Things I’m afraid of…
(In no particular order…)
- Talking to my mates about Jesus
I work with teenagers on the south coast and we recently had a conversation about fear. We quickly established that some fear is good – fear can keep us safe, fear means we don’t walk through the dodgy part of town on our own at night.
But some fear is bad for us, it restricts us, binds us, holds us back…
Everyone in the group had a story about a time when they had overcome a fear – one got to the top of the climbing wall, one conquered the high ropes and a particularly brave one rescued a spider from the bathtub!! I asked them how it felt and here’s what some of them said:
“I don’t know why I was afraid before”
“I know I can do it now”
“It made me feel strong”
It can be hugely liberating to overcome a fear!
So what can we do if we want to talk to our mates about Jesus, but we’re just too scared? Well first of all be assured that you’re not the only one! I’ve had the privilege of working with some people who are really gifted at telling people about Jesus, and even the best of them find that they need to go to the toilet a few times beforehand! Everyone gets scared. But is it a good fear or a bad fear?? Does this fear keep you safe or restrict you?
Maybe it’s true that your fear is protecting you from rejection, ridicule, standing out, looking weird…
But more importantly - your fear is silencing you and preventing your mates hearing the news that Jesus offers life to the full!
Overcoming any fear is usually a combination of lots of little steps rather than heading into college canteen tomorrow with a soapbox and a megaphone! So let me suggest 10 small [hopefully manageable] steps that we could take:
- Pray every day [maybe when brushing your teeth??] for opportunities to talk about Jesus
- Invite someone to a youth group social
- Tell a Christian friend that you want to start talking to your mates about Jesus
- Read a gospel – get to know Jesus better!
- learn a gospel illustration that you can share such as Two Ways to Live
- Post about your faith on social media
- Read books that will help you answer your friends questions [these are great and very short! https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/youth/little-black-books/]
- If your friend is stressed / sad / anxious about something, ask them if they want you to pray about it
- Invite your friends round for a meal – for some reason it’s much easier to have good conversations when food is involved and you’re away from ‘screens’
- Think of interesting questions you could ask to open up faith conversations eg
What are you afraid of?
On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you?
What would be your perfect day?
What do you think happens after we die?
Is anyone in your family religious?
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? Why?
Why do you think some people are religious and others aren’t?
Do you believe in God?
Could you try one each week and see how it goes?
Lizzi manages the schools team at Brighton-based charity, Off The Fence. She also has a new found love of gardening (and yes, she realises that makes her sound old!)