2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Beware of those who would manipulate you. That warning is clear throughout Scripture. In this verse Paul reminded the Corinthian Church of what happened between the serpent and Eve back in the Garden of Eden. The serpent manipulated Eve and that caused her to sin against God.
False teachers, preachers, evangelists…still use the same method today; they manipulate people. And though manipulation is rampant in all forms of ministry these days I think youth evangelism is one of the areas where such manipulation is most evident. Many “leaders” in youth ministry put a lot of pressure on kids to “accept” Jesus Christ as Savior. Rather than using their position as a Youth Pastor, Sunday-School Teacher, VBS Teacher, (or whatever title they bear) to lovingly proclaim the Good News about Christ, many of these people use high pressure manipulation tactics to acquire a “commitment” from young people. “Get them to say the prayer, sign the card, raise a hand, and get baptized as quickly as possible.” That seems to be the preferred method of youth evangelism these days.
Friends, that’s not evangelism; that’s manipulation. Youth leaders have a God given responsibility to present the Good News about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to young people, but they cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit for Him. Rather than manipulate kids into a “commitment” all they need do is present the Gospel Truth about Jesus and then let the Holy Spirit take over. There’s no need for high pressure tactics, no need for the “make a decision right now” approach, no need to hit them with the Sinner’s Prayer or the Commitment Card… Just tell them the truth about Jesus and let the Holy Spirit take over from there.
Have a God Filled Week,