Evangelism: It’s not just a game
MY316 strategy implemented during youth weeks at Falls Creek
Playing an interactive game with 2,000 high school students takes planning. Making that game a way to influence students’ perception of reaching the lost can make an eternal impact.
Each morning during the tabernacle teaching time at Falls Creek, students were challenged to use the MY316 evangelism strategy as a way to share their personal testimony coupled with one of the most familiar Bible verses—John 3:16. But on Friday morning, the teaching time went into practice in a big way.
To begin the game, 12 students were chosen from the crowd and brought to the stage. Andy Harrison, acting Falls Creek program director, outlined the rules—the most important being that he was the only Christian in the room. He used the MY316 method by sharing John 3:16 and his personal testimony to the 12 students on stage. They all agreed to become Christians. But the task set before them was not going to be easy.
Harrison continued to explain how those 12 would be responsible for reaching the entire audience in just a matter of minutes. There would be a time limit and only one-on-one sharing of the Gospel. Each student was given a MY316 tract and sent into the audience with their mission. Once they shared Christ with another student who believed, then they could, in turn, share with others who needed to hear the message.
As time clicked away with only a minute to share, students realized the enormity of their task. One by one, they ran into the audience sharing the message of Christ as quickly as they could. Other students in the crowd realized their need for the Gospel and ran to the stage yelling, “Save me, Save me!”Buzz. The clock on the stage ran down and Harrison declares a major disaster—everyone with blue eyes dies. If they had received Christ, they headed to an area marked Heaven. If they hadn’t, they were sent to an area marked Hell. As hundreds of students realized how quickly their eternity had been determined, Harrison began the clock again.
Some students remained in their seats while others ran to those who were now believers. The time ran down again, and another natural disaster was declared. This time anyone who lived south of Oklahoma City was gone. Hell was filling up quickly and Heaven was sparse. In just a matter of minutes, many students realized they had been destined to an eternity without Christ and only because believers did not share the Gospel with them.
This simple game was played each week, but students will not forget the impact it made on the way they view the lost.
Tyler Conway, Ardmore, First, was one of the original 12 students who had the task of sharing first. “It was overwhelming to see so many people who needed help. You couldn’t reach them all by yourself,” said Conway.
Heather Smith from Marlow, First, agreed. “It was crazy to look out from the stage and see all these people, and I just wanted to reach them all at one time, and you could only do it one on one. After I died (she was affected by the first catastrophe), and I looked over and saw all those people in Hell, it broke my heart.”
The Falls Creek staff have even seen students come to Christ in the midst of the game. Norman Flowers, campus evangelism specialist, said, “We’ve seen kids during the game who have realized they don’t have a story and so they’ve had the opportunity to come to Christ in the game.”
“The urgency to share has been impactful,” said Todd Sanders, Falls Creek program associate. “It makes a difference when they have to take an extra step to share their story.”
MY316 is just one of the many ministries supported by the generous gifts of Oklahoma Baptists through the Oklahoma State Missions Offering. Over the next several weeks, several hundred churches will be implementing this evangelism strategy with their congregations. Tracts, curriculum, a social networking site and even a smart phone app have been produced because of State Mission Offering gifts. These materials are available at no cost to churches, and all of the resources are available online.
The theme for this year’s offering is “Speaking Louder Than Before.” To order your free promotional materials, orders can be placed online at www.bgco.org or by contacting the Women’s Missions and Ministries Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly King is women’s missions and ministries specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.