How to help students share their faith at home
Challenging students to share their faith can be a difficult task. An even greater challenge is getting them to take the gospel to their homes, the place where all of their scars and sins are most exposed. Here is how you can help students impact a home environment which may be hostile to the gospel.
Uplift the Importance of Prayer
Challenge students to pray daily for the family member who does not know Christ. You may also encourage them to meet with other students for this concentrated prayer time.
What should they pray for? First, part of the prayer process is to ask God for the opportunities to share their faith-and that student would take advantage of those opportunities. You as a leader can help students learn how to ask questions that can turn conversations toward a discussion of faith. Many parents today weren't raised in church, so helping students bridge that gap will be significant in witnessing.
Don't think you get to sit out on the sidelines, though! Your example of faithful and fervent prayer for your youth will help them understand the importance and the power of prayer. Make sure you are on your knees daily before challenging them to pray.
Challenge Students to Live It Out
Students also need to take seriously the call to live out their Christian faith at home. Parents and siblings must see a teenager's words and actions line up, and home can be the last place where teens are consistent with their faith. Encourage your students to reinforce their walk with Christ at home.
Equip Youth to Verbally Share
Knowing how to share their faith is essential to helping youth reach out to family members. You may use a variety of ways to teach them about evangelism. LifeWay offers the FAITH Sunday School Evangelism Strategy as well as the student edition of "Share Jesus Without Fear," for example. The North American Mission Board also offers means of evangelism through TheKristo.com and FiSH, a campus evangelism strategy that includes a good testimony guide for students to write out their faith.
For some youth these opportunities to share may be difficult to act upon. For you to pray daily for these students is an important task. Letting them know you are praying will help them to stay with the challenge to share their faith with unsaved family members.
They may not let you know they appreciate your efforts, but they do. Later in life, they may look back and see that you were faithful in walking beside them during this important time.
Give Students Outlets to Share
Giving youth additional opportunities to share through means of the church is important as well. Invite family members to see a teenager participate in a musical or drama. Host a dinner theater for families. Offer a parents' night out or a workday that says "thanks" to mom and dad. These kinds of events give youth a chance to share their faith in a nonthreatening way or to start important dialogues about faith with a parent. As classes or as an entire student ministry, brainstorm some ways students could have evangelistic events for their families at the church.
Another concrete idea that can have a powerful impact is to ask students to write a letter to a family member who is not a Christian. Since most students don't communicate with family members through the written word, mom or dad would likely take a letter from his or her teen seriously. It also gives students the chance to clearly communicate the message of Christ and how he has made a difference in their lives.
Great ideas need to be put into practice, so start today. Lay down a foundation of prayer, and get others from the church involved in helping students reach out to family members. Remind students it may take some time, but they must trust God and be faithful in their daily prayers for mom, dad, brother, sister or other family member who needs to hear the good news.