The Problem Of Assuming
(Why You Should Give The Gospel In Every Youth Group Meeting)
By Greg Stier • Dare 2 Share Ministries • Arvada, Colorado
I’ll never forget it. I was invited to speak at a Christian college group at the University of Colorado and gladly took the invitation. There were only about 30 or so students anticipated, but it wasn’t far from my house and I’m always looking for an opportunity to challenge Christians and present Jesus to the lost.
Once there, the group leader informed me that she didn’t want me to give the Gospel during this meeting. She insisted that the students attending were already Christians and that giving the Gospel would be wasting their time. I assured her that I would gear my message toward the Christians, but at the end would take a few minutes to give the Gospel just in case there were some unreached college students in the audience. This is when it got tense.
The conversation went something like:
She: “I am telling you that I don’t want you to give the Gospel at all.”
Me: “I’m telling you right now, that I am going to give the Gospel at the end.”
She: “This is my meeting.”
Me: “This is my talk. What are you going to do? Not give me my non-existent honorarium? You can have someone else speak if you’d like; but if I share, I’m going to give the Gospel at the end.”
She: “Fine! Just know that it’s under protest that I’m allowing you to do this.”
I wondered to myself if she would be holding up a picket sign when I gave the Gospel at the end of my talk.
Everything was going fine. She even laughed at a few of my stories during my talk—which was geared toward Christians and it dealt with, of course, the need to share your faith on campus. As I was beginning to wrap up, I made a salvation segue to the Gospel and she tensed up again. I could see her brow furrow as I said, “Maybe you’re here tonight and don’t know Jesus…”
After the Gospel presentation, I had everyone bow their heads and close their eyes, but she didn’t bow or close. She put her hand over her face and looked around the room between her outstretched fingers. She wanted to prove me wrong when I asked those who were trusting in Jesus to raise their hand.
I’m not exaggerating what happened next. The girl to her left and the girl to her right raised their hands. She looked to her left and then to her right and then right up at me.
She had experienced the problem of assuming (and I had succumbed to the act of gloating!) She had assumed that because these 30 young people came to a Christian meeting week after week, they were all Christians.
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Are you having this same assumption in your youth group? If you don’t present the Gospel every week, you probably are. Here are three reasons to present the Gospel weekly:
There are probably unbelieving teens in your youth group. You just don’t know it.
These are the teenagers in your group who know the songs and Bible verses but don’t know Jesus. When you give the Gospel weekly you are giving them a weekly opportunity to believe. I challenge you to give your weekly talk and then make a salvation segue—how your subject of the night ties into the Gospel. It’s worth it for that one night when that one soul receives Jesus.
You give your teens a reason to invite their friends.
When you give the Gospel weekly, you create what I call “a psychological agreement” between yourself and your teens, that anyone they bring to youth group will hear the Gospel every time. According to George Barna in Third Millennium Teens, nine out of 10 unreached teenagers say that they would come out to youth group if their friends invited them. When your teens know you are giving the Gospel every week they are much more likely to invite their friends to hear about Jesus.
You honor the Lord.
The biggest reason to give the Gospel weekly is that it honors the Lord. Someone once asked the great preacher Charles Spurgeon what his preaching style was. He responded, “I take my text and make a beeline for the cross.” After all, the whole of Scripture culminates with Christ, the cross, and the empty tomb! Why can’t the whole of your talk culminate in that same place every week?
For more information on how to share your faith more effectively, check out dare2share.org.