As a teenager I saw the movie Firestarter, starring Drew Barrymore as Charlie, a girl who could start fires with her mind. The plot was simple: Secret government agents tracked her down with nefarious intent. But Charlie surprised them—and ensured her freedom with her ultra-pyro powers.
While government agents aren’t on your trail (or shouldn’t be, anyway), youth leaders are called to be “firestarters” in a whole different way. We’re called to engage God’s power within us to spark something big in teenagers for him. You know you want to do that; the question is how?
Acts 2:1-4 provides a clue: “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
I find it interesting (and kind of weird) that when the Holy Spirit came to the early disciples in the upper room, he appeared as tongues of fire. I can understand a dove, but fluttering tongues of fire? Maybe, by inference, God is using this visual to remind us that when the Holy Spirit takes control, he sets our tongues on fire with the gospel.
I can’t help but think of Tim, a teenager who came to faith in Christ through one of our Dare 2 Share events. A week later, his youth minister told me that Tim already had led 15 of his friends to Christ. The Holy Spirit came upon that young man and set his tongue on fire.
What’s exciting is that once teenagers’ tongues are set on fire with the gospel, their minds are set on fire for the truth.
Evangelism starts a fire in kids’ hearts to pray, study God’s Word, and depend on the Holy Spirit for strength to share the good news with others.Click to tweet
Want to start a fire in the hearts of your teenagers? Have them each identify three friends they will share the gospel with during the next 30 days. You do the same. I guarantee the “fire” will begin as you depend on the Spirit of God, the ultimate Firestarter.