Students run in packs like fish run in schools. Ethnic, interests, sports, classes, and friendships naturally group the student world together. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.” Your school is a perfect place to present the love of Christ, because students will listen more readily and be most comfortable when they are within these natural groups. That’s why a good dose of creativity can open up opportunities for many students to hear.
The Right Environment
Remember the parties and sleepovers you used to have in junior high? Great videos! “TP-ing” the heck out of the neighborhood! Food! All night discussions on juicy topics! Kissing pillows and swapping most embarrassing stories. The right friends. A good place. Good video. It might be awhile since you gathered together like that. Did you know the same kinds of great fun and ideas can be turned into opportunities to share Christ? What made those times so memorable? Chances are it was the environment. You were totally relaxed in a setting that jazzed you. Your friends were safe people, well sort of at least until you went to sleep. First one to go to sleep always got the shaving cream and the hand in the warm water trick…remember? Ha! You’re gross! An evangelistic outreach needs to be on a turf that students know, enjoy and can make an escape from if it gets too hot. Remember, you’re sharing about Jesus Christ. Your church wouldn’t be the best place. Too many students have negative feelings about places of worship. Your youth worker’s grandmother’s place wouldn’t work either. I don’t care if she does have a nice living area, to replace the antiques you break would take seven years of allowances.
Great Places for an Outreach
Here are some ideas for places to hold an outreach:
- Your place
- Your friend’s place
- A teacher’s classroom at school
- A local pizza parlor
- The gymnasium
- Parks and recreational areas
- The beach
It’s Gotta be Relevant
Along with the right place, you need a relevant topic to discuss. What’s that mean? Simply put, it has to hit a nerve in your friends, something they think about, or want to discuss. When they hear about it, they say to themselves, yea I want to take that further … A relevant topic will give credibility to your special gathering. Not only does the topic need to be relevant, but it has to be able to naturally lead into spiritual things. In other words, you could talk about how high the corn is getting, but how will you turn the conversation to spiritual things?
Some topics for your outreach might include:
- Getting Along with Parents
- Goofy Stuff We Do
- How to Have a Great Senior Year
- Ten Things you Don’t Want to Do During Homecoming
- What’s the X in X-mass?
- Spring Fever – How to Cool It!
- How to Tame Stress
- How to Get Better Grades and Have More Fun
- Easter Bunnies or Something Else?
- Winning Over Worry
- Your Personal Story
Get the drift? It’s gotta relate! Felt needs lead to real needs and an opportunity to share Jesus Christ in a way that your friends will want to listen. Once you’ve got your idea and location set you need to choose the kind of activity that you’ll invite them too. Most students want to come to an event that has some spark and sizzle. It’s gotta have food, and it should be uproariously fun! Christianity has taken a bad rap. They think we’re all constipated living on prunes and looking with wonder across the road at the world wishing we could play. Rubbish. Let’s show them that we can rock with the best of ‘em!
Here is a list of ideas that have actually been tried in real life … proceed at your own risk.
- Burger Bash: Get a local fast food place to donate burgers, find a good band, and chow down. Your friends will love the party atmosphere.
- Viking Dinner: This works well with both sexes. Have parents make as much food as possible, and the “guests” can only use their hands as utensils.
- Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl: What could be more unique than rolling a frozen turkey at bowling pins in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. Students love it!
- Super Bowl Party: A great video which is produced each year featuring prominent athletes is easy to show during half-time.
- Valentine’s Day Outreach: This highly social party type idea could be done in a home or at school. Don’t forget the long stemmed roses.
Helpful Tips on Evangelistic Events
- Team up with several other Christians.
- Publicize the event as broad as possible. Use through word of mouth, fliers, Internet and phone calls. Be persistent with some who may need multiple invites to show up.
- Pray for the event before, during and afterwards.
- Ask your parents to help you with those things you can’t get donated.
- Be organized. Here’s a simple method: On a piece of paper have three lines:
- What do I need to do?
- When do I need to do it?
- Who can help me?
- Use comment cards. Use pre-printed cards or 3″ x 5″ cards to get the students’ response from your message. Include: Name, school, phone, and comments, then have them check one or more of the following:
- [ ] I received Christ at this meeting.
- [ ] I would like to grow as a Christian. Call me with details.
- [ ] I’d like a related article about what you talked about tonight.
- [ ] Contact me about the next meeting.
Answers to Most Asked Questions
What if I don’t have many non-Christian friends? A: Begin with those you do have. Start with simple outreaches and begin to build a broader base of friends. When they come to Christ you will have a broader base from which to invite others to future events.
How do I prepare a talk for one of these outreaches? A: It’s a lot like doing a research paper. Write up a simple three-point outline on your topic, and then research for the content. Always use your personal testimony as a transition between the content of your felt need topic and the gospel. Use tools to share a simple gospel presentation. You can use some ready made talks; simply adapt them to your audience and use current illustrations.
- The right place.
- The right environment.
- The right topic.
- The right talk.