September 17, 2012
By Chad Miller
The great commission from Matthew states what I believe to be the heavenly mandate and measure of our ministry – go and make disciples. I am increasingly convinced that this is the real eternal fruit of the work of our hands as ministers. We will not be asked about how many flat-screen TVs we installed in our youth center, nor how many books/articles we authored and published. We will not impress Heaven with, nor insulate from the purifying fire of judgement, our massive church babysitting children’s ministry that was this biggest in town. Nay (KJV), we are to make disciples…teaching them to observe all things that Jesus taught.
Making disciples involves two key aspects of ministry to others – namely, evangelism and discipleship.
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14, NLT)
“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” (2 Timothy 2:2, NLT)
In my dealings with ministry staff across the country the consistent theme of evangelism still conjures up an event-driven model of outreach. What does it bring to mind when I ask the question, “how are you going to reach the unchurched/non-believing young people in your community?” These are some of the initial thoughts student ministry leaders have when thinking through that question:
And on and on those questions can go. They’re all very valid questions that deserve serious reflection and even a focus group of unreached kids to bounce it off of. But there’s a lot to consider when it comes to event evangelism. Whether it’s outreach-based or an “attraction” model; it’s still a ton to wade through as you traverse the waters of modern-day proclamation evangelism event planning.
I would love to see another thought pattern emerge in the coming months and years of student ministry. First, let’s frame the context for a new approach to engaging lost youth with hopes making of “disciple-making disciples”.
Take a moment and guess where I’m going.
A majority of our Christian students don’t know how to share the Gospel. Isn’t that staggering? These are Jesus-loving, born-again, “want-to-change-the-world” students that are faithful to our student gatherings that are not equipped to share the Gospel with their friends and family!
If students reach students the best, then one major aspect of our evangelistic efforts should include equipping our Christian youth to reach their friends with the Gospel. We see this happen on a regular basis through the ministry of Dare to Be a Daniel, but we readily confess and acknowledge that we are one of many efforts, endeavouring to raise the next generation of evangelists – disciple-making disciples.
Students trained through Dare to Be a Daniel can be a catalyst for their families to participate in My Hope with Billy Graham. Through My Hope with Billy Graham, tweens and parents alike can work together with a common goal of reaching their friends with the Gospel.
As My Hope with Billy Graham approaches, we will be sharing more details of how your children, youth and young adults can also be a part of this nationwide outreach.