The Christian Teen’s Guide to Talking To Your Friends About Jesus
Evangelism is scary - but it's really important! Here's how to talk about Jesus with confidence.
As Christians, most of us know that we should be sharing our faith in Jesus with others. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy!
In this Christian Teen’s Guide, we’re going to take a look at what the Bible says about talking to our friends about Jesus (aka ‘evangelism’), and then four practical ways that you can get ready to share your faith. Let’s go!
What the Bible says about talking about Jesus
The Bible has a lot to say about sharing out faith with others!
The gospel is for everyone
Even before Jesus was born, people knew that his life, death and resurrection were going to be good news for all people. The angels proclaimed to the shepherds in the fields, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10).
Up until Jesus, God’s people were the Israelites. But with the death and resurrection of Jesus, access into God’s kingdom was opened up to all who believe! We can see this in the fact that the good news was proclaimed before Christ’s birth to the Magi – wise rulers from a foreign, non-Jewish land.
Throughout his life and ministry, Jesus made it clear that his death and resurrection were going to be for everyone. He turned everything upside down for the Jewish people and for the Gentiles, which is great news for all of us who need Jesus!
We all need to share it
As Dave Miers points out in this article on Fervr, “After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to the disciples and gave them one final message before ascending to heaven.
If you're a follower of Jesus, this message is for you too.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.” ( Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
If you are a follower of Jesus – it’s because of the faithfulness of Christians to this command over the last 2000 years that you have heard about Christ and submitted yourself to his authority.”
Yes, this command is for all of us – as scary as that may be!
Some people are specifically gifted to evangelise
While we are all called to share our faith to some extent, the Bible does make it clear that some people are specifically gifted to be evangelists. Ephesians 4:11-13 says:
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Notice that ‘evangelist’ is listed there alongside pastors and prophets, setting it out as a specific role. Some church ministers are also gifted evangelists, and others are employed as evangelists by para-ministry organisations. These people should be supported and encouraged in their important work!
Ultimately, it’s all about God
While we are all called to share our faith, we need to remember that ultimately, the salvation of people is not up to us. Jesus explains in John 6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
This concept is known as predestination, and it’s a big one to get our heads around! If you’d like to read more about predestination, we recommend this article as a good starting place.
But for us, thinking about evangelism, predestination is actually a freeing thought. Though God may choose to use us to draw people to himself, ultimately he is in control. That should take away some of the pressure and stress we might feel about evangelism!
Let’s get practical
So the Bible is pretty clear: the gospel is great news and it needs to be shared!
Here are four practical ways you can start talking to your friends about Jesus – ranging from the most preparation and courage required to the least.
Apologetics, despite how it sounds, isn’t at all about apologising for our faith. Apologetics comes from the Greek word ‘apologia’, which means “a formal defence of one’s opinions or conduct”.
We tend to use the word apologetics to refer to being prepared to answer the questions of people who ask us about major Christian doctrines and hard ideas, including predestination, suffering, the resurrection, science, evolution, sexuality and more.
Learning how to be an apologist is a great way to prepare to answer the tough questions of your friends. It can be quite a detached and academic way of discussing faith, so it won’t suit everyone. And it’s important to always understand why your friend is asking a certain question before you jump into a pre-prepared presentation! A friend who’s mourning the death of a relative needs love and prayer more than they need a rational defence of the afterlife.
Over the years, many Christians have devised simple ways to explain the gospel, including Gospel beads/colours, Bridge to Life, 321, Two Ways to Live and many more! You may have heard of some of these.
Learning a gospel presentation is a great way to solidify your understanding of the key facets of Christian faith. You can pull the presentation out when your friend asks what you believe, or just use your knowledge to frame a less formal explanation.
A testimony is a story of how a person came to follow Jesus, and how that’s impacted their life. Using your personal story to share your faith is quite easy, because it’s your story! No one is going to question what you say happened to you, at least not in the same way that they’d question other aspects of Christianity.
If you’ve never written down your testimony before, spend some time doing that today! It’s a great way to reflect on God’s goodness to you and once you’ve thought it through properly you’ll be ready to share it with others.
There are a number of testimonies written out here on Fervr that you could check out – like this one.
If you’re absolutely terrified of sharing your faith, and can’t imagine even bringing up Jesus, then here’s an easy way to get started with evangelism: ask your friends to come with you to youth group!
At youth group, or church, your friends should hear the gospel preached by someone with experience, who is able to make the message of Jesus clear to teenagers.
Plus, you can ask your other Christian friends to help you out in making your friend feel comfortable and welcome in the Christian community.
But you’re not totally off the hook – make sure you follow up with your friend after youth group, asking them what they thought and if they have any questions.
Questions to think about
- Why is the gospel such good news for everyone?
- How does it make you feel that Jesus has asked you to evangelise your friends? Scared or excited?
- Have you ever tried talking to your friends about Jesus? How did it go?
- This article outlines four ways you could get started with evangelism: apologetics, gospel presentations, testimonies and invitations. Aim to try one of these in the next month!
- Pray that God would use you as a way of calling people into relationship with himself.