Why would you miss an opportunity to see a teenager catapulted out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Jesus? When the gospel is given on a consistent basis in your youth group it will reap a harvest. As Colossians 1:6 reminds us, “…the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.’
But how do you do that? Some 19th Century wisdom may come into play here. When asked his style of preaching Charles Spurgeon answered, “I take my text and make a beeline for the cross.”
According to www.phrases.org/uk the word beeline has a very straightforward meaning and, yes, it has to do with bees, “The phrase derives from the behaviour of bees. When a forager bee finds a source of nectar it returns to the hive and communicates its location to the other bees, using a display called the Waggle Dance. The other bees are then able to fly directly to the source of the nectar, that is, ‘make a beeline’ for it. This dance is a surprisingly sophisticated means of communication for a creature with such a small brain. The forager bee performs a short wiggling run – hence the name, with the angle denoting the direction of the nectar-laden flowers and the length of time denoting the distance.”
In the same way when exegeting whatever text you are going to be preaching to your teenagers find the flowers with the nectar of the cross in them and do the Waggle Dance. Okay, that sounded weird, but you know what I mean. May the rest of your points, like bees chasing straight after nectar, make a beeline for the cross.
If you’re talking about self-image and using Psalm 139:14 (the “fearfully and wonderfully made” verse) you could make a beeline toward the reality that Jesus thought you were so valuable that he died to redeem you.
If you’re talking about relationships using “love one another” passages take them to John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
If you’re talking about what happens after you die using passages about heaven and hell it’s an easy segue to the cross.
Some “salvation segues” are easier than others but all are possible. I’ve challenged thousands of youth leaders to stump me on this and nobody has been able to. I’ll have hundreds of youth leaders in a training and challenge them to come up with a subject they think I won’t be able to make a transition from the gospel to and nobody has succeeded. They’ve yelled out tough ones like “sex”, “video gaming” and a ton of others but every single time I was able to make a transition to the gospel.
Why? Because I’m so clever? Nope. It’s because I’ve had years of practice taking my text and making a beeline for the cross.
That deserves a Waggle Dance