"And then he told them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.'" Mark 16:15 (NLT)
I recently heard about a little boy who was involved in a serious accident, and lay in a coma in the hospital with massive internal injuries. The following day, the little boy's kindergarten teacher was talking to the students about the accident, and asking for suggestions on what they could do for their injured classmate.
Several children made suggestions such as taking food, writing cards and drawing him pictures. Then one little girl suggested that the class could pray for him. A few seconds passed, and then a young boy, who had been intently listening to the discussion, asked quietly, "What is prayer?"
The little girl proceeded to tell him how Christians pray to Jesus. The boy looked at her inquisitively for a moment, and then said, "Who is Jesus?"
This little girl, along with a few other classmates, proceeded to witness to this young boy, telling him all about Jesus. They shared that He is God's Son and was sent to earth to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have eternal life and go to Heaven. The teacher stood there with tears in her eyes, as these precious little children, barely knowing their ABC's, shared the gospel with intense knowledge, passion and commitment, and without any hesitation or fear. They were proud of their Jesus, and wanted to share God's love and promises with this little boy, who was completely unaware of Jesus.
This story touched my heart and I wished I could have been there to see it taking place. It was then that God pricked my heart, and said, "You can be there too, just in a different circumstance, with different people, and at a different time." I was reminded that opportunities for sharing the good news of Jesus are everywhere: around every corner, in the next cubicle, in every neighborhood, and in every classroom. We simply have to grasp the opportunities that are presented.
As a mother of two teen and pre-teen girls, I have the opportunity to interact with a lot of adolescents, many of whom are completely unaware of Jesus, just like that little boy. Unaware, not because of any fault of their own, but because no one has ever taken time to share Jesus with them. Unaware, because they were raised by parents who were unaware themselves. And for some, they have heard of Jesus, but have chosen to reject Him because they are unaware of their need for a Savior.
They all began just like that little kindergartner who had not heard of Jesus, and have grown into young adults who don't know Him. Completely unaware.
Reaching the teens of today's world can sometimes be intimidating, and at times, out of our comfort zone. But I wonder what the world would be like today if teenagers reached for Jesus for stress relief and comfort, instead of drugs, alcohol or physical intimacy. What would happen if every teen was impacted by the witness of a Christian?
Scripture tells us that everyone will be accountable to God (Romans 14:12), even if they have not heard of Him, which is the basis for global missions work. But what about the mission field right in our own back yards? Are we really reaching out to those who are reachable? As Christians, it is our duty to make sure that people become aware of Jesus, including teens that seem to need nobody but themselves. The people we encounter can be a divine appointment…even an unaware soul, longing to be rescued.
I heard a statistic once that stated that 80% of people who accept Christ do so by age 18. We have a window of opportunity to reach young people, and God is calling us now, to make an impact on the future generations of our world, one heart at a time.
Dear Lord, give me passion and courage to reach out to those who are unaware of Your sovereignty. Impart Your wisdom to me, so that I can be equipped to witness in such a way that peaks their interest and makes them aware of their need for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Making It Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway? by T. Suzanne Eller
Visit the Next Generation blog for girls 12-17 years old
For information about Next Generation sessions that Tracie offers, visit her blog
Think of three people you know that are unaware of who Jesus really is. Pray and ask God to open doors to share your faith with them.
Consider hosting a Next Generation Gather and Grow Group.
What can I do to reach out to a child or teen that I know?
Matthew 28:19a, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations." (NIV)
© 2009 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.