EVERYTHING IN YOUTH MINISTRY STARTS HERE

LOGIN | REGISTER TO CONTRIBUTE

Articles | Outreach
Rick Lawrence

Rick (rlawrence@group.com and @RickSkip on Twitter) has been editor of GROUP Magazine for 26 years. He’s author of the just-released book Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry (simplyyouthministry.com). He wrote the books Sifted (www.siftedbook.com) and Shrewd (www.shrewdbook.com) and the upcoming Skin In the Game (2015) as an excuse to immerse himself in the presence of Jesus.

Forty years ago, when GROUP was an infant, the “rules of evangelism” were well-known and commonly accepted. “The Four Spiritual Laws” and “The Romans Road” and “If you were to die tonight, do you know where you’d be going?” had not yet been dismissed as hackneyed clichés.

Today, the cultural landscape is a harsh ecosystem for conventional ideas about evangelism. In youth ministry, it’s still high on the “to-do” list, but very few actually model or train students in how to do it. Confusion and guilt reign…

We have to find a way forward—a path that will lead young people (and us!) to a mindset that frees us to engage others about the person and promise of Jesus. So I asked two friends who are passionate about Jesus and natural evangelists, Carl Medearis and Greg Stier, to join me in a conversation about the future of evangelism. Read the original article in GROUP Magazine here. They come at this from very distinct vantage points…

Greg grew up in the rough underbelly of the culture, outside of the church—he’s the founder and long-time president of Dare2Share, as well as author of great resources including the small group curriculum, Evangephobia. Carl grew up as a PK, and is a long-time missionary to the Muslim world and author of the bestselling books Muslims, Christians, and Jesus, Tea With Hezbollah, and Speaking of Jesus.

We met at the offices of Dare2Share in Denver, and we video-recorded the entire conversation. We’ve condensed and split that recording into four parts.

Is Evangelism Still Relevant? from Group Magazine on Vimeo.

 

When Is Someone “Evangelized”? from Group Mission Trips on Vimeo.

 

Pro-Jesus or Pro-Paul? from Group Mission Trips on Vimeo.

 

Teaching Students How to Engage from Group Mission Trips on Vimeo.

Have a question or comment for Greg, Carl, or Rick? 

 LIVE TWITTER Q & A -

Intrigued by what you heard in the interview? Greg Stier, Carl Medearis, and Rick Lawrence will be continuing the discussion with each of you during a LIVE Twitter Q & A on Tuesday, September 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (MDT).
twitter

Tweet your comments and questions to them at their usernames below:

Greg Stier – @gregstier

Carl Medearis – @carlmedearis

Rick Lawrence – @RickSkip

GM 40th ad 600_99

15 COMMENTS

  • Jonathan Lloyd says:

    Just once I’d like NOT to hear some football comment coming from evangelicals. Do you even realize that football is anti-Christian? It deals solely in violence and *requires* the viewer to forget about the player’s future. Violence should not be within an evangelical message. Duh.

    • Rick Lawrence Rick Lawrence says:

      Thanks for weighing in on your disgust for “football” allusions, Jonathan… I think Greg is mostly doing what Jesus did—using common cultural themes as metaphors for Kingdom-of-God truths.

    • Paul May says:

      next time they should use baseball for an illustration. It is much more of a gentlemen’s game. oh btw they should never preach from the Old Testament either since it is littered with all kinds of violence as well.

  • Daniel says:

    Thanks for this, some really good ideas in here. I think an individual’s approach to sharing the gospel will likely be a direct reflection of the nature of their relationship with Jesus. You can only offer what you have. If people have a transactional relationship with God, then that “4 spiritual laws” evangelical method will seem quite comfortable, and people willing to enslave themselves to a transactional religion will respond. But I think our generation’s confusion with evangelism might point to a more systemic confusion in the church- namely a large group of “evangelized” people who are beginning to realize they have settled for a distant and detached relationship with a transactional God. And our youth, who are disgusted at the thought of transactional relationships in general, expose the problem by refusing to take part. So I think teaching kids to evangelize, ideally, is introducing them to something worth evangelizing about. And, hopefully, our understanding of sharing the gospel will become clearer the more we grow in “knowledge and depth of insight” about Jesus, and so discover what the gospel actually entails. Principles are great facilitators, so I appreciate the work of groups like Dare 2 Share, but they are always at the service of hearts set ablaze, not the other way around.

    Thanks again!

  • Amber Cassady Amber Cassady says:

    Great discussion!

  • Andy McGowan says:

    I have found when I talk with people (whether a friend or a stranger), the message of grace is a conversation changer. When properly unpacked, I find the “post- Christian culture” hungers for grace. People are tired of trying to prove themselves.

  • Jory says:

    I think we should call it, “Lovealism” rather than evangelism.

  • Rodney Caldwell says:

    I loved this! I want more! I think this topic of our fast changing culture is something we need to dive into more, it affects everything from how to evangelize them, to how to get them to come and check out what you are doing in youth group. Thanks so much for this and i would encourage more conversations like this in the future.

  • Shane says:

    I think “the future” has been with us for quite some time. Build authentic relationships, love people where they’re at and show people a glimpse of the Kingdom. Young Life does it better than anyone.

    • Rick Lawrence Rick Lawrence says:

      Shane, the “future” may be with us, but are we with the future? We don’t have a great track record at that…

  • Leave a Comment

    Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let us have a personal and meaningful conversation instead.

  • VIEW ARTICLES BY CATEGORY

  • RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

       

    DOWNLOAD A FREE YOUTHMINISTRY.com eBOOK NOW!

    FREE DIGITAL GAME BOOK FULL OF INDOOR GAME IDEAS

    CLICK HERE