Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Youth Group - Wednesday Night (07/02/08)

I am very excited about tonight. We are going to be starting off by introducing the SOAP study to the rest of the youth group. The practice passage will be 1 Peter 3:14-16. Basically I am not expecting a lot from this activity except for learning how to do it, but you never know what might happen.

I encourage parents to do a SOAP study just to get a feel for it. I think this is perhaps one of the easiest Bible study methods. There is a danger though. SOAP should be done with a partner because it is way too easy to go off in the wrong direction. A person could easily find things that they think God is telling them instead of what God is really saying in the passage. Doing it with a partner will hopefully establish some accountability.

As far as the lesson goes, if you've read previous blogs you will know that we have been talking about sharing our faith. In fact this is our theme for the year. I challenged the teens to make HIT (Hearts In Transition) lists of people they would like to see come to Christ. They will be praying for these people for the next year in youth group and hopefully outside of youth group. Parents, I encourage you to pray with your teens.

Last week we talked about the principles of evangelism by using an acrostic I developed. SHARE: Seek God first. Honestly live. Always love. Respect others rights. Everyday has opportunities. SHARE is not an evangelistic method. It is an easy way to remember basic principles that can be used with any method.

So with those two things under our belt we will be talking about evangelistic tools for the next couple of weeks. One of the major points I want to get across to the teens is the things I am going to share with them are tools and need to be used as tools. Why am I saying this? Too many people take these tools and use them as if they had the power to convert someone with little effort on the part of the person using them. This is not the case!!!! SHARE shows us that evangelism takes place all the time and it is very personal. Impersonal tools will not get the job done!!! Tools need to be used as tools.

It is this reason that I am not real big on tracts. I think tracts are a cop out. People like to be sneaky with tracts. The music artist Carmen put out a book that encouraged all sorts of sneaky uses with tracts. I strongly disagree with this. As I said, evangelism is personal. With that said, tracts can be a useful tool. Tonight I will be passing out a simple tract called the Four Spiritual Laws. This tract is a tool can be used to help someone present the Gospel message in a clear and concise way. We will be going over these tracts and I will show the teens how they can be used.

Another simple tool I will be showing them is an evangelist cross. We are actually going to be doing a craft in youth tonight!!! These crosses are simply made of colored beads and strings. Each color of bead stands for something in the Gospel presentation.
  1. Black stands for sin. No one is without sin. The Bible says that sin leads to death.
  2. Red stands for Jesus' blood. The only way to escape the punishment of sin is to accept the sacrifice of Jesus. Because Jesus was perfect He was able to take the sin of the world upon himself and die for the sins of mankind.
  3. White stands for cleansing. The only way to become clean from our sin is to accept Jesus' free gift. We accept his gift in two ways. We believe in faith that He died for our sins and we believe in faith that He knows what the right way to live is.
  4. Gold stands for heaven. God has promised that as a result of accepting Jesus' gift that we will receive another gift and that is eternal life in heaven.
  5. Green stands for growth. In the meantime since we have placed our faith in Jesus to show us how to live we must dedicate ourselves to grow in our relationship with Him and to become more like Him.
Like I've been saying. These are just a couple of tools that can help a person share their faith with Christ. These are not substitutes for evangelism. They need to accompany a life that is lived for Christ.

I hope you take the time to sit and talk about these tools with your teen. Talk about some other tools that you might know of. Remember, the biggest tool is our life. This would be a great opportunity to talk about how your lives are reflecting God's grace, love and mercy.

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