Is Your Behavior Winning Others to Christ?

    I’m really lucky to be a youth pastor–I get to see students doing some really cool things. Since becoming a youth pastor, I’ve watched several of the girls in my youth group step out in faith by involving themselves in worship, being disciplined in reading their Bibles and volunteering to pray out loud in front of their peers. One girl in particular, Maxine, has been a great example of this.

    A few weeks after my husband and I started with the youth group, Maxine started bringing her friend Stephanie to church with her. Both girls are very sweet and friendly, and over time, as Stephanie watched Maxine’s behavior in youth group, something cool happened. One day while I was helping lead worship for the church, I looked over and saw Stephanie worshiping with her hands lifted up, just like her friend. Stephanie started volunteering to pray and even suggesting people to pray for.

    These two girls have taken leadership roles in the Christian club at their high school. More recently, at See You at the Pole, Stephanie led a group of about 30 students, teachers and leaders in worship and prayer. The behavior of these girls is infecting our youth group in the best way, but it all started with a single girl demonstrating her love for God through her behavior.

    First Peter 3:1-2 says,

    In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

    The key point we want to notice in this passage is that people can be won to God simply by watching how we behave.

    When I was in high school, I was a member of the worship team at church and I served in student leadership for my youth group. I never missed a Sunday morning or Wednesday evening service. My behavior, however, left something to be desired. I talked about other people in the youth group behind their backs. At school, I was worse. I cursed regularly and I was mean to a lot of people, including some of my friends. My relationships with boys weren’t pure and at home I was disrespectful to my parents and mean to my sisters.

    How we conduct ourselves–our behavior in all areas of our lives–is one of the most important things in life. Not one person was drawn to Christ by my behavior. Since giving my life back to Christ 10 years ago, I’ve tried to make my behavior count for Him.

    I haven’t always succeeded and I make mistakes more often than I like, but even when I mess up, I keep trying. I keep trying for three reasons: I love God and He deserves my best, I want my whole family to be saved and I want the young women God puts under my care to have a role model they can look up to.

    PI girls, are people likely to come to Christ because of your behavior?

    It is by his deeds that a lad (or lady) distinguishes himself if his conduct is pure and right (Proverbs 20:11).

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    Jenn Arman
    Jenn Arman is a youth pastor, freelance writer and blogger. She was born in San Diego, California and raised 2 hours north east in the Inland Empire where she lives with her husband David and their cats. Jenn desires to bring glory to God and a healthy dose of reality to Christians through both writing and preaching. Visit for more on her work. You can also connect with her on and


    1. i love this article, but does that mean i have to try. because the only thing about me and trying is that after i try, i get so worked up in my performance that if i mess up i get mad at myself. so then i start thinking that i am not a christian i don’t have to try do i?

      • I’m going to give you an answer you might not like: yes, you have to try.
        Before you automatically shut me out (I’m not saying you’d do it on purpose, but it’s natural) because you think I don’t understand, believe me, I do. I’ve been in almost the exact same situation but God helped me through it just recently.
        My problem was, like yours, that I had trouble DOING things. Not procrastinating and not judging were my two biggest issues. If you look at this from the traditional Christian point of view, all I needed to do was confess my sins and get a relationship with God and I’d be great! And you know what? That IS great, and a relationship with God is wonderful, and it is truly the foundation of my life. But obviously, that’s not all that there is to do. One of those things we as Christians need to do is try.
        Except…my problem? I was trying! I really wanted to get everything done when I should instead of late at night, and to spend enough time with God every day, and to see other people the way God sees them. I wanted so badly…I wanted to singlehandedly overcome sin. Oh…do you see my mistake there? I wanted to do it all alone, and theoretically, that’s impossible. But my TRYs were hiding the fact from me that I needed God to help me or I could never be perfect!
        So that was Roadblock #1. And God showed me around that one. I read Romans 7:15-27 over and over, reminding myself that I need to rely on God or I’ll just keep sinning, the same as before.
        But even though TRYs can obscure your view of the truth, they aren’t a bad thing, necessarily. Remember Joseph and how he was beaten up and sold into slavery and then put in jail? Yeah, that Bible guy? Things actually worked out splendidly for him. So why can’t God take our Terrible TRYs and turn them into something that will work for both us and His kingdom? (Romans 8:28)
        Roadblock #2: IT STILL WASN’T WORKING. I put that in all caps because I was getting very frustrated at this point. I read my Bible and prayed constantly, trying to figure out what it was that I was doing wrong. I just didn’t GET why God wasn’t answering my prayer. I asked Him for some bread, so why was I getting a stone? Maybe I wasn’t even getting anything at all! Maybe even a stone would be SOMETHING!
        I eventually was regularly spending time with God, writing verses down, thinking about Him more often, etc. And I saw no point in any of it. You might be facepalming right now and thinking I was the dumbest idiot in the world not to see what was before my eyes. (Or you might not have caught on yet, which is okay too.) Because you probably didn’t know yet that about a month before, I had asked God to bring me into a closer relationship with Him.
        And He showed me that! He showed me with His still, small voice, right in the middle of a morning devotion. I was thrilled…it was like everything became so much more clear to me. See, my second Roadblock wasn’t that asking God for help wasn’t working. It was just that I was so impatient that I didn’t even stop to see the blessings He’d been giving me every day, right at that moment.
        I’m still not perfect, like I said. But it’s been getting better and better every day, slowly but surely.
        Anyway, I’ve just told you a whole long story, so I think I need to sum it up:
        You do need to try.
        Trying will NOT harm you, though. You just need to look at things differently.
        God helps you when you’re not perfect.
        Be on the lookout- He really IS helping, even if it doesn’t look like it!
        So yeah, you do need to try. Of course it’ll be difficult, but that just shows you it’s worthwhile. The worthwhile things are always harder. Good thing we have a God who can help us the way He does.

      • Hi unicorns4567! We all have areas we need to improve in and we all mess up– that’s totally normal! What we need to do is recognize that Jesus loves us SO much, even in our weakness! We do need to work on improving our areas of weakness– not on our own strength– (which is imperfect) but with the help of Holy Spirit (who is perfect). So, yes, you should try every day to honor Christ in all that you do. Obviously, because all people are imperfect, you will mess up. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t a Christian! Being a Christian means, that you now have a friendship with Jesus and live to glorify Him and not yourself– and when you make a mistake (like everyone does) you are able to repent and be forgiven (or as my dad likes to say, “press delete and start over” 🙂 ). Make sense? Pray and ask Jesus to guide you and to help you through each day. Somedays may feel like total flops, but remember– God understands that we are imperfect and He is bigger than/knows how to handle our mistakes 🙂 What really blesses Him is that each day we ask Him for guidance and give Him our absolute best. This was a super long post, but I hope it was helpful 🙂

      • I’m not sure