1. Evangelical

How I used the Bridge Illustration with a Youth Group

When I was a youth pastor for the first 7 years of ordained ministry, the Bridge was the gospel presentation I reviewed with my teenagers every three months.

No one left our youth group without knowing this gospel presentation inside and out

I choose to do this practice with them because every gospel sharing conversation I have comes at unplanned moments.

Knowing this gospel presentation allows me (and them) to be prepared.

For an evangelistic talk to a youth group one Friday evening during one seminar weekend, I felt led to build the message around the gospel presentation: The Bridge

What follows is loosely based on the outline from the Navigators

Created for Relationship.

Ephesians 2:10 declares we are God’s workmanship.

The Greek word for workmanship is the root of our word poem.

That says a lot into how God designed each one of us, for beauty, craft, wisdom, and strength, and certainly uniqueness.

Ephesians 2:10 written out,  woman standing by a riverside.

It is a word that captures our worth, and hints at a desire for relationship.

The Gap Between Us and God

However, Romans 6:23 states: All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

That describes a reality – we have fallen short, or there is a chasm between you and God.

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. - Romans 6:23 on a canyon image

I asked the question:

The answers came from the teens themselves.

Things like “Emptiness, Darkness, abandonment” and so on.

I didn’t have to describe the fruit of our sinful condition.  There was common agreement of the canyon that separates us from God.

Then I asked the group what kinds of things did they do to fill that gap. 

Answers came pouring forth:

  • drugs
  • sex
  • pregnancy
  • alcohol
  • music
  • medication
  • suicide
  • self-cutting.

I asked: “Do any of these work?  Do they fill the gap?”

Universally, the answer was no.

The Bridge

Puente De Reyes Panama VIejo, Bridge of the Kings

The death and resurrection of Jesus bridges that gap.

That’s the beauty of the Gospel: that while we were separated from God, we have now been reconciled by Christ.

When we choose to surrender our life to him and follow him, we can find that forgiveness, and begin to step into the fullness of what God has created us and designed us for.

That night, the group then moved into a time of prayer.

Space was given for teenagers to make their decision: to choose Jesus over all the other options to fill that gap in our relationship with God.

Other uses of the Bridge Illustration

For a more complete use of the Bridge Illustration, see

photo credits:

  • Ephesians 2:10 word art: unknown
  • Puente Del Rey: photo credit: Ayaita via cc
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