LOXLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — One of the prime directives for Christians is to witness to others and find new believers. I spoke with Loxley Church Youth Pastor Kevin Mills recently–where do you start?
Guest: Honestly Chad, I think it all begins with a relationship. From the onset of Jesus’ ministry, everything he did and spoke, the way he called the Disciples to follow him was all rooted in relationship.
Anchor: In what ways has the approach to evangelizing changed for teenagers over the past few decades?
Guest: Teens are often labeled as nebulous and vague but in all honesty, that can’t be further from the truth. It has been my experience, and one of the reasons I love working with teens is that they see through what most adults often miss. They are often more in tune with how a person approaches and how they want to respond. So for a teen, transparency is key. They know when someone is trying to jive them. My approach has always been to be me. Not try to fit the mold of someone else or try to be something I’m not.
Anchor: In what ways could young Christians “come on too strong” and maybe scare someone away?
Guest: I think being a child in the South in the 80s and 90s and being raised in the evangelical movement, I think the “in your face approach” to ministry and sharing the Gospel was prevalent. The “Turn or Burn” style of the message turned off a bunch of people. My advice for teens, especially those trying to reach their peers, is to be themselves through and through. To be real. We all make mistakes. Own up to them and let others see the reality of the grace of God in their life.
Anchor: How much is this a process of checking-in on a regular basis versus having one conversation and someone “sees the light” as it were?
Guest: It’s huge! It is the key really. When someone sees that you are making an effort to invest and be a part of their life, it makes a lasting impact. Again, relationships are key to growth.