Youth ministry leaders joyfully witness disciples multiply
A recent fruitful evangelism experience by students from her youth group led master’s student Rochelle Crow to reflect, “Honestly, I used to think the biggest joy was leading someone to Christ. Now, I think the biggest joy is watching someone you helped lead to Christ lead others to Christ!”
Rochelle is married to Cameron Crow, youth pastor at College Baptist Church in Big Spring, Texas. Both master’s students at Southwestern Seminary, the Crows led an evangelism training for their students several weeks ago and then brought them to a mall to practice sharing the Gospel. There, they witnessed two students whom they had led to the Lord lead other people to the Lord themselves.
“When we get to lead someone to Christ, they’re going from death to life; a miracle is happening,” says Cameron Crow, a Master of Theological Studies student. “And so when you get to experience that, there is some sort of rejuvenation in your soul, and your heart is just overcome with joy. … And getting to make disciples and then watch your disciples multiply, the joy of that is incredible.”
The fruitful evangelism team comprised Landon and Derian. Landon was raised in the church, but according to Crow, until this past summer, something kept him from giving his life to the Lord. “I felt like I preached just to him for nine months,” Crow says. This past June, at camp, Crow finally sat him down and inquired as to why Landon was holding back. By the end of their conversation, Landon had finally decided to stop waiting and give his life to the Lord.
“I think the devil was trying to mess with him so much because he’s going to be a preacher,” Crow says. “But he’s back [from camp], and he’s on fire.”
Derian previously had a propensity to make unwise decisions in his life. Crow invested in him even as Derian’s family moved to a different church. One day, a little more than a year ago, Crow addressed Derian’s decision-making issues through a texting conversation, encouraging him to talk to the Lord. This led to a Gospel presentation.
“I actually got to lead him to Christ over text messages—‘Just call upon the Lord. Tell Him you need Him and want Him,’” Crow says.
The change since then has been tangible. Whereas Crow previously characterized Derian as “a skateboard loner,” now Derian is “smiling, happy, in the middle of everything.” In fact, on the day of the recent evangelism training, Derian rode his skateboard across town for an hour in order to arrive early.
When the youth group went to the mall later that day in order to put their evangelism training into action, they broke up into groups of two, with Landon and Derian being partnered together. Through simply approaching people there in the mall and starting conversations, the two were able to lead a shoe-cleaning vendor and a shopper to faith in Christ.
But as if to prove that their evangelistic spirit was not simply based on that day’s event, the two later continued sharing the Gospel at school. Landon has begun a long-term witnessing relationship with a Mormon student, and Derian led two people to Christ in the week following the training.
“So the coolest thing about the event and watching these students and seeing what’s happening is the fact that they are multiplying, that they are making disciples and they’re leading their friends to Christ; it’s not just, ‘Man, that was a really cool event,’” Crow says. “Because youth ministry is not about events, it’s about making disciples, and so we try to do events that encourage them and help them to make disciples.”
Crow says that seeing those whom he led to the Lord leading others to the Lord themselves is akin to a parent seeing his child succeed. “That same joy is a comparison,” he says, “but on a much grander and larger scale.”