As a kid, I always loved going to the circus! It was an annual event for my family. Now, even though I’m a “grown up,” it’s still fun!
Several years ago, I noticed something interesting about the circus and their intentional marketing efforts. They are really great at displaying and selling us their souvenirs. As soon as you arrive outside the arena, you are encouraged to buy a circus program. Just inside the doors, sales tables sparkle with toys, stuffed animals, illuminated swords and gadgets. In fact, you find one sales table, after another sales table, after another – approximately every 50 feet! Toys, cotton candy, snow cones in a keepsake mug, repeated by more toys, more programs and more illuminated swords. You take your seat in the arena and immediately have the opportunity to buy more “stuff” from the sales person methodically walking up and down each and every isle.
So what’s the point?
Is your churches’ youth ministry as intentional in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as circus people are in selling souvenirs? So in your youth ministry be intentional about presenting the gospel to teenagers! Spend as much time preparing your gospel presentation and the gospel invitation as you do preparing your sermon. More often than not, we don’t think about or pray about how we are going to “draw the net”.
What if the circus folks waited until the very end of their performance to invite people to purchase their products? They would be bankrupt and out of business!
Don’t wait with the gospel! Share the good news often. Students can and will respond to the gospel at times other than at the end of your sermon!
Think about it. What we present is eternal!
All that silly circus stuff gets thrown out or breaks within a couple of days anyway. Let’s learn from the circus vendors and present the gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness and sincerity and trust our Savior with the results.
Bruce Edwards is the Youth Ministry Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
To connect with Bruce about these and other youth ministry topics, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.