In this YS Idea Lab, Greg Stier shares some key ways he’s been rethinking evangelism and how he transitioned from just “making converts” to making disciples. Here are 3 key ideas that I took away from Brian Aaby’s interview with Greg:
1) Ask a ton of questions to find areas of common ground.
Greg mentions that it’s essential to find common ground with someone first. Similar to Paul on Mars Hill finding common ground with the people by discussing their statue to the unknown god, Greg establishes that common ground first by asking good questions and admiring people’s faith stories so far. He also makes a great point that the questions you ask aren’t meant to trick someone into something, but simply to get to know them.
2) Don’t be obnoxious.
The word gospel means “good news.” We don’t have to scream it or point at people, yelling that they are going to hell. Greg makes a powerful statement by adding, “what we need to do is point at ourselves because we all need Jesus.”
3) The greatest outreach is to equip and train teenagers to engage in gospel conversations.
Brian asks Greg for practical advice about outreach events and Greg responds with a challenge—if we’re thinking about outreach merely as events, then maybe we’re missing it. What if we focused less on outreach events and more on equipping and training students in our ministries who are followers of Christ to share their faith story? Greg mentions that students who explore how to share their faith will grow deeper in their faith as a result. This can all be a part of the discipleship process for students, still leaving room for those bigger outreach events but really as a supplement to the life-style of evangelism Greg describes for students.
This YS Idea Lab was filmed at NYWC 2014. It’s one of the unique experiences for youth workers at the National Youth Worker Convention and you can join us in San Diego or Louisville for NYWC 2015. Check out more info at: nywc.com.