Letter to a Would-Be Teenage Evangelist

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Posted by Katie

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If I could write a letter to my younger self, I’m afraid it would be an epic diatribe about 15,000 pages long and be full of so many “do’s” and “do not’s” that my 13-to-19-year old self would give up the reading of it after page one. I am not a gal who has lived without regrets. Mistakes, lessons, opportunities, whatever you choose to call ‘em, I have had my fill and then some.

So when faced with the opportunity to communicate with teen-Katie and potentially save myself from many ridiculous decisions, there is but one message I would want myself to know: “You need more Jesus.” Having been a professional Youth Minister (oxymoron?) for so many years, I have seen the difference “more Jesus” can make in the life of a young person. Sometimes I am amazed when I think about the things I used to facilitate for my youth group as compared to what I myself missed as a kid.

I missed many things I wished I hadn't.

I was never involved in a youth group. I never took part in a regular bible study. I never went on one mission trip. Not one. I can’t tell you how regrettable this is to me because I have seen with my own eyes the difference this kind of community and these kinds of experiences can make in the heart of a young seeker. My journey as a fully sold-out believer didn’t really catch momentum until I was out of college. Though I must give a quick shout-out to my college partner-in-crime, Colleen Tolle, who shook me out of my atheistic stupor Freshman year by telling me that "Helen Keller knew there was a God before anyone ever told her". Whoa. That was an amazing factoid that huffed and puffed and blew down my little house of unbelief with no hope of repair. It was a turning point that gave my heart “ears to hear”. But I digress…

You know who I would REALLY like to write a letter to INSTEAD of myself? That Christian kid who was in my sphere of influence who didn’t have the guts to tell me I needed more Jesus. So here it goes:

Dear Christian Kiddo,
See that slightly frizzy-headed chick over there? Hair aside, she may look like she has got it all together, but she doesn’t.  She doesn’t know how much she is loved. She doesn’t know how precious she is to God. She doesn’t know how powerful His words are and what a difference they would make to her if she studied them.

She has never been to a bible study. Invite her. She has never been on a mission trip. Invite her.  She has no idea what it is like to be in love with Jesus. SHOW HER.

Please. It will change her forever.

Now, don’t you be shy. Be bold. Speak truth. Ask Jesus what to tell her. He’ll give you the words. He knows what she needs to hear. He is just waiting for someone to be His voice.

Her name is Katie. She will listen to you. She is actually hungry for what you have to say. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Listen, I know it is scary to share your faith. But trust me; 20 years from now, she will be so grateful. Really.

Thanks kid.

Katie, age 36

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