Archive for August, 2012

I hope you found part one helpful in educating you on ways that you can build relationships with the young people in your community. Today we will go over the remaining five steps.

6.) Take them as far as they are ready to go:

Use just enough bait to make them hungry for more. Get them asking questions. Some of us, when we get a victim…I mean someone in front of us, we want to hit them with the whole Bible. Genesis to Revelation but we jump around and talk about killing sheep and smearing blood and human sacrifices , eating our leaders flesh and drinking his blood so that we remember that his Father made him suffer for something he didn’t even do. We tell them about Jesus being beaten half to death, nailed to a cross, died and popped out of the grave on Easter. And now we are commanded to tell the whole world about how he floated to heaven on a cloud and will be coming back anytime now to get us and we’ll just disappear and planes will crash and chaos will ensue, but this is just to give the people who didn’t believe, one more chance to believe, if they hadn’t bought into it by now and if they didn’t get killed when the plane crashed after the pilot disappeared and if they did than it’s too late for them anyway but you just want to make sure that they believe this and accept this God who loves them so much that he allowed his only son to endure a brutal death on a cross so that He doesn’t send them to hell where they will burn forever and a day. And then you realize you haven’t taken a breath in the 6 minutes you’ve been “witnessing” to them so you inhale and as you exhale you say just repeat this prayer after me so we can make sure if you step out on the sidewalk and an 18 wheeler jumps the curb and smashes you, you won’t go to hell, kay?

All the while their eyes are bugged out of their skulls and they’re looking for an escape. Any reason to get away from you. They may even be thinking, If this guy’s in heaven, maybe hell ain’t so bad.

Don’t be a freak. Be relatable. Jesus was relatable, follow His example.

7.) Accept others where they are at:

Acceptance is different from approval. Jesus knew the lifestyle of the woman at the well but did not condemn her for it. You draw more flies with honey than vinegar. Think about the kind of person you like to hang out with and be that person, but more importantly, think about the person you can’t stand and don’t be that guy.

8.) Communitcate directly and effectively:

Don’t cofuse people. Just cause you know everything in the Bible and understand the Trinity completely and did your dissertation on Revelation, does not mean they will get it, Remember it took years to obtain the Biblical knowledge you now wield like a sawed off shotgun. You may be cruising at 30,000 feet but they are not even at the airport yet. Their bags are not even packed. They didn’t even purschase their tickets yet. Slow down. Walk with them. Don’t run, don’t drag them WALK with them.

9.) Don’t prejudge or pre-qualify:

We are called to be witnesses not judges. Christ died that NONE should perish. Not just the folks with short hair and dress suits with shiny shoes and 6 figure incomes.

He came for the dirty homeless guy with the missing teeth. The drug addict. The drunk. The foulmouthed, disrespectful punk teenager. The prostitute….I think you get the picture.

Jesus called us to be fishers of men. That’s it, period. Not cleaners of fish. Jesus is the hook. Put some relevant bait on and dangle the line in the sea of mankind and Jesus will catch them. He will clean them.

That’s not our job. We cast the net, Jesus pulls them in. Our JOB is to get the bait in front of the fish.  After Jesus catches and cleans them, you disciple them.

10.) Bait Bait Bait:

Use the right kind of bait for the fish you want to catch. Don’t use old hymns to catch teenagers and don’t use death metal to catch senior citizens. You would never use worms to go shark fishing.

If you went fishing and forgot your bait at home, your big nasty pointy sharp hook thing won’t attract fish, it will repel them.

Love better be your bait. Don’t go fishing for men with out the love of Jesus it only repels them.

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The Apostle Paul knew the secret to relational evangelism. In 1 Corinthians 9:22 “I become all things to all people so that through all possible means I might save some.”

After 10 years of reaching teens that the church had labeled “unreachable” We have developed 10 simple steps to reaching these young people through relational evangelism. This is by no means an exhaustive list but simply a guide that you can incorporate with the current techniques you are already employing.

1.) Initiate contact

Reach out to them. They are not going to come to you. They don’t know their need for Christ. Satan has blinded them. We need to go onto their turf, their territory. We need to stop focusing on bringing them to Jesus and start taking Jesus to them. Remember Jesus left Heaven and came to us.

2.) Establish common ground

Find something you have in common, (familiar ground), video games, movies, music, sports. Be genuine. We are not used car salesmen. High pressure sales don’t work. They have the opposite effect.

3.) Listen

Allow them to speak. Really listen. Don’t be planning and plotting your next move. Save that for the chess game. Don’t be thinking about how you are going to force feed the Gospel to them. The Spirit will lead you in this area.

4.) If you have been really listening, you probably learned some things about their life that they are unhappy with. Could be a job, their family, finances, a relationship. Any of these are door openers. Find something you can relate to and tell them how you understand because you went through the same thing. Share with them how you handled the situation. When you are sincere and show you genuinely care and want to see them succeed, they will see you are normal and not just a Bible thumping nut case. You are building a friendship and trust as well as earning the right to speak into their life.

5.) Don’t attack

Don’t give into the urge to judge them and tell them all the things they are doing wrong. You may be the life preserver in the raging sea of their life. A beacon of hope. You can be their life boat to safety. A haven in the storm. But this only comes through love. If love is not your motivation they can end up broken on the rocks. Just look back to my recent blogs to read my parable about the life boat. It will drive this point home

Jesus was the Master at relational evangelism. Be imitators of Christ.

Great Summer

Posted: August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

It has been a while since I last made a post and that is because I took a break for the summer. I have been traveling to promote my new book REGENER8. I went to the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando and was blown away. I met so many great people there. I got to see the advance review copy of my book and hold it in my hand for the first time. So different than just looking at the digital copy of it. I signed copies for people and had my picture taken with them. It was all so surreal.

My publisher sent my family and me to Disney World to celebrate my new book. We had so much fun. I went on to St. Pete. Florida to visit with my grown sons. I came back home just in time for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference. I was totally shocked and humbled to win the Writer of the Year Award as well. I also sold some of my short stories to a publisher while I was there.

I’ve made many awesome contacts for speaking opportunities to teach others how to reach this generation with the message of Christ.

I am currently finishing up my non-fiction work titled Going Underground which is currently being shopped around by my agent, Diana Flegal of Hartline Literary Agency. I am also working on my fiction project which is a suspense thriller. I have several other projects going on as well. Several screenplays and a couple novels.Busy pace.

I will however be resuming my blog about reaching young people as well as what a true follower of Christ should be focused on. My favorite saying is Jesus called us to be fishers of men not cleaners of fish. We will be delving into this much deeper in the weeks to come. Hope you are all having an amazing summer. God bless.