If you are a regular blog reader you know that for a while now I have been trying to think of a new way to present the gospel to students. I feel like the old models, the ones that worked so well for our parents and grandparents, don’t resonate with students. Most of the "plans" that people memorize are logic based. They lay out the "steps" to having a relationship with God. These plans work great for people who see the world in a logical structured fashion.
But that isn’t how students today see the world. They process information differently. Experience means as much as truth. On top of that they are the most marketed to generation ever. So when they encounter a rehearsed seemingly canned message they are just as likely to tune out as to listen and respond.
So I have been trying to think of a way to teach students to share their faith in a way that is both a) effective and b) easy to memorize. The problem is that plans that are easy to memorize already have 2 strikes against them.
What I came up with is a plan that uses your own "God Story" as a jumping off point to sharing the gospel. The twist is that the gospel presentation that I wrote doesn’t talk about what "you" need to do to be saved. Instead it talks about what "I" did with God. By laying out the gospel in first person it makes it a) less threatening and b) more experiential. For this generation it is important to relate to people through stories. So this plan is all about telling a story.
In the end I like what I have come up with. But honestly it only works if you are telling MY story (as in Shane’s story) because it is very personal. The idea is that each person will take the basic elements of the gospel and relate their own personal journey through each stage towards a relationship with God. The plan doesn’t use an acrostic or any easy to remember device. So it it may be a little daunting at first, but since you shape it into your own personal story once you know it, it should be very easy to tell in a conversational way.
OK, that is the basis for my new "plan" that I am presenting tonight to the youth. Tonight when I get back I will give you a report on how the youth responded as well as the plan in full.