Thought Factory Podcast #310 || Part 2: Is Jesus Too PC for Gen Z?


The conversation continues about students sharing their faith with others.  In this episode, hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer discuss the importance of clarity when it comes to what we believe.  They share a simple method that allows anyone to remember how to share and to be confident in sharing the gospel.  It is called THE FOUR, and Jayson has a conversation with the founder, Andreas “Boppi” Boppart, about its use in Switzerland and throughout Europe.

A few years ago, the staff at Never The Same were unable to clearly state what Never The Same was about, who they were, what they did when people asked.  We discovered we needed to sit down, have this conversation to be able to articulate in an easy simple, understandable, and often succinct way of what Never The Same really is (A national youth ministry organization is the short answer).

We can be very vague in our faith in explaining our faith and when somebody asks, “why do you believe in Jesus?” our answers may not be clear and so it is important to have a clear reason for the hope that we believe in.  It is also important to have a clear way of explaining the gospel.  That is what THE FOUR does for us.

THE FOUR, a simple and succinct tool that can be used in sharing our faith in Jesus with others.  THE FOUR breaks down like this:

HEART represents ‘GOD LOVES ME’
We are loved by God unconditionally as His children.  He is for us even if we are against Him.  We didn’t earn it, it is just who God is.  He is love and He loves us.  The verses associated with the heart symbol are 1 John 4:16 & Psalm 16:11.

To view all of the heart’s extensive teachings, click on the links below.

Heart PW: heart_intro

We have sinned and there is a split in this relationship.  Our sin separates and divides us from God.  The verses associated with the divide symbol are Romans 3:23 & Isaiah 59:2.

To view all of the divide’s extensive teachings, click on the links below.

Divide PW: divide_intro

Jesus died on the cross to erase our sins.  Jesus paid for us which allows us to come back into the relationship with God.  His death restores our relationship with God. The verses associated with the cross symbol are John 3:16 & 1 Peter 3:18.

To view all of the cross’s extensive teachings, click on the links below.

Cross PW: CROSS_Intro

We need to decide to live for God and with God.  That is the question we must answer for ourselves.  The verses associated with the question mark symbol are John 1:12 & Romans 10:9.

To view all of the question mark’s extensive teachings, click on the links below.

Question PW: ?_Mark_Intro
Segment 2 included an interview with Andreas “Boppi” Boppart.  Highlights from that conversation:

 What is THE FOUR?
“The Four is something very simple and very powerful, it’s the very core of the gospel.  The long story of God shortened down to four simple icons.  Bill Bright, the founder of CRU came up with the four spiritual laws.  They went to all the world and these four icons are just a whittled and modern form of this powerful message.  That there is a God that loves us so much.  That there is brokenness and separation between me and him because of sin.  That Jesus paid on the cross for everything.  Then it’s up to me if I want to come back into this unconditional love.  That’s The Four.” 

How did it come about?
“For many years I was looking for something very simple because I realized that there are so many young Christians, they are not able to talk about their faith, they are not able to talk about what they believe.  If they started talking it was always this very weird, Christian Hebrew language nobody understands.  So I started looking for something very easy that’s catchy that people can say, ‘oh I know what I believe and I’m able to share it.’

Then we saw some people who used the four spiritual laws in with that three icons the heart, the cross, and the question mark and what we did we added this separation icon…the division symbol.  So it is completed the four, I think it’s three years ago.”

How did you get so passionate about it, what’s your background in faith?
“I’m passionate because when I was young, I grew up with the Bible in my diapers.  When I was young, for me somehow I thought we have to evangelize.  The people around me, that they are some kind of victims of my faith.  And for me, it was so releasing when I realized that there is this unconditional love for me.  When I start with love, evangelization is all about loving God. [ictt-tweet-inline] I personally I love God so much that I can’t stay quiet.  I don’t want to evangelize my friends, I want them to experience the same amazing love of God.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

What has your experience been with THE FOUR in Europe? 
“It’s like an explosion happened.  I mean we started it and within two years we had some 100,000 Swiss wristbands out.  We could train at some conferences 10,000 young people with the four, with the wristbands.  They took it and they went home and family was asking them what are you wearing or a teacher was asking a friend of mine ‘what are you wearing?’ and she was saying, ‘oh, it’s my faith.  It’s what I believe.’  We have so many, every week, not just from Europe but from all over the world.  I got messages – people who shared the gospel and they were surprised by themselves because they say I’m not an evangelist but I was able to share the gospel with someone.”

How do people in Europe respond to Jesus?
“People in Europe are quite postmodern.  They don’t like institutions, so they don’t like the church.  They don’t like authorities, so they don’t like the church.  They don’t like absolute truth, so they don’t like the church.  But, still, Jesus is highly respected because he was good and he said good things, he did good things.  So if they don’t like the bride, like a church, we should just get them into personal contact with the groom because the bride sometimes can look quite ugly.

So we should help them to get in contact with Jesus and what I experience is these young people in Europe often are not interested in how things are working.  I call them an iPhone or a smartphone generation.  My father was interested in everything, why is it working.  He put things in parts but I don’t do that.  If my smartphone works, I’m happy.  So people, young people if they realize that faith is working, if Jesus is working in their life, they are happy and they want it.  So what we have to do is give them experience with Jesus, a real experience where they can encounter the love of God, pray together.   This is the most powerful thing, to pray with people or pray for them, together with them so that they experience the love of God is real and then they are interested in [Jesus].”

Share any recent stories of it in action and the results.
“My personal recent story was on a train in Switzerland and a woman was sitting across from me.   We didn’t talk for three hours because in Switzerland you are not allowed to talk on this train.  So we were sitting there but she had to stare at my smartphone cover for three hours.  On my smartphone cover is The Four.  After three hours she was very curious what The Four was about.  So she went home and went to the Internet, and to the website, where she heard the gospel and she connected through the internet with me.”

How can you encourage people to initiate a conversation that leads to sharing their faith?
“I would encourage people not too strongly initiate this kind of conversations, like looking at others like victims and say, ‘now I want to tell them the gospel.’  I mean, what we need to do is we need to have a conversation personally with God all the time.  We have to be in love with God and out of that we start loving people so that they can see Christ in us.  And then we are able to share.  It’s important to be interested in the people, …and then start sharing.  I would encourage young people to be brave.  Life is too short not to be brave.  We often fear so many things.  We fear the reaction of people.  We fear the reaction of friends.  We fear to speak in public.  We fear everything but Jesus is fear free.  Some fears are just blocking us to live the life into its fullness and so I want to encourage people to really break through this fear with the power of Jesus.”

We want to encourage you in this conversation about evangelism.  Consider keeping it out there in the forefront of your students.  Model it, teach it, help them to know it and help them to understand how important it is for them to not only share it in their actions but also in their words as well.

© 2017, Never The Same