Ideas for Evangelism
There are various ideas here for evangelism. Remember that the motivation behind everything is love. You're not here to prove yourself or just think about 'numbers'. This is about real people meeting with a real God who really loves them and that love is shown through you!
We share the Good News about Jesus because it is good news and because we love people. We're not here like salesmen or to pressurise people but simply to make a 'proclamation' - to tell people the good news and that it is good news. Then they can make their own minds up!
1. Ideas around people's giftings
Look at people's giftings and character... Prayers or prophets? Apostles or apologetics? In-looking or out-looking? Loud or quiet?
Decide on what God is calling you to be you - and when God is calling you to challenge yourselves..
- Got internet skills? Can you set up a web site? Good with computers? Or can you create apps? Set up something creative for evangelism. Click here for some help and ideas from gospelcom.net
-Start a social media page and group about something specific to help others.
- Good with people? Be there for your friends and support them through difficult times. Invite them round if you have Christian parents. Recognise when people need support, space, ask if they want prayer
- Good at sport? Commit your sport to Jesus. Pray before running, carry a cross, a WWJD bracelet if you want or something to identify yourself as a Christian (nothing too intense though!) Let people know you're a Christian. Contact Christians In Sport.
- Good at serving? Just give your time selflessly in the church, the community, your school or college. Ask God to show you how you can serve him in your school or work place
2. Turning a conversation to Jesus
Can you turn a conversation around to evangelism and to Jesus, God, church? Don't just keep asking God for opportunities, ask God to show you when the opportunities are there! How do you turn a conversation? Work at it. Get young people in pairs and get them to practice.
A story illustrating turning a conversation used by a local evangelist was: Lad 1 to Lad 2, 'so what music do you like?' Lad 2 replied 'rock music'. Lad 1 answered to turn the conversation, 'there's lots of rocks in Jerusalem...' Cheesy turnaround but a true story!
Another person who regularly speaks to people about God is whether they believe there is a higher power and what would you want them to look like if you do? This can then lead on to talking about the nature of God.
3. Young People Bringing Friends
Encourage young people to bring friends along to socials, to church, to events in the local area. Make sure that you and your young people are prepared to meet, spend time and get to know these young people when they turn up. There's no point having people in church or to socials if they are excluded as they're not part of the 'in crowd'. It takes a cultural shift in the minds of youth leaders and the young people sometimes to achieve this. On the flip side, don't neglect your Christian young people! Think about what will happen with these young people that come in, often young people who are chaotic. Follow them up, get their details if appropriate and OK with them. Involve young people in the strategy
4. Get missionaries in to talk about their experiences
Encourage young people on mission. When young people return from mission or time away get them to share experiences with others and the church. One of our 'young people' (now 19) went to Australia for a year to travel and in that time God worked even though he wasn't doing official 'mission' work. He did a presentation. Make sure young people away are supported in prayer and that you have constant updates. When one young person was in Albania we prayed for him at our youth service almost every week without fail. Another idea is to study the lives of missionaries.
5. Every day living and being different
Evangelism is about everyday living and being different - supporting the new student; refusing to bully; standing up when others disrespect God; not swearing, smoking, drinking - being salt and light. Encourage a lifestyle that is different but not distant from popular culture. It's about a life of integrity - being what you say you are. At a 'secular' training event, those running the training asked for characteristics that were important for working in schools. I said that integrity was really important to me - I can't tell young people not to drink too much if they see me in town and I'm drunk! No-one else had thought about that and it made a real impact!
6. Being super-creative
Evangelism is about being creative in as many ways as possible - it's not simply talking to people to tell them about Jesus. I like to encourage young people that being a Christian should be the best life, that God is the most creative out of anyone ever and that he passes that on to the young people. Do you need to create new opportunities or training for the young people to use their gifts and skills for God? For example music, dance, badge making, I don't know, whatever they're into!
7. Being open to the Holy Spirit
Evangelism is about being open and in communication with the Holy Spirit. If you are full of the Holy Spirit then people we see something in you that they are attracted to - Jesus! Encourage young people to read the Bible, pray, listen and respond to God. May be you need to make them accountable to one another - to pray, to repent and to be open to God. It's an even bigger challenge for me and you too!
8. Why not run a training day or evening on evangelism
You could run this yourselves (for young people) or bring in someone. This could lead to some practical action - eg do an Alpha leaflet drop or youth work leaflet drop. Stand on the steps of the church if in a city centre? Is there something God is specifically calling you to do?
9. Standing with a Cross or carrying a Cross
Stand in a town centre with a Cross and see if people want prayer! Have backup in prayer support and church support too if you can. I know someone who used to do this in Reading and it was very powerful for many. There were inundated with people wanting prayer and counselling after the 9/11 attacks in New York.
10. Present the Gospel Relevantly
Do you know how to present the Gospel clearly and relevantly? Why not have a session with young people where they get into two's and three's and have to prepare a 3 minute talk on what the Gospel is - if they can, they find an 'angle' on the Gospel to help it be communicated too. Encourage them to use the Bible throughout the process. feedback from the group (in love!) and in a couple weeks, revisit this idea and see how people have improved.
11. God Stories
One youth worker I know encourages the church young people to attend an event and bring their friends where she invites three different people to come in and share their story about how they met with God or how God broke into their life. The food and some live music included also helps!
12. Worship and Chocolate Outdoors
One thing a group did was to go out with a couple of worship leaders in the Summer to a local busy space (by a Cathedral). They sung some worship songs and also went around giving out free chocolates to people.
13. Prayer and 'Treasure Hunting'
Some people go out and either ask God to show them people to pray for - or are intentional about looking for those looking vulnerable (to be a help). Some others do 'treasure hunting' where they ask God to lead them to specific people or get specific words from God about people to meet. Obviously when doing organised groups with young people you need to have more than one leader per group (or more than one responsible over-18). Not sure I like the phrase 'treasure hunting' so maybe call it something else like 'Words of Life' as we don't want to see people as being 'hunted' or as 'victims' ! But there are a treasure in God's eyes. If it's not for you, no worries, move on and try something else!
14. Design and Print Booklets / Leaflets
Many of the booklets and leaflets that are given out to people asking about God are ridiculously complex. People just aren't going to read them. Why not design something clear, simple and snappy. You don't need to quote long Bible verses or complex theological statements. Just be real and be honest and be creative. Make sure the leaflet looks good and speaks people's language. Then get it professionally printed. Or email myfishbites if you want any help.
15. Acts of Kindness
There are so many people hurting or those who are unappreciated. So start thanking people, doing acts of kindness, even extravagant ones. Be intentional in explaining that God loves people or that God's changed your life and you just want to be kind and loving to others, like God is to us.
16. Offering to pray for people or healing
God still heals today. In fact God is using his people to demonstrate his love through healing like never before. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is on the inside of you as a believer (Ephesians 1). So we know that we can pray for the sick and they can be healed. Often, people just appreciate the fact that you care enough to pray for them, even if they don't believe. At church we have many testimonies of people being healed or people being touched by God because people from the church plucked up the courage and prayed for them.
All these acts will challenge people to make clear what they believe in their own minds - how to communicate - learn Bible verses and maybe even develop their faith too (and yours!)