How Would Jesus Evangelize?

“A farmer went out to sow his seed.” Luke 8:5

For decades, youth leaders have been like farmers. They chuck the seeds of the Gospel to their youth group, during outreach meetings and at camps, retreats, and mission trips. This is the way it’s been since youth ministry sprung into being.

And praise God for youth leaders who’ve faithfully sown Gospel seeds all these years. Millions have come to Christ as a result!

But there is a better way.

It’s not a newer way but the ancient way. It’s the way Jesus trained His disciples. And it’s powerfully demonstrated in the first the book of Luke, chapters 8, 9, and 10.

In Luke 8:1, Jesus was the primary seed-chucker, and the twelve disciples watched Him sow Gospel seeds from village to village:

“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him.”

In Luke 9:1-2, the disciples were the primary seed-chuckers, and Jesus watched them sow:

“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

In Luke 10:1, seventy-two other disciples were the primary seed-chuckers, and Jesus and the twelve apostles were, most likely, watching, coaching, and encouraging them as they did:

“After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go.”

It started in Luke 8, with Jesus doing the primary work of evangelism. Soon, He transferred the primary outreach work to His closest disciples. And soon after that, His followers were training other disciples. 

Jesus moved from just chucking seeds to training farmers (the twelve), and soon He was building greenhouses (a ministry model that multiplied both seeds and seed-chuckers).

Let me ask a simple youth ministry question: Are you stuck as your ministry’s primary Gospel seed-chucker? If your main outreach strategy depends on you giving the Gospel during outreach meetings, then you’re stuck in Luke 8:1

Don’t get me wrong—it’s good to give the Gospel (and not just at outreach meetings but in other meetings as well!). After all, Jesus didn’t stop telling people the Gospel after Luke 8. He still preached the Good News, but His primary strategy moved from Him (chucking seeds) to them (disciples chucking seeds) to it (building a greenhouse ministry that naturally multiplied seeds and seed-chuckers—that is, the 72).

How can you transition from being the only seed-chucker to being a farm club for farmers and a greenhouse builder? Here are three keys:

1.  Make sure you model evangelism.

Jesus lived on mission, and His disciples saw it. From engaging the woman at the well (John 4:4-42) to reaching out to tax collectors (Luke 19:1-10) to Gospelizing top religious leaders (John 3:1-21), Jesus was always ready to engage in a Gospel conversation. And His disciples watched Him do so again and again and again.

Are you exemplifying what it means to live a life on mission for Jesus? Are you living out a lifestyle of evangelism that your teenagers see and can model? As Jesus said in Luke 6:40:

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

For help in sharing your faith, check out this 5-minute video crash course in effective evangelism:

2.  Inspire, equip, and unleash your teenagers to share the Gospel.

Just as Jesus sent His twelve young disciples on mission, we must do the same with our students. We must inspire and equip them to share the Good News of Jesus clearly and effectively. Then we must unleash them to do it!

This is where many seed-chucking classes fail. If we teach them how to share the Gospel but never actually take them out to chuck seeds, they never really learn. Another way to put it is:

Inspiration + information – activation = frustration

A super-simple way to get your teenagers activated in evangelism is through Dare 2 Share LIVE training.  You can use this FREE, on-demand, video-based curriculum in your own community to ignite your teens’ hearts for the lost, equip them with a clear Gospel message, and activate them to step out to serve and share. This powerful outreach training will inspire your students to chuck Gospel seeds, and then train and unleash them to do some actual sowing.

3.  Turn your youth ministry into a disciple-multiplying greenhouse.

A number of years ago, Dare 2 Share commissioned a research project. Through it, we discovered 7 common values in every youth ministry that was seeing 25% new conversion growth annually. This means that these youth ministries were growing as a result of new disciples being made and multiplied—going, in a sense, from 1 to 12 to 72.

I cross-checked these 7 Values with the book of Acts, and was blown away by how often they appeared. These values became the basis of my book Gospelize Your Youth Ministry, and they’re the centerpiece of all of our greenhouse-building strategies.

Its always time to chuck Gospel seeds. But its also time to raise up young farmers and build effective greenhouses. Lets get at it! And remember, were here to help!

Read more from Greg Stier »

This article originally appeared on gregstier.org and is reposted here by permission.

Greg Stier
Greg Stierhttp://Dare2Share.org

Greg Stier is the founder of Dare 2 Share, and has published over 20 books. His upcoming book is Radical Like Jesus: 21 Challenges to Live a Revolutionary Life (Tyndale).