Our high school ministry does really well with funny videos and usually comes up with some pretty strong programming bits for our youth group services. What I like about this video is that is sets up the students’ sharing time so well. Good stuff!


Our ministry is very evangelistic. How did it become that way? Good question—and one we’ve been processing in our own discussions this week, too. Here are a few of the reasons a student develops a heart for his or her lost friends, and how a whole bunch of teenagers like that create an infectious ministry.

Lead people to Jesus yourself.
Your ministry is usually a direct reflection of you. Want students to develop a deep sense of community? Be in one yourself and talk about its importance often. Want students to share about their failures and problems? Model vulnerability from the stage and you’ll get it in return. So if you want to produce evangelistic students—you can see it coming by now, can’t you?—share your faith with friends, families and neighbors often. Talk about the lost friend you’re praying for, show them how a conversation can point people to Christ.

Make sure everyone knows their own story.
Students need practical ways to share their faith with their friends—one of the best ways is helping them articulate their own spiritual journey. If their story is filled with sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll…that’s okay because it’s THEIR story—but make sure the focus rests squarely on Christ and his redemptive work. If their story isn’t quite that dramatic, encourage them to point out how much God saved them from and the potential they have following Jesus’ ways without the painful past. Either way, having everyone write out their personal story is a great way to help build evangelistic confidence.

Make prayer cards.
A super practical idea might be to help students simply jot down the names of friends who don’t know Jesus on a little card, and keep it in their wallets or purses. Whenever they see those names, they can pray that God would open the door for a spiritual conversation with a friend.

Create series that are easy to invite people to.
We need to be sure to teach the whole counsel of God—every word is ordained and inspired but not as easy for a first-timer to church to handle. At least once a year have a “bring a friend” series that’s designed to give them an easy felt-need they can invite someone to.

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.

The Power of Testimonies

Josh Griffin —  September 20, 2012 — 1 Comment

I love adding a testimony to my message. I think it makes the sermon totally come alive!

For HSM’s Fall Kickoff this year I taught a message to each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and for a couple of them I added a testimony to help give the talk a sense of realism and weight. The two students who shared, Jenna (an incoming freshman) and Bryce (starting his senior year), did an incredible job sharing their hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. I was so proud of them – a couple incredibly mature students!

We don’t always have a testimony, but when we do:

  • We give students direction for their story – but not usually too much lead time
  • Students have to simply read their testimony on the stage – it is the great equalizer
  • All testimonies are edited by someone from the team
  • Parents have to be aware of the content and sign off on it being shared


Weekend Teaching Series: Stories Weekend (1-off)
Series in a sentence: Testimonies of life change.
Service Length: 70 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend was ran by AC (yoacblog.com) as our pastoral care guy. He gathered up 4 students and one of our staff for a powerful weekend of sharing their testimonies of how God has moved in their lives. Alyssa (junior) shared how she grew up in the church but it wasn’t until this year that moved her to move forward in Him. Ian (senior) shared about how he was bullied and kicked out of sumer camp for fighting and how sports and girls were his main priority until he met Jesus. Catherine (senior) talked about how her relationship with Christ far out ways any romanic relationship or abusive relationship, that God is bigger than any of them. Paula (senior) talked about how coming to this country from Argentina and growing up in a pastor’s family and how when God calls us to do something we need to do it no matter what out of love and obedience. And Dillon (our graphics guy at HSM) shared about his family life and how when he met God, God gave him all these new passions and abilities that he didn’t know he had that could be used to bring God glory. Very diverse stories with tons of different take aways.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Being that is was a pretty serious weekend with students telling their life stories there was no games or funny videos, but the atmosphere after they shared was very open and friendly. We played a reflective song (Your Beloved) between the half the testimonies to have the student sit back and reflect on the words and how God is moving in their lives.

Music Play List: We Can Change the World, Divine and Holy, Your Beloved, What Would I Have Done, The Stand, Tear Down the Walls, God Above All

Up Next: Worship Together Weekend

(post written by Justin Knowles, I was on a student mission trip to Rwanda)