When the teens in your youth ministry begin to share their faith they will pray harder and worship louder. Many of them will read the Bible more diligently and walk in dependence on God more willingly. Why? Because the social stigma associated with evangelism helps teenagers to heighten their spiritual senses and deepen their spiritual thirst. There's something about the threat of losing friendships, popularity and reputation that can help to trigger spiritual growth like nothing else. The act of evangelism is a visible, visceral way for Christian teenagers to pick up their cross, die to themselves and follow Jesus.
If evangelism can help to spur spiritual growth in our teens then how do we get them doing more of it? Here are three practical ways…
1. Make prayer for the lost a genuine priority.
If you want to see evangelism heat up in the lives of your teenagers then their prayers for the lost must come to a boil. You can help facilitate this level of soul supplication in a variety of ways. You can include prayer for your teenagers' unreached friends as a key part of your weekly youth group meetings. Perhaps you can do a prayer retreat with your teens where you teach on prayer and then pray together as a youth group. During the prayer times you can show them how to intercede to God on behalf of the lost souls of their friends with intensity and passion.
Just like Jesus taught his disciples to pray, you can teach yours. Remember that deep, soul-wrenching prayer can stoke the fire of evangelism in your heart and in theirs in unparalleled ways.
2. Inspire them to share their faith.
There are many powerful motivations for teens to share their faith with their friends. Among these motivations is the reality that when their friends put their faith in Christ their sins will be forgiven, their purpose will become clear and their eternal destination will become sure.
Remind your teens of all the good that will happen when their friends put their faith in Jesus. Also remind them of what is at stake if they don't hear and respond to the gospel message. These twin realities will motivate your teens to share the gospel sooner rather than later.
3. Set yourself on fire.
If we dare to deploy teens to risk everything dear to them by reaching their friends at school then we must be willing to risk as well. Getting our teens on fire for evangelism starts with setting ourselves ablaze. As John Wesley used to say, "When I preach I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn." May your teens witness such an inferno in your heart and life that it can't help but ignite that same passion in them. May the fire that consumes you begin to consume them.