Believe me, I had my doubts. Would there actually be people willing to talk about ‘religious stuff’? Don’t most people go abroad on holiday now? I’m only a teenager; would I really be any use? And would I have the guts to go up and talk to people? These were some of the questions I was asking myself before I did a Beach Mission for the first time – I had no idea what to expect.
Our team settled into a routine fairly quickly. In the morning there’d be a Bible study and preparation, and then we’d go to the beach to play games and tell Bible stories in small groups.
Something I had never thought about much before was just how little many children knew about the Bible and Jesus. It may not seem a big thing compared to conversions and deep spiritual conversations, but it was great to know that children were going away knowing a little bit more about the gospel.
Tug of war
After lunch, we trooped back to the beach for the most important part of the day – the tug-of-war! This was vital because it gave the girls the chance to beat the boys but also signalled to everybody on the sand that the Beach Team were back and the afternoon programme would soon be starting!
This programme usually involved choruses, memory verse, quiz and Bible story before finishing with a competition. During this time, team members would try to talk to parents or anybody else watching and, to be honest, this was the part I found the hardest.
The idea of just going up to people and talking to them seemed quite scary – I didn’t know how people would react and was worried that they’d think I was weird and just walk away. After a few times, though, I started to see how you could actually get into a conversation with people – sometimes about everyday things but occasionally there were people who would talk about spiritual things. When this happened it made the initial worry seem worth it.
Being nervous about talking to someone about Christ doesn’t just apply to beach missions. It can be even harder to go up to friends and invite them to an event, or to speak up in your class among people who know you. But God has promised to help us and he will reward us for daring to speak up for him.
Take a risk
So what can we learn from this? One major thing is to take every opportunity, because you never know if you’ll get another chance. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope in this world and the world desperately needs this Good News.
So go out, take a deep breath, and take a risk for the gospel. The frightening thought is that you might be the only Christian some people will ever meet. If you don’t take the opportunity to share your faith in Christ, maybe they’ll never get another chance!
And what about the embarrassment factor and the fear of rejection? Well, just take a look at the cross and our Saviour and see his rejection and triumph – and let the cross shape our confidence.