"For Those Who Are Passionate About Reaching The Younger Generation"

Five Core Principles Core Principle #4: Penetrating the Student Culture

Leading a Student to Christ

Dr. Barry St. Clair

I predict that almost everyone working through this session would say that he or she believes in evangelism and the Great Commission. But in reality, many people don't practice what they believe. Too few people are talking to lost students. Why? Seven barriers surface again and again:

BARRIER

EXPRESSION

SOLUTION

GUILT




DOUBT

 

FAILURE

 
APATHY

 

OFFENSIVENESS


LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

 

REJECTION

 

"I've got too many things wrong with my life. I don't want to be a hypocrite."

"I'm not sure about my own relationship with Christ. Can I tell others?"

"I'm afraid I will fail."

 
"I'm afraid to get too committed or overly involved."

"I might invade some else's privacy."

"I don't know what to say. What if someone asks me a question I can't answer?"

"I'm afraid of what others will say about me."

Confession
(Romans 8:1; I John 1:9)


Assurance
(John 5:24; I John 5: 11-13)


Power of Holy Spirit
(John 20:21-22)


Right Motives
(Mark 4:19)


Concern
(I Thessalonians 2:8)

Discipleship
(I Peter 3:15-16)


Confidence in Christ
(Colossians 1:27-29)

These barriers can be overcome. Yet even if we do, we still need to know the Gospel and how to present it before we can effectively communicate Jesus Christ to students. What tools for sharing Christ do we need for our tool box?

THE TOOLS NEEDED

(1) Communication - One of the big questions in witnessing is, "How do I begin a conversation with a student?" The most important thing is to be a friend. Conversation will flow easily if we have a genuine interest in a student's life. To get started, this acrostic will provide us of some basic discussion topics when we spend time with students:

Family 
Recreation 
Interests 
Education 
Needs
Destiny

Another common question is, "How do I make a transition from talking about student interests to talking about Jesus Christ?" At an appropriate point in our conversation, we can say something like, "Have you ever thought much about Jesus Christ?"
or "Sometime, could I tell you how Jesus Christ has changed my life?" Those are simple questions. Ask God for the boldness to use them. Definitely memorize the chart at the end of this session on "How to Build a Friendship Bridge." Using it, our conversations will flow naturally toward asking the right questions and making the right responses.

(2) Testimony - Our testimony is our story. No one can refute it. Let's review what we wrote in the Action Point of Session 4 and then use these guidelines. They will help us tell our story more effectively.

  • Our personal experience should catch and hold the listener's attention. Keep it short and to the point.
  • Talk about yourself and your relationship to God. Give details, be specific.
  • Believe it as you tell it. 
  • Be positive.
  • Be prepared.
  • Have your testimony clearly in your mind.


(3) Gospel- After sharing our testimony, we can ask, "Have you ever considered asking Jesus Christ into your life?" If the person answers yes, ask him, "May I take a Form a Prayer Power Team. Get with two other leaders to pray consistently (hopefully three times a week) for three non-believing students.

Meet together to pray for:

 

MEETING

TO PRAY FOR

3

CHRISTIAN FRIENDS
TIMES A WEEK
FRIENDS WHO NEED CHRIST

 

NON-BELIEVING FRIENDS WHO NEED CHRIST

NAME

SPIRITUAL CONDITION

ACTION I CAN TAKE

PRAYER REQUEST

RESPONSE

(1)

 

 

(2)

 

 

(3)

 

 

3. This week talk to a non-believing student using the FRIEND acrostic. Report the results of that conversation below.


4. Write your testimony using this outline: (use a separate sheet of paper for this)

(1) How I lived before I met Christ
(2) How I met Christ
(3) How my life changed after I met Christ

If you have written your testimony before, go back over it and try to sharpen what you wrote earlier. Prepare it so you can present it in two or three minutes.

5. Who do you want to ask to teach you to communicate your faith effectively?


6. Pray about which student will be your student apprentice. Who is it?

7. Memorize Luke 19:10. Continue to have your time alone with God every day.

THE FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE
How to Build a Friendship with a Student

 

BREAK DOWN BARRIERS

AROUSE SPIRITUAL INTEREST

TURN THE CONVERSATION

> "What's your opinion on...?" >"Tell me about your background." >"Do you mind if I share with you the most important thing that has ever happened to me?" (Share your testimony.)
>"Do you agree with...?" >"Did you grow up in the church?"
>"What do you think about...?" >"Do you ever think about spiritual things?" >"Do you know for certain that you are a follower of Jesus Christ or are you still on the way?" (Share the Gospel.)
>"How do you feel about...?" >"Rate your spiritual interest on a scale of 1 to 10."

This bridge may be crossed in one meeting or it could require a period of time.

Source Information

This article is from ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR LEADING STUDENTS, which is Book THREE of the series, BUILDING LEADERS FOR JESUS-FOCUSED YOUTH MINISTRY, by Barry St. Clair (pp. 33-39, used by permission).   This series of three books is designed for an adult leader to use in training other adults to share leadership in a local youth ministry. Find more about each book by visiting OUR RESOURCES.

Author

Barry St. Clair is founder and director of Reach Out Youth Solutions, which equips youth workers and young people for strategic ministry through the church around the world. He has worked with youth leaders and young people for over 30 years in evangelism and discipleship. Barry holds both Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministries degrees and is the author of numerous books.