A youth group discusses the importance of spreading the Good News.
“Look at it this way,” Pastor Chris said, holding up an inflated, plastic globe. “If the only thing Christians were supposed to do on this earth is worship, why would God keep us here? Couldn’t we worship Him better if we were with Him now in Heaven? Maybe so, but worship is not the only reason we are here.”
He looked at the young people sitting in a circle around him. “According to Jesus, worship is not the only purpose we have here on earth. We are to reach out to others with the Good News that Jesus lives, and that all who believe on Him will be saved. At the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth, He gave a very important commission to His disciples: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.’ That Great Commission still applies to Christians today.”
There was a moment of silence. Then Ava spoke up, “Pastor Chris, we all know that verse, but are you sure it applies to me? There’s no way I can go into all the world at this point in my life. I’d better concentrate on finishing eighth grade first!”
Ryder swallowed a bite of donut, and then chimed in, “I’ve only got enough money to get me about twenty miles from here . . . one way! That’s not far enough to make much of an impact on ‘all the world.’ I guess I’ll have to stay uninvolved, at least until I get a boost in my allowance!”
Pastor Chris chuckled. “Sorry, Ryder, that excuse won’t do. The New Testament just doesn’t support the idea of a Christian who doesn’t want to be involved in outreach.” He looked around at the group once more. “My goal for each one of you is that you will be actively involved in the lives of unbelievers—not in the sense of being influenced by them, but by having a positive impact on their lives. Here’s my challenge for you this week. I want all of you to come back next Wednesday evening with at least three ideas for outreach. They should be ideas that can be put into action by young people of your age.”
The following Wednesday, the young people settled into their places once again. “This wasn’t exactly an easy assignment,” Ava said, “I really had to think hard to come up with anything.”
Simon offered his input. “There are lots of things older people can do to spread the Gospel. But we don’t have cars or money. I’m like Ava. It was hard work thinking of things kids could do.”
“You’re right. Not having cars or money does limit you in some ways. But you do have enthusiasm!” Pastor Chris responded. “Lots of energy and time too. Let’s hear what you came up with. Why don’t we start at this side of the room, and each of you tell one idea that you thought of. Sheila, could you jot down notes? We don’t want to forget anything.”
An hour later, everyone’s ideas had been discussed, and Sheila had quite a list written down on her tablet. Here are a few of the suggestions they came up with:
• Write out your testimony for a creative writing assignment at school.
• Put on a Bible drama. Advertise it on social media, and invite people in your community to attend. Some of your group could design flyers or posters advertising the event.
• Offer to tutor younger students who are having a hard time keeping up in school, and let that student know you are praying for him or her.
• Enlist your family in a “money for Bibles” campaign. Have everyone promise to put one quarter in a jar for every chapter they read in the Bible. See how long it takes you to earn enough to send a Bible to some foreign country.
• Set up a “free coffee drive-through” in front of your church for commuters. Distribute portions of Scripture along with the coffee.
• Organize a trip for your youth group or Sunday school class to a neighborhood nursing home. Sing church songs, distribute large-print portions of Scripture, and visit with the residents. (Some of the more artistic members of your group might like to hand-letter and decorate the verses.)
• Ask your Sunday school teacher or group leader if your youth group may compose its own personal handwritten letter welcoming visitors. Make sure that someone gets the name and address of each newcomer, and sends them the welcoming letter, inviting them to return.
It’s easy to think that because you’re young, there isn’t much you can do about spreading the Gospel into all the world. Yet, the list above shows there are many things young people can do. What would you come up with if your teacher or youth pastor challenged you for more ideas?