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Turn Up the Thermostat!

7 ways to crank up the evangelistic heat in your youth group.
Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier
Turn up the Thermostat!

When teenagers share the Good News of Jesus with their friends, teammates, and classmates, not only does the Gospel advance in others’ lives, but it also has a personal impact on them. I’m convinced that nothing seals the deal for students to own their faith than sharing their faith. As Paul wrote to Philemon:

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

Philemon 1:6

Teens who share their faith own their faith, and teens who own their faith are much more likely to keep their faith after they graduate. So it’s vitally important that you crank up the heat of evangelism in your youth ministry.

Here are 7 ways you can raise the temperature:

1. Program prayer for unreached teenagers.

Whether you’re opening the youth meeting or leading a small group of teenagers, don’t forget to pray for the lost. Bowed knees for the unreached can keep evangelism top of mind for teenagers and adult volunteers alike. This doesn’t have to take a long time, but it should be passionate, powerful, and persistent. Why? Because when you consistently call out to God on behalf of the lost, not only is Heaven moved to action, but so are your teenagers.

In Romans 10:1, Paul made his evangelistic intentions clear to the mostly Jewish believers living in Rome: 

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 

Paul’s passionate prayer raised the temperature of the Jewish believers’ evangelistic efforts to their own people. Your prayers will do the same for your students.

2. Teach your teenagers to identify one to three of their unreached friends they will pray for consistently.

At Dare 2 Share, we use a simple strategy called Prayer – Care – Share to facilitate this process. Teens identify a handful of friends or classmates who need to be reached, start praying for them consistently, and eventually share the Gospel with them, out loud (with words).

3. Give the Gospel every week in youth group.

Paul told the Corinthian believers:

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 

1 Corinthians 2:1-2

If Paul was a youth leader writing to his youth group, this passage could read: “When I came to you, I didn’t make my biggest priority playing crazy games or building a fancy youth room. My main focus was Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Giving the Gospel weekly does more than reach the lost. It also empowers the believers (1 Corinthians 1:18) and supercharges the atmosphere (Acts 4:31-33).

Subscribe to The Greg Stier Youth Ministry Podcast because, in the next few months, we’re doing a series on effectively giving the Gospel (with an invitation) in every youth group meeting.

4. Tell stories, stories, and more stories.

When your main youth group meeting and regular small group gatherings become storytelling havens, then you’ve crossed a powerful threshold when it comes to raising the evangelistic temperature. Stories of teenagers coming to Christ, growing in Christ, and making more disciples is the real party ready to happen in your youth group.

5. Inspire and train your teenagers to evangelize.

Teens need to know why they should share their faith. The reasons include the glory of God and rescuing people from the Hell they’re headed to and the one they’re living through. Get your teenagers motivated to share their faith, and then equip them to do it.

On November 11, there will be a day of global youth evangelism called Dare 2 Share LIVE. I strongly encourage you to register your youth group right away. It will inspire your teenagers to evangelize, equip them to lovingly and confidently share the Gospel, and mobilize them to do it. And it’s free!

6. Motivate your student leadership team to lead the way.

John Maxwell was right when he said:

Everything rises or falls on leadership. 

So if you can get your student leaders sharing their faith, then the rest of the youth group will follow.

Don’t give up until your student leaders are leading students to Christ and setting the pace for the rest of your youth group in the process.

7. Live it yourself.

Everything I wrote about student leaders is doubly true of you. If you want your teenagers to be warm to evangelism, then you’ve got to be hot. If you want them to be hot, then you have to be blazing. If you want them to be blazing, well, you get the idea.

In Luke 6:40, Jesus said:

The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

Cranking the evangelistic heat up in your youth group starts by cranking it up in your own heart. Read my free e-book, Gospelize Your Youth Ministry, to get started.

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