How do you share the gospel with friends especially when we’re practicing social distancing? How do you share the hope that you have in Jesus in authentic and genuine ways?
Greg Stier is the founder and president of Dare to Share which mobilizes teenagers to reach their world for Christ. Find out more at dare2share.org.
Help your students share their faith in your own neighborhood. Learn about a mission trip in your own neighborhood.
Why are people so afraid to share their faith?
Our message says there is only one way to heaven and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. It can feel scary to talk with someone about repenting (changing their mind about something) and believing in a person they’ve never met to take them to a place they’ve never been.
We are afraid of messing up, getting rejected, being made fun of, and not knowing how to have a conversation effectively and lovingly.
If you’re motivated, you will figure out how. Fear is the main factor.
How has God motivated you to get excited about sharing the gospel?
Greg grew up in a family where violence was normal. He had two “crazy” uncles who were gang members and had dealings with the local mafia. A preacher reached his Uncle Jack with the gospel on a dare and his uncle decided to trust Christ. It influenced his entire family and they all made decisions to trust Christ. Greg witnessed firsthand the powerful transformation of the gospel and realized that the gospel could save you from the current “hell” you were going through.
Greg also had an experience of sitting at a mall at age 12 watching people walk by and realizing they were bound for hell. It broke his heart. He still thinks about that today. Having “eternal glasses” through which you view the world helps you see people differently.
Share some about your testimony. How did you start walking with God?
When Greg saw his family transformed, he knew the gospel was the answer. He started going to a Christian school and felt frustrated with the apathy he saw in those who had grown up in church. He began attending the youth group of the preacher who had led his Uncle Jack to the Lord. At age 15 Greg started training another local church’s youth group how to share their faith with others. Greg believes it’s so important to reach who we can reach, but also to mobilize other believers to reach who they can reach. We can’t do it alone. The Organization Dare 2 Share came out of that desire to mobilize others.
What is the aim of your organization and how have you seen it be effective in the lives of students?
The vision of Dare 2 Share is that every teen everywhere hears the gospel from a friend.
Dare 2 Share puts on events and provides materials and an app to help youth leaders mobilize their students and teenagers to reach their friends with the gospel.
What is your thought process behind sharing the gospel? Explain the King, Cause, and Crew principle.
Every teen needs a King, a cause, and a crew.
King – a dominating, driving force in your life. King Jesus is our King.
Cause – a driving mission. Matt. 28:19 says, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Making disciples is our cause.
Crew – a team (community). Even if you’re alone, Jesus says “surely I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Our friends who are serious about Christ – that’s our crew.
What are some steps you would use to encourage students as they share their faith?
Greg gives three steps: Prayer, care, share.
Prayer – Start by praying for your friends.
Suicide is the number two cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. and that statistic is before COVID.
Care – Showing that you care can be as simple as, “I’ve been thinking about you. How are you doing? How can I pray for you?” 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” When things get dark, you look for the closest light. You are the “priest,” the light in that community of friends.
Share – “Hey, have you ever heard the message of Jesus?”
The “How can I pray for you?” question may bring up this part naturally.
G – God created us to be with Him.
O – Our sins separate us from God.
S – Sin cannot be removed by good deeds.
P – Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.
E – Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life.
L – Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever.
Greg encourages students to memorize this. It’s like playing guitar chords where you just know it and so with practice, it comes naturally.
Dare 2 Share also has a free app called Life in 6 Words. In this app, you can record yourself explaining the gospel and send it to your friends. The app tracks if they’ve opened it and how far they’ve made it through.
This is a very practical tool that can help facilitate spiritual conversation even in the midst of “social distancing.” If you’re worried about explaining the gospel in person, you are able to get the audio story just right before sending it. You can record a different introduction and conclusion for each friend or you can make each one unique. The beauty of this app is that a friend explaining the gospel is much more personal than “hey, watch this video”.
What have you found to be effective in this season of “social distancing?”
Greg jokes that he’s “seen more neighbors in the last four weeks than in the last four years.” People are out and talking, riding bikes, playing kickball in the yard. People want to talk. You don’t need an opening line, but can start off with something like “It’s crazy times, isn’t it?” and you’re in and talking.
Greg has gone door-to-door with his own neighbors, asking how he can pray for them, which would have been weird and unthinkable a year ago, but now some people are open and willing to share.
Everything we’ve trusted as Americans is crumbling from within.
In the past, the number one day of the year for the highest number of phone calls was Mother’s Day. Now, every day, the number of phone calls is twice that amount. Telemarketers are having problems getting off the phone because people are wanting to talk.
Now is the time to talk to people. Now is the time to share the gospel. Now is the time. Lean into it. Don’t hesitate.
“How can I pray for you?” is an easy way to start a conversation.
Greg discusses this idea in his free e-book: You Can’t Quarantine the Gospel.
Can you tell us about what you shared at Grace Church when you spoke there?
Greg has written two books called Letters from Hell and Letters from Heaven. The basic premise of these books is what someone would write if they died and went to hell and what they would write if you led that person to Christ and they are now in heaven.
I Dreamt of Judgment Day is a third book Greg discussed at Grace Church. The “judgment day” in the title refers to believers before the throne of Christ being rewarded for what they’ve done on earth. His goal in writing this book is for the believer to look forward to this day with joy and anticipation—to be excited about it.
Being rewarded for the things we do on earth that have eternal value can motivate us to share our faith now.
How do you give the gospel to people who are blaming God for their problems (i.e. COVID)?
This comes back to the problem of evil, which all religions have an explanation for. The question becomes, “Who has the best answer?” Greg explains that the Bible has the best answer: God did not create evil, but He allowed it. He allowed it to show his grace and mercy. If He hadn’t allowed it, people would be robots who don’t have free will to make their own decisions. Since Adam and Eve made the choice to rebel against God, evil made its way into the world, but God sent Jesus to absorb that sin and give us His righteousness. And he gives everyone the opportunity, through his power, to conquer that sin and evil in their own lives and then ultimately when God makes everything new. Jesus is our hope. And that’s a pretty good deal.
God allows evil for His divine purposes.
Because of COVID, people are more open to talking and having spiritual conversations. This is evidence that God works all things for good. God takes the mess and turns it into a masterpiece.
How would you encourage someone to be a disciple once they come to know Christ?
When a baby is born, you don’t punt it like a football. You feed the baby, you take care of the baby, you help the baby grow. In the same way, that’s what we need to do with a new believer. We need to seek to get them connected with God’s people, a community of believers. In the New Testament, discipleship is a team sport. It’s not just us with one other person. Examples include Jesus with his disciples and believers contributing to the unity of the church with their unique gifts. The best growth comes in community: groups of believers helping each other grow.
SonLife ministries talks about these essentials:
Feed – growing in God’s word.
Walk – walking in obedience to what God’s word says.
Talk – talking to God and talking to others about the gospel.
Clean – keeping a pure heart before God.
How have you been talking to your high school senior and other students who are going through this hard time?
Greg has encouraged his son to reach out to his friends who don’t know Christ during this time.
This is a unique time in history. Something like this probably hasn’t happened since the Spanish flu in 1918. His son will have a unique story to tell his grandkids.
Greg has also encouraged him to use this time to grow in his relationship with God. Jesus “quarantined” for 40 days in the wilderness and was tempted just like teenagers will be. He engaged temptation with the Word of God, walked in the Spirit, and came out of it stronger than before.