[God] wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. (1 Timothy 2:4-6)
Those who have studied marketing will be familiar with the term "elevator pitch". An elevator pitch is a succinct description of your product followed by a persuasive explanation of why the customer needs it. Those in sales rehearse their "pitch" to be delivered convincingly in the time it takes to travel between floors in an elevator.
If, in the course of leadership, a young person asked you to deliver your "elevator pitch" for Jesus, what would you say?
The apostle Peter urged us to "always be ready to give an answer for the reason for hope that is within us" (1 Peter 3:15) so you'd do well to rehearse our answer ahead of time. Who knows when you might need it!
In these verses Paul gives Timothy his elevator pitch. He summarises the message of the gospel simply and succinctly as a gospel of reconciliation between God and Man through the person of Jesus Christ, that purchases for us freedom.
You'll likely have your own words for this that communicate the same thing. God loves us. He desires a relationship with us. He has set us free from the consequences of sin and death.
Yet note too what Paul says: "This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time."
When you share Christ with young people you'll need to know what to say but you'll also need to know when to say it - you'll need to know when it's the right time.
You'll likely recognise in your own life those moments when God spoke to you at "just the right time". Maybe some aspect of the gospel message was shared with you that you had heard previously but in that moment it made sense and impacted you in a way it never had before.
This is in part, your responsibility as a leader: to know the essence of God's gospel message and to know when to share it, perhaps emphasising one aspect above the others so that it speaks directly into a young person's heart and circumstance.
Doing this requires you to not only know God's message, but to know Him, and to be sensitive to the leading of His Spirit in your conversations with young people, bring hope to them at just the right time.
What would be your standard gospel "elevator pitch"? How would you sum up God's message in a minute or less if some asked you about it? Think of a young person who you sense may be open to hearing this message and pray for an opportunity to share it with them in a way that meets a need at just the right time.