While in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus instructed his followers to "go into all the world and make disciples of all people," you should keep in mind that the disciple-making process starts at home, with your own kids and their friends. Simply put, the gospel is the message of salvation through belief and faith in Jesus Christ. There are some simple ways to share the gospel -- which literally means "good news" -- with the teens in your life.
Anything you endeavor to do for Christ should begin, progress and end with prayer. If you want to share the gospel with teens, start by praying for them. Pray that God will guide you as you speak to them. You don't know everything that a person -- even if you are very close to him -- is facing and experiencing, but God does. If you have an opportunity, especially if you know that a teen is going through a tough time, offer to pray with him as well. Often, taking the time to pray with someone opens the door to discussing the gospel with him.
2. Keep It Simple
You don't need to present teens with a doctoral discourse on theology to offer them the gospel. You can just present the basics of the gospel to them. At its simplest, you can sum up the gospel in a few short sentences: Everyone sins. Everyone will face judgment because of sin. Jesus paid the price for everyone's sins when he died on a cross and rose again. Anyone can have all his sins -- past, present and future -- completely forgiven by admitting that he is a sinner, trusting completely in Jesus Christ to save him and inviting Jesus to be his savior and lord. There are several excellent gospel publications and tracts that present this basic plan of salvation with supporting Bible verses. Among the best popular are "The Roman Road" and "Four Spiritual Laws," both of which are readily available online.
3. Keep is Relevant
Just sharing facts about the gospel won't generally have an impact on teens. Teens want to know how the message affects their day-to-day lives. One of the best ways to show them how the gospel can affect their lives is to share how it impacted your own life. Another is to present the gospel to them in terms of the idea that Jesus wants to have a genuine relationship with them. Most teens are keenly aware of a "missing part" in their lives. Presenting the gospel to them in terms of the relationship God wants to have with them is not only effective, but it's biblical. Jesus constantly taught people to refer to God as "Father." At least twice in the New Testament, God is referred to as "Abba," which is an Arabic word that roughly translates to "daddy." You can tell your teens in all honesty that even though accepting the gospel doesn't mean they won't have problems any more, it does mean that Jesus wants to fill any emptiness inside them.
4. Encourage a Decision
When you are sharing the gospel with teens, encourage them gently to make a decision about whether they would like to receive Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. If they aren't ready to make that step, don't pressure them. Pray for them, let them know that you're there for them if they have any questions and continue to build a positive relationship with them. If they are ready to receive Christ as their savior, lead them in a simple prayer like, "Jesus, I admit that I have sinned, I believe that you died on a cross to pay for my sins and that you rose from the dead, and I ask that you come into my life as my lord and savior. Amen." You can have them repeat this prayer or one like it after you or -- better yet -- you can encourage them to pray in their own words. The actual words they pray don't matter as much as their admission of sin and faith in Jesus Christ.
- Urban Youth Workers Institute: 3 Keys to Reaching Urban Teens with the Gospel
- My Hope America: How Do You Reach Young Teens And Tweens With The Gospel?
- Focus on the Family: Sharing the Gospel with Your Children
- Assemblies of God USA: Communicating the Gospel to Teens
- Bible Gateway: Mark 16, NIV
- Teen Missions: Roman Road to Salvation
- Campus Crusade for Christ: Four Spiritual Laws
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