over the next week or so, i’ll post slightly edited versions of the notes from our junior high pastors summit. they’re pretty fragmented for someone who wasn’t there, i’ll admit (they weren’t ‘taken’ for this purpose). but for those who would like to read, i’m excited to share them with you.
parts 1, 2 and 3 are the summaries of the morning scot mcknight spent with us. then, parts 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are the pieces of our discussion. one bonus post will have the book recommendations from the group to one another (this is one of our traditions each year, to share two or three books we’d recommend to each other).
here’s part 8…
Evangelism and Outreach
Johnny – we do not want to manipulate, back up and have a more holistic view so students are invited into all 4 corners (God, self, others, world) – talk more about the God angle – ask students – to not just talk about Jesus but to incorporate the whole Gospel
Nate R – want students to know how to love God and others and how God has chosen them, and from there continue to speak on God, self, others and world – students need to realize it’s more than joining a club. Psalm 23, trying to tag all 4 things in the context of scripture
Marko – we can’t rely on ourselves to be the converter – we need to Trust God to do that
April – do students bring their friends because it’s a cool place or because they love Jesus – is that Evangelism?
Jim – yes! If we are providing that good “feel” – that it’s accepting, warm, caring – that’s
Marko – some kids bring friends because they experience acceptance, it’s safe, If we are providing that environment – that’s evangelism
Eric – kids are more holistic
Nate S – a lot of church kids come because they know it’s a welcoming atmosphere – they don’t get that anywhere else – the Christian kids are there because it’s the norm for them
Ken – if we stop taking the value off performance, we could have a great part in evangelism and outreach if we put the focus on who they are in Christ – youth group is the one place they come and feel loved
Jason – are our groups as accepting as we think they are?
Sean -if we our kids are accepting we have to be accepting – who are we accepting – do we approach the outsider as much as we approach the outgoing/popular ones – if not – how can we expect kids to?
Alan – how do you call kids to a decision that isn’t manipulative?
Eric – do we give them a platform to verbalize their faith – it doesn’t have to be an altar call but doing something physical and intellectual so kids can feel/think and help them understand their faith.
Johnny – give 5 or 6 different responses kids may have and give them outlets to go out and express that
Steve – offer an invitation to talk to pastor/leader to discuss and answer questions
Marko – it’s been engrained into us that a real decision to follow Christ is a single decision not a series of decisions; we are still saying we want it to be a series of Big Decisions instead of gentle nods of the soul
Alan – do you need to help students process what a gentle nod would be
Marko – which faith is more likely to last – the big decision or the gentle nods? We need to be courageous and try new methods
Jeff – it’s not us calling them – it’s God, we can offer our help and resources but it’s not us – it’s God