Reaching young people for Christ....

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I was told today about a young secular high school student who's choir went to a church to sing some Christmas music which had quite a few scriptural references (I know, amazing!), some Jewish songs, etc. Every year the music has a particularly gentle Christian feel. I suspect the choir teacher may be a Christian. They sang their music and then politely listened to a man (not really a pastor, but church representative of sorts) preach a 30 minute talk.

Initially my heart jumped at what I thought would be a Gospel message that was shared. But, heard that the kids came away only remembering being told stuff like: if they believe in evolution they were going to go to hell. Upon inquiring a little further it sounds like they heard a fire and brimstone type of talk in a put down sort of way.

The talk started out telling the kids that they probably didn't understand what the music lyrics even meant, which put down the choir teacher, who does apparently take time to carefully explain the music to the students (what a great way for this teacher to create a conduit to the bible for these young people by the way). It as at that point hearts closed up to hearing anything else bible related.

The whole tone was just a very negative experience for these kids, rather than coming away with food for thought. A kind of attacking secular ideas and putting people on the defense. Even the teacher was not impressed.

Sigh...I know that there are things about God that cannot be sugar coated, and I've had some pretty frank conversations with my kids. But, the way this was presented really left a bitter taste in the young students mouth. They came away feeling put down. My heart is concerned for kiddos with backgrounds that this might not have been the best approach for. I found myself praying that God would bring good out of this still.

Of course God can use anything to reach people, and I give this person at the church the benefit of the doubt that he was sincerely trying to reach these kids for Christ, that his heart was in the right place in regards to that. It is a brave thing to talk about Christ with a whole group of kids, but I do think that approach is very important.

It seems to me that given the tenderness of young hearts (some who are dealing with really tough stuff in their lives) a softer and gentler approach would be good. Gently tell them the truth, and keep the door open. I just wonder if perhaps simply sharing a personal testimony of what Jesus Christ has done in one's life would have drawn their interest in better and then an open invitation to come by and talk if they had any questions....maybe give out a card or church brochure.

I wanted to come here and ask people if and how they have approached sharing the Gospel with groups of young kids. If so, would you mind sharing? I think that it would be very beneficial in getting some good approaches and ideas that doesn't squelch their spirits.
 
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mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
The gospel is a lifeline, not a whip. We're to throw it to the lost, not flog them with it. Jesus never attacked a single person to whom He spoke, other than the dishonest religious leaders. We are not called to attack people or lifestyles or anything else. We are called to lift up Jesus, to make Him visible to those whom we meet. Among the most poignant statements in the gospels, to my mind, is found John 12:21 where some of the Hellenistic Greeks who had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover came to Philip and said, "Sir, we want to see Jesus." Oh! the world is full of people who would desire to see Jesus if they could only catch a glimpse of Him. How sad that so many Christians either hide their light or use their knowledge in a cold, proud religious way rather than to allow it to humble them and cause them to open their hearts to the lost. Jesus said that the world would know us by our love. No wonder so many of the world do not know us.
 

MePlus6

Well-Known Member
The gospel is a lifeline, not a whip. We're to throw it to the lost, not flog them with it. Jesus never attacked a single person to whom He spoke, other than the dishonest religious leaders. We are not called to attack people or lifestyles or anything else. We are called to lift up Jesus, to make Him visible to those whom we meet. Among the most poignant statements in the gospels, to my mind, is found John 12:21 where some of the Hellenistic Greeks who had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover came to Philip and said, "Sir, we want to see Jesus." Oh! the world is full of people who would desire to see Jesus if they could only catch a glimpse of Him. How sad that so many Christians either hide their light or use their knowledge in a cold, proud religious way rather than to allow it to humble them and cause them to open their hearts to the lost. Jesus said that the world would know us by our love. No wonder so many of the world do not know us.
That is exactly it. Thank you for writing this Matt. It should be pinned!
 

Jeff K

Well-Known Member
The Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to work with both grade school kids through Awana and high school through Sunday school. When presenting the gospel, I like to start with Isaiah 6:3.

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory."
Isaiah 6:3

What does it mean that God is holy?
In the first few verses of Isaiah 6 we find Isaiah standing before the throne of God and the Bible tells us that God is high and lifted up. He also sees angel type creatures called seraphim flying around the throne of God. The Bible tells us that these seraphim each have six wings - with two they cover their feet, with two they cover their face and with two they fly. As they fly around the throne of God, they cry out Holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts and their voice is so powerful that it shakes the door posts.
Why do you think these seraphim, who are powerful enough to shake door posts in heaven with their voice, would fly around the throne of God with their face and feet covered? I believe it's because they are created beings in the presence of the Almighty Creator - God, who is so holy and pure that they don't feel worthy to be in His presence. If these seraphim, who have never sinned or done anything wrong don't feel worth to stand in the presence of God, how could we sinful man ever think we could stand in God's presence?

In fact, Psalm 5:4-5 says, "For Thou are not a God who hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with Thee. The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight; You hate all workers of iniquity."
Who are the wicked, the evil and foolish?
Have you ever told a lie? Telling a lie is a sin and makes you a wicked person that would never be able to dwell with God or stand in His presence.

