This evangelism evening I returned to my local skate park. Once I pushed through the inevitable question, "Are you hear to pick up one of your kids?" (trying to figure out why this "old" woman was at the skate park) and after a couple of my "buddies" from past skate park experiences stepped up to say, "It's okay. I've seen her before. She talked to me about God.", I asked the young people there if they would be willing to answer a few questions regarding their spiritual beliefs. I told them I had heard on a radio show earlier in the week that the following statements summed up what young people in America believed about God (the radio show called this view moralistic therapeutic deism). I asked them if they would agree or disagree with the following statements:
1. A God exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other.
3. The central goal in life is to be happy and feel good about one's self.
4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except where God is needed to resolve a problem.
5. Good people go to heaven when they die.
Everyone who engaged me in conversation about these statements (about 6 teenagers specifically) affirmed the statements completely. In fact, they wholeheartedly agreed that the goal of life is "to be happy and feel good about yourself". They were shocked to think it could be anything other than that.
I then followed up with a couple questions of my own:
What does it mean to be good?
Are liars good?
Are you good if you steal things?
Does a good person disobey his/her parents?
I specifically asked these questions to two young girls named Tracy and Rachel. I opened up the moral law and used it as a standard of goodness. I was then able to share the good news of the gospel with them, explained what it means to repent of their sins and put their trust in Christ alone to save them (from their sin and the punishment they rightly deserve for it). I left them with a couple copies of the Gospel of John and instructed them to start by reading chapters 1-3. I asked them to read it and see if what I said lines up with what the Bible says on that same subject.
I had several other intriguing conversations with young people at the skate park this evening, some who wanted nothing to do with me in the beginning but warmed up to the idea of talking to me before I left, some I've spoken to before, and some who appeared to be gospel-hardened but still took tracts from me. All of them were thoughtful and courteous to me. I enjoyed speaking with each of them. None of the young people I spoke with this evening attend church more than once or twice a year. One young man had never heard of the 10 commandments before. It was a good reminder why I need to continue to go "out" into the world and share the gospel. These young people are not likely to step foot into a church anytime soon.
I'm praying for each young person I met this evening, that the gospel seed will take root and grow in their hearts. I pray God will call them until Him.