Do you remember the last time you openly talked about your faith or shared the Word of God with a friend?
Unfortunately, the consistent fear of ridicule and rejection, alongside secularist society’s ‘taboo’ of talking about anything regarding religion, wipes out many Christian teens’ desire to evangelise to the non-believers around them.
But even as teenagers we are all called by God to evangelise (Matthew 28:19).
What Is Evangelism?
Firstly, we need to understand that evangelism is not us trying to ‘save’ unbelievers, or to convert them so they may escape the terrifying end in darkness and hell. Rather, evangelising is the sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ to unbelievers. We’re sharing the goodness we have experienced for ourselves as believers, and bringing about His kingdom on this earth.
Something we should remember about evangelism is that it’s done as part of a church. As the body of Christ, all of us have unique callings when serving God. This is seen in church ministry, where different people are used in different ministries. These can range from music to technology based on their talents. We often forget this image as the body of Christ when it comes to evangelising. All of us are called to evangelise, but not all in the same ways. Evangelism shouldn’t just be exclusive to the preachers or cell group leaders that teach us the Word of God weekly; everyone has their part to play, just as every part of the body has a different function.
Evangelising Through Mission
I give thanks that our church, IREC Sydney, is able to partake in mission. Currently around 41 members (fellow teens included!) are in Biak, evangelising to remote Indonesian villages and holding events such as regional gospel rallies to preach to children and adults alike. Evangelism through mission is a big calling for the church, and we continuously pray for the team and those being preached to, that His Word may reach the unreached.
If you are called to the mission field, its important to understand that mission is a special calling. It is part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) and even from the earliest period of the churches in the New Testament, mission was an important ministry adopted by all the disciples and most importantly, Jesus himself!
However, it is also important to note that not everyone is called to the mission field. As many of us have looked upon our own church’s mission, or are accustomed to hearing stories of great missionaries like Hudson Taylor who served for 54 years in China, or Jim Elliot who gave his life for the gospel in Ecaudor, we subconsciously misunderstand that mission is the only way for us to ‘successfully’ evangelise.
So How Do We Start Evangelising?
- Start in our friendship circle
We can start evangelising little by little to the friends closest to us. This can involve simple things like bringing up religion in a conversation during lunch, and sharing our faith and beliefs. We could ask our friends how they are doing from time to time, or ask them how we can pray for them. Maybe we could even try inviting them to our church’s Sunday service, or to a youth event (hint hint Regeneration-Z’s next event!).
Jokes aside, we can evangelise to our friends and share the gospel with them in our everyday conversation and interactions. Personally, my friends and I have started a ‘Sisters in Christ’ WhatsApp group chat recently, where we send each other encouraging messages, bible verses, or memory verses from our school scripture class.
Though such opportunities for sharing the Word may be rare, we should always try to be intentional when evangelising through our conversations, and pray that God may give us the strength and courage to speak out when the chance comes. We should keep praying for those same friends afterwards too, that God may soften their hearts and they may receive the Word that we have shared.
- Live as a testament
We can also evangelise to others by living as a testament, allowing others to see Jesus through our life and actions as much as our words. Many of our friends may be hard atheists or strong believers of a different religion, and it may seem forceful and hostile as we try to share the Word of God with them. However, we should not fight hostility with hostility, or try to impose our opinion and beliefs on them. Rather, through grace, humility and sacrificial love, we can reveal the goodness of God through our life.
We don’t have to stand in front of hundreds preaching the Word of God, powerfully proclaiming the words ‘Repent, repent!’. Instead, our character and person is as loud a preaching as what comes out of our mouths. After we have experienced Jesus and His ultimate love and sacrifice for us, our character will be changed, and the spiritual fruits we bear will reveal to the world that we are His. (John 13:35)
Wherever we are in our life contexts, God has called us to evangelise to others. It is definitely easier said than done, and we will get scared. We can only pray and trust that God will give us the right words to say, and work through us to proclaim His glory to the unbelievers. We have no control over the outcome of our evangelism; whether the person will turn to accept Christ or not is only according to God’s will.
But we can start by sowing the first gospel seed. Little by little, as more sowers sow the seeds of the gospel into the life of an unbeliever, by God’s grace, they may one day reap a glorious harvest.
Joanne Soviner (14) is one of the writers and designers for RE Generation-Z. She strives to share God’s love and grace she has received and the truth she is learning with other teens. She enjoys dancing, bullet journalling, and learning new languages.