This past summer, our youth group took a mission trip to Washington, D.C. For several of our youth, this was their first trip, as well as their first opportunity to share their faith. We used an evangelistic tool called the God Test, which is basically just a set of questions that allows one to open up a conversation and draw someone out. Asking questions like, “who is God?” and “what does God require” allows the listener to get at a person’s worldview and personal conception of God. And at the end of the questions, the listener gets a chance to share the biblical view of God and especially the good news of Jesus Christ.
It’s a great tool that I’d encourage anyone to check out. It was a very helpful way of equipping our teens to share the gospel with complete strangers.
It was particularly fascinating was to see how the simple act of sharing the gospel, of going out on a limb and telling the story of Jesus Christ invigorated our teens. Evangelism had an impact on the ones doing the evangelism.
After thinking about it, I wonder how much of the spiritual lethargy I see in the church, and in myself, is due to the fact that we don’t share the gospel. We attend church. Maybe we even read the Bible and pray every day. But talking to our neighbors about Jesus, knowing that they don’t want to hear it? That’s hard. In August, Ed Stetzer wrote an article concerning this disparity between the conviction that Christians should share their faith, and those that actually do. The research Stetzer cites says that while 80% of Christians believe that they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, 61% haven’t done so within the past six months.
If as James says, “faith without works is dead,” what does this say when we confess Christ, but don’t do the work of an evangelist?
Yesterday was the last real day of our mission trip to DC. I think it ended well.
In the morning, we returned to Food & Friends, where members of our team prepared and delivered meals. In addition, we interacted with some youth from another mission trip.
In the afternoon, we went to Union Station, where we broke up into three groups and did the God Test. This was by far the highlight of the day. Union Station was an interesting place to do evangelism because for the most part people were busy and uninterested in speaking. We ended up in the food court where some were at least somewhat willing to interact. But in the end, at least two people prayed to be saved, and many others were encouraged through the God Test. We were thankful for God’s faithfulness in this challenging moment.
At night we, came together and shared the things that we saw God do in and for one another. I think everyone left encouraged by the evidences of grace in each of their lives.
It is amazing to me the energy and vitality that evangelism creates. It is clear to me that one major cause of spiritual lethargy is from not being on mission to share the gospel. When you are forced to put your reputation on the line and are willing to be rejected, there is something amazing that happens when you get the chance to share the good news with someone.
Pray that each of our teens leaves this experience and takes a step forward, rather than settling back into their own routines.
Thursday is over and the week is almost out. Today I encouraged our kids from Galatians 6:9 to “not become weary in doing good” because God will produce something if we don’t give up.
In the morning, we served at an elderly home. Breaking up into small groups of three and four, we visited the residents to hear from them, talk to them, and pray with them. My group of guys had the privilege of speaking with two older ladies who had both live through segregation and integration in the D.C. area. The other groups had a diversity of stories from those they visited.
In the afternoon, we served a woman named Hannah Hawkins, who runs the organization Child of Mine, a youth center for inner city kids. We had the chance to serve her one woman operation by cleaning and moving things for her. She also shared some of her challenges and experiences running the organization.
In the evening, we had Vietnamese Pho, which was delicious, and followed it up with frozen yogurt. Afterwards, We met together on the steps of the Basilica to reflect on the day. There, we broke into groups and prayed over one another. The boys had a chance to pray over and encourage our city host, Tim. Everyone left energized and encouraged.
Today began slowly and laboriously. The fatigue of the week is beginning to creep up on our team. But the good food and prayer seemed to re-energize us all. God has been very good and has encouraged us with His grace.
Pray that we finish strong, that we are all able to be a witness in D.C. on this last day of service and evangelism. Pray that those with whom we share the gospel receive it with faith and that our teens are especially impacted today.
Today was an exciting day because we had some opportunities to serve and evangelize. In the morning, we served with an organization called [Food & Friends], that provides meals free of charge to individuals with life-challenging illnesses. We prepared meals as well as delivered some to individuals.
In the afternoon, we broke up into teams and spent time in the city. We each had time to meet with some of the homeless people in the area, as well as provide a meal and conversation. We shared the gospel through the God Test and prayed for quite a few people. I think this was a watershed moment for a lot of our teens who have either never or rarely shared their faith.
I’m thankful for the power that God invests in the proclamation of the gospel. I’m thankful that it is the Holy Spirit who transforms people, gives new life, and brings conviction and the gift of repentance. And I’m glad that God calls me to play the small role of being a “newsie,” someone who shares the good news.
Pray that we will finish Thursday and Friday strong. Pray that we make the best use of our remaining opportunities to share the gospel. And pray that each of our kids is changed forever through this experience.
Today was another day of good hard work. In the morning we headed to DC Central Kitchen where we prepped a number of meals by peeling carrots, cutting lettuce, mixing soups, and generally doing all manner of cookery. The teens enjoyed the opportunity to serve. We ran into another group of teens in the area and got to hear their story. Overall, it was an encouraging moment to serve the city in a self-sacrificial way.
In the afternoon, we went back to the People’s Church, the church that is renovating a schoolhouse. Sweat poured as we continued to prepare the facility for inspections, clearing rooms, removing old lockers, loading buckets upon buckets of paint, and sweating some even more.
Finally, we ended the night by enjoying the culinary delights of Thai food. We had spring rolls, a peanut-noodle dish (though not Pad Thai) as well as a couple others. The group favorite was the fried banana rolls. It was a welcome respite from the day’s activities.
In the dorms we had opportunities to talk with some of the teens from other groups. I’m thankful for the opportunity to bunk with some teenagers from around the country and to share the gospel with them during this unique week of service.
I’m thankful for the level of unity within our group. Each member seems to be connecting well with one another. Everyone seems encouraged and excited for what the rest of the week holds. I’m looking forward to our opportunities to do street evangelism, sharing personal testimonies, as well as by using the God Test.
I hunger to see the power of God manifested here in DC. Pray that we are bold in speaking to people about the gospel, that we are bold in our faith and that the Holy Spirit meets us here. Pray that people are saved and that the faith our teens is forever impacted by the vitality that comes from sharing the gospel.