Equipping Teens for College, Part 4: Gospel Outline

Rick Mattson Evangelism Leave a Comment

In Part 2 I mentioned the importance of freshman possessing a big picture overview of the Bible that they can articulate.

Closely related is being equipped with a particular gospel outline. 

Whereas the overview is a summary of the Christian worldview as a whole, an outline of the gospel functions as an evangelistic tool to be memorized and shared easily with a nonChristian friend.

Gospel outlines are numerous, and I am not picky about which to use. All have their pros and cons.

The Bridge Diagram or “Bridge To Life”

  • Personally, I prefer the Navigators’ Bridge Diagram because it is visual and memorable and I can share it in 30 seconds, if need be, or stretch it out to a half-hour.
  • The Big Story is another good one, used often in InterVarsity circles. Its main strength is its view of sin and brokenness as affecting the whole world, not just individual sinners.
  • Cru’s Four Spiritual Laws has been used by students for decades to bring others to Christ. A proven tool in the trenches of ministry!
  • Billy Graham Association’s Steps to Peace with God also works great.

The point is that a Gospel Outline can be used in the clutch. It reduces “verbal meandering” and gives students confidence in sharing Christ.

Show me an incoming first-year student who knows and uses a gospel outline — and you’ll find me investing in that student.

An additional benefit of a gospel outline is that it functions as an overall plan in the back of a student’s mind as he/she interacts with nonChristian friends over time.

Oh — adults. Might this be for you as well? Pick a tool and use it well.

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A helpful resource: Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World, by Allen Wakabayashi. The author does a nice job of laying out a “kingdom” vision for evangelism.

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