center, a disaster relief ministry hub near Rose Hill, N.C. Since its founding in 2019, the site has been home base for volunteer teams as...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!