Showing and Sharing

When did you first hear the good news of the gospel? Do you remember the person you heard it from? Did you respond right away, repenting of your sin and turning to follow Jesus, or was it a while after you first heard it that you believed?

It’s exciting to think back on the circumstances God used to save us. It’s exciting too getting to be part of continuing to spread the gospel. 

TEAMeffort Mission Trips provide the perfect marriage of showing and sharing the good news of Jesus. Chances are, if you are familiar with TEAMeffort, you are interested in obeying Jesus by giving and going as well!

Missions isn’t something only a few select Christians are called to. It isn’t only people getting on a plane and traveling to another country to tell people about Jesus. Missions is every Christian’s job, every day, whether we get paid for it or not.

Jesus, in the passage known as “The Great Commission” from Matthew 28:18-20, sends all his followers out to make more followers of him. He provides all they need to do this mission he’s calling them to. He gives his power and presence. 

In one sense living a life on mission is pretty simple. But in other ways, because the people we’re interacting with and sharing the gospel with each have their own perspective and culture, learning as we go, is a huge aspect of missional living.

The gospel is offensive enough because it has some bad news you have to share if you want the good news to be clear. We don’t need to make the message unnecessarily offensive though, going beyond what the Bible teaches. Yes, salvation is through Jesus alone, but we should speak this truth with love, realizing we are just as much in need of it as others. So learning from and about the people with whom we’re sharing it is vital. 

Here are two truths that might be helpful to your group as you prepare to attend and serve during one of our camps this summer.

We show others the gospel by approaching them with a heart ready to learn, love, and engage.

People are not projects but we can unintentionally make them feel that way. We instead should “focus on the dignity of the receiving community, God’s already existing work, and the…role of learning about and humbly engaging in that work.”*

One of our Summer Staff members put it this way. “I began to see things through a different lens [instead of a lens that sees them only as their needs]. I saw the love they have. I saw their hearts shine through! I saw God working in ways I never expected!  It is crazy that I led with the desire to serve other people and ended up being changed myself.”

A Youth Leader shared how one of her challenging campers was changed as a result of getting to know the homeowner they were engaging with. The leader shared how the “camper took a whole day making a crafted heart for [the homeowner] with everyone’s signature on it. The once challenging and seemingly hard-hearted camper turned into a sentimental young man. It was incredible to see the Lord work, not just in the homeowner's life but also in this boy’s life with the same significance.”


Spend some of your time in your youth group talking about the area where you’re going. What are the natural resources God has given them? What do the people in the community value (ie. Talking to and looking out for each other in the community versus working all day and coming home and working on landscaping their yard. Being college educated versus working with their hands.)? What is the demographic of the area? What is the area known for? What are some things going on in the area that might be of significance to them? 

As an example, I looked up Altoona, PA where one of our camps is located. They have a city page with information that would be helpful to know in preparation for serving there.


This will help your group to see that the homeowners aren’t the “poor and needy” but are individuals with likes and dislikes, personalities, and responsibilities, who value their dignity and who have their own way of living that’s important to them. They probably don’t want that changed. Instead, they most likely want the exact same things we all want - to not be treated as “lesser” but to be valued, and to enjoy relationships based on kindness and love.

We share the gospel with others by “speaking the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)

It is absolutely true that our actions speak. They show if we really believe what we say we do and how that claim has changed us. Spirit-filled actions can pave the way for sharing the gospel. But actions aren’t enough. Words are necessary! 

We speak what is true and good and beautiful about the way God’s image is reflected in them, in their community, and in their home. We speak what is true about who Jesus is and what he came to do. We speak the truth about our own need for his grace and mercy. 2 Timothy 2:24, 25 reminds God’s servants: “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach [the truth], and be patient...Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.”


Have some students, yourself, and a few other adults in the church share with the youth group who first told them about Jesus, the circumstances of it, and how God worked in their hearts to save them.


This will encourage your group to remember that the gospel isn’t a magic formula. God uses all different kinds of circumstances, backgrounds, and people to share the gospel. He also saves different people from all different backgrounds and circumstances. God loves to work in unexpected ways and in unexpected places. We are all needy because we desperately need him to save us!
The people we are eager to serve this summer are image-bearers and “your group is a guest in their world. They have their own unique gifts and resources.”* Keep your eyes open to notice God in places that are different from your own. He’s there!
*These quotes are taken from the book, “Helping without Hurting” by Steve Corbett (Author), Brian Fikkert (Author), and Katie Casselberry (Contributor).