In fact, the Bible tells us in Romans 3:10, "As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

I then go on with and continue to explain these verses:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him fr9m the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

By explaing the holiness of God and how no sinner could ever stand in His presence, I find they are much more willing to pay attention to the rest of the verses - the good news of Jesus Christ.
 

SonSeeker

Well-Known Member
Thanks to the mods for pinning this!:thumbup

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13
One of my favorite verses. Was witnessing to a friend a while back and using the NKJV. He was always looking for loopholes, and when I read him John 3:16, he pointed out that, "whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". What could he do to guarantee his salvation?

Romans 10:9-13 to the rescue!

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13
We're on the same page, Jeff.:thumbup
 

Jeff K

Well-Known Member
Thanks to the mods for pinning this!:thumbup


One of my favorite verses. Was witnessing to a friend a while back and using the NKJV. He was always looking for loopholes, and when I read him John 3:16, he pointed out that, "whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". What could he do to guarantee his salvation?

Romans 10:9-13 to the rescue!



We're on the same page, Jeff.:thumbup
Amen! God's Word is so powerful.
 

lenraff

Well-Known Member
I was told today about a young secular high school student who's choir went to a church to sing some Christmas music which had quite a few scriptural references (I know, amazing!), some Jewish songs, etc. Every year the music has a particularly gentle Christian feel. I suspect the choir teacher may be a Christian. They sang their music and then politely listened to a man (not really a pastor, but church representative of sorts) preach a 30 minute talk.

Initially my heart jumped at what I thought would be a Gospel message that was shared. But, heard that the kids came away only remembering being told stuff like: if they believe in evolution they were going to go to hell. Upon inquiring a little further it sounds like they heard a fire and brimstone type of talk in a put down sort of way.

The talk started out telling the kids that they probably didn't understand what the music lyrics even meant, which put down the choir teacher, who does apparently take time to carefully explain the music to the students (what a great way for this teacher to create a conduit to the bible for these young people by the way). It as at that point hearts closed up to hearing anything else bible related.

The whole tone was just a very negative experience for these kids, rather than coming away with food for thought. A kind of attacking secular ideas and putting people on the defense. Even the teacher was not impressed.

Sigh...I know that there are things about God that cannot be sugar coated, and I've had some pretty frank conversations with my kids. But, the way this was presented really left a bitter taste in the young students mouth. They came away feeling put down. My heart is concerned for kiddos with backgrounds that this might not have been the best approach for. I found myself praying that God would bring good out of this still.

Of course God can use anything to reach people, and I give this person at the church the benefit of the doubt that he was sincerely trying to reach these kids for Christ, that his heart was in the right place in regards to that. It is a brave thing to talk about Christ with a whole group of kids, but I do think that approach is very important.

It seems to me that given the tenderness of young hearts (some who are dealing with really tough stuff in their lives) a softer and gentler approach would be good. Gently tell them the truth, and keep the door open. I just wonder if perhaps simply sharing a personal testimony of what Jesus Christ has done in one's life would have drawn their interest in better and then an open invitation to come by and talk if they had any questions....maybe give out a card or church brochure.

I wanted to come here and ask people if and how they have approached sharing the Gospel with groups of young kids. If so, would you mind sharing? I think that it would be very beneficial in getting some good approaches and ideas that doesn't squelch their spirits.
I certainly understand your concerns, and as a "Hell Fire And Brimstone" kind of preacher, I run into scenarios like this often. What you describe sounds like a sincere man speaking out of a pure heart and genuine care for souls. Having said that(Though I'm just speculating) this is what happens when we speak without the leading and unction of the Holy Ghost. Imo, you hit on the key to evangelizing any age group-Personal Testimony. The Apostle Paul gave us the Lords example to spread the Gospel, he gave his testimony to every people and group he met. Jesus gave His Testimony when He said I came from the Father, and again when He said no one has seen the Father but me. Every Born again person has a testimony, a personal and supernatural meeting with the Savior. That is the power of God onto salvation. That is the door opener to the Gospel. And I believe we should be completely honest and God lead in answering the children's questions concerning eternal matters, they're MUCH smarter than we think, and are much more challenged then we were. Maranatha
 

GotGrace

Well-Known Member
The gospel is a lifeline, not a whip. We're to throw it to the lost, not flog them with it. Jesus never attacked a single person to whom He spoke, other than the dishonest religious leaders. We are not called to attack people or lifestyles or anything else. We are called to lift up Jesus, to make Him visible to those whom we meet. Among the most poignant statements in the gospels, to my mind, is found John 12:21 where some of the Hellenistic Greeks who had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover came to Philip and said, "Sir, we want to see Jesus." Oh! the world is full of people who would desire to see Jesus if they could only catch a glimpse of Him. How sad that so many Christians either hide their light or use their knowledge in a cold, proud religious way rather than to allow it to humble them and cause them to open their hearts to the lost. Jesus said that the world would know us by our love. No wonder so many of the world do not know us.
Yep you can’t be beating folks with a verbal thorny club and expect them to respond.
 
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