This past week I attended a Conference in Chicago with my youth group that helped train us in how to effectively share the Gospel with others. It was the most amazing experience ever and I learned SO much. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing five things that I learned through this mission trip.
1) If you ask God for courage, He will give it to you. James 4:2 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask.” Do not hesitate to ask God for guidance and courage. Before I left on this trip, I was nervous and didn’t feel prepared at all. I was hesitant to step outside of my comfort zone and push myself. I’m so grateful that I pushed myself because I grew so much because of it. I asked Him for courage, and He gave me not only that, but also joy to share the message of the Gospel with the people of Chicago. It was truly amazing. I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and ask God to equip you to do the very thing you fear.
2) Prayer is powerful. I think so often we underestimate the power of prayer and really just how effective and life changing it can be. I can’t tell you what my week would have been like without prayer. We spent an entire day devoted to praying for the city of Chicago and our unsaved friends and family back home. That time of prayer I believe really prepared my heart for the next few days of evangelism. So often we get caught up in the words that we are speaking and don’t take time to focus on the fact that we are having a one on one conversation with the one true King. As they put it at the Conference, “Prayer is simply talking to God.”
3) Evangelism is SO important. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is exactly what God has commanded us to do. This is our purpose here on earth; to make disciples and to glorify Christ. You may read this passage and think, “Evangelism just isn’t for me. Other people can do that; I’m not skilled in that area.” This is what I used to think. Over this past week, I really started to realize that God doesn’t just call certain people to make disciples. No, He calls every single one of us on this great mission. You may feel like you’re not equipped or knowledgeable enough, but if you are a follower of Christ, God has already given you everything you need to be able to share the message of the Gospel with others. Sharing our faith with others can be a scary thing, but God will equip you and use you for a great and mighty purpose.
4) Taking time off of social media won’t kill you. I took a week off of social media, and you wouldn’t believe how freeing it was. Don’t get me wrong; social media can be used for many great purposes, but it can also suck our time and distract us from what truly matters. Taking time off of social media made me focus more on things of importance. I challenge you to evaluate how much time you spend on social media. I encourage you to find better things to do with your time than checking Facebook every five minutes. You’ll find that it’s so freeing and will relieve a lot of unneeded stress in your life. It’s worth it, I promise.
5) There is something so amazing about meeting other believers from around the world for the exact same purpose. Imagine a room filled with close to 600 people, most of them raising their hands; the room full of worship and voices lifted high in praise to the one true King. It’s an incredible thing to experience. Although the worship time was amazing, we also had an opportunity to pray with other teenagers from different youth groups as well. This was especially encouraging because we were able to pray together for the week that was ahead of us. It’s so encouraging to meet and see other teenagers that are passionate about spreading the message of the Gospel.
And there ya go; five practical things that I learned over the course of the last week. He wants us to spread the greatest love story there was ever to be told; the Gospel! Starting today, pray and ask God to use you for great and amazing purposes to further the advancement of His Kingdom! God is SO good!