I’m listening to a live webinar by Dare 2 Share at the moment about discipling youth and can’t stop thinking about my friend Dillon. I’m not always paying attention, but I know he has a running tally of how many friends he’s reaching out to Jesus with. The speaker, Greg Stier, made the assertion that evangelism is critical to discipling teens:
“When we’re willing to offer what’s most valuable to us, our faith is matured by what we’re willing to sacrifice.”
What’s the most important thing to a teen? To soon to be college freshman? To a man?
In short, and in most cases, it’s simply what their friends think of them. Boil it all down, and that will be left. It MATTERS. When a teen begins to share Christ with their friends, they know that they’re risking that friendship. They know that they’re putting their friendship on the altar… and that there is no real discipleship unless there is real risk.
Jesus said, “If you want to save your life, you’ll lose it.” Do we love jesus this much? Do I?
Some of the teens I know do. They may be crazy and lazy and a little rude and know-it-all, but I have nothing but respect for those that are willing to lay friendships on the line, share their faith as best they can, and come back and try again, again, and again.
To Dillon’s parents… you have raised a quality young man. I know you see a side of him that I’ll never have to deal with, but I’m proud to have him as a friend, brother, and comrade.