Published October 1, 2019
"Don't drop the ball, share the gospel." With these words, Steve Coleman, student pastor of Richmond First Baptist Church, challenges his students to have a Great Commission passion for their friends at school.
In addition to training students in personal evangelism tools such as 3-Circles and 262 GOSPEL presentation. Coleman helps students stay focused on sharing the gospel with a powerful visual aid. With three boxes and a clear, plexiglass front, the display built by Steve tells the ongoing story of the youth group's attempt to reach their lost friends for Christ.
With Box 1, students answer the question, "Who in your world needs Jesus?" They are then instructed to take a black ping pong ball and write their name and the name of an unsaved friend on it and drop it in the box. This ping pong ball reminds students of the darkness every lost person currently lives in.
Box 2 represents every gospel conversation the group has attempted with their friends. Students are instructed to do the same thing with Box 2 as they did with Box 1, but this time using a yellow ping pong ball. Yellow reminds students that they are seeking to bring the light of Christ and the truth of the gospel into their friend's world.
Box 3: This is where all the students hope to place a ping pong ball! Names of friends and family members who trust in Jesus through the group's gospel-sharing efforts are written in red with a red heart on a white ping pong ball and dropped into the cross. The color red reminds students of the blood of Christ and the power of the cross to save their lost friends, to cross over from dark death to new life.
Steve said that this emphasis is "a great incentive as all the guys see how not to drop the ball in the sharing of the gospel."
Each week Steve also provides a practical way for students to start a gospel conversation by giving them a 'Question of Week.' As an example, students were recently given this question to ask their friends: "What was the best part of your weekend?" Students are encouraged to respond by saying, "Sunday church was awesome, do you go to church anywhere?" Or, "When you go to church, where do you go?" Coleman said, "These prompts will help our students move to the gospel conversations."
The emphasis is having a positive impact on FBC students. One sixth grade boy had a gospel conversation with his friend. Coleman believes this was the first time the young man has ever tried to share the gospel. Together, with his Sunday School class, the young man took a yellow ping pong ball, wrote his name and his friend's name on it and dropped it in Box #2. Coleman said the class has made this emphasis a class-wide project.
Steve Coleman has worked with students for 30 plus years, the last 11 and a half at First Baptist Church, Richmond. Steve is a student ministry veteran and would be glad to talk with anyone about this and other ways he leads his students to be Great Commission driven. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy McDonald is a church evangelism strategist for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, covering the eastern half of Kentucky
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