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Personal Evangelism: Where Does a Young Person Even Begin?

Being young gives you a unique opportunity. You are at a stage in your life where people might find it easier to forgive your sins because you are young. It is a time when it seems okay to test the waters and experience life. Some say the young must “sow their wild oats.” But you are young CHRISTIANS, called to be a “peculiar people” (1 Pet. 2:9) who are different from the world. So for you at your age to evangelize and be a witness for Christ would really leave an impact. Use the time God has given you NOW. God has placed you right where he needs you to be. He can use you at this place and this time in your life.

Is it hard for you to talk about God with others? Don’t know where to start? What to say? Start by getting out of your comfort zone. Recently my husband and I hosted a neighborhood Bible study in our home. One neighbor said he had a devotional at a recent council meeting for his church about challenging yourself to move out of your comfort zone…just one degree.[1] If your dial is comfortable at the top, push yourself just one degree to the right. You need to figure out where you are comfortable in your spiritual walk and push yourself past that. The world is watching; they know we call ourselves Christians, and we need to be comfortable talking about it!

Are you comfortable talking about God with your family? Challenge yourself to talk about God at different times during the day, other than family devotion time. How will you be able to talk to anyone else about God if you cannot talk to your own family? Try waking up tomorrow morning, with a smile, and telling your family you are thankful that God has given you another day to serve him. Try commenting on the weather by saying that it is God’s power or artwork. You could try asking a family member to help you with your struggles of sin. When it becomes easier to talk with your family about God, push yourself past that. What about friends? Here can be the biggest challenge. It is easy to talk with your friend about the weather, family, homework, sports…what about God? Quite often we are surrounded by those with like-minded faith, but it is still hard for us to talk about godly things. Maybe you don’t feel the need to evangelize to them because they already know everything you have been taught, and you don’t want to be the “goodie-goodie” of the group. Try putting God into your normal conversations. Instead of telling someone you are having a good day, tell someone how God has blessed you today. On the other hand, if you are not having a good day, don’t be afraid to ask a friend to pray for you. If a friend tells you she is having a bad day, take it to the Lord in prayer!

Push yourself to the next degree by challenging yourself in prayer. To be able to talk to God in prayer and unload your burdens on him is such a privilege. Being young is hard. There are demands and responsibilities that may seem overwhelming. You probably talk (or complain?) about these problems to each other. Also, there are many things that are special burdens God may call you to bear: sickness, death, family problems, or other things. If a friend came and talked to you about his problems, would you dare to ask him to pray with you? Right in that moment? Not just tell him you are praying for him, but actually bow your heads together and pray? Prayer makes your eyes look up. It gives you hope past all your earthly troubles. It puts your perspective higher than where you are. You can do that; you can witness to that friend in that way!

If you are comfortable talking and praying with family and friends, what about complete strangers? If you have a job, would you dare speak about God at work? When talking about God becomes a way of life for you, it will flow into your conversations with the ungodly. It can be hard talking or praying with someone you do not know. They may not look or dress like you do, but look past that. You need to desire their heart. Remember to love the unlovable, because that’s who you are without Christ!

One degree…just move the dial one degree. When you see your sin and struggle with it every day, yet you have someone who saved you from that bondage, you have so much to be thankful for (L.D. 1). How can you keep it to yourself!? Be excited about it! Make your evangelism very personal; take every doctrine you have learned and speak about how it has affected you personally. Be honest about it. Pray for boldness, then let go and let God use your speech. The first few times you talk about God it will be very hard because it is out of your comfort zone. You may turn red in the face or stutter over your words, but when you keep talking about God it will become easier. Practice makes perfect!

What is an area that is out of your comfort zone? How can you push yourself to the next degree? Pray. Encourage one another. Talk with one another about God. Look for opportunities. Colossians 4:3: “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.” Ask God to open the door and use you. The goal is never to be comfortable in your Christian walk. He can use you, especially in your youth! Keep pushing to the next degree.

 

Originally published July 2020, Vol 79 No 7

[1] Kevin G. Harney, Organic Outreach. 2009. Idea is from chapter 4 of this book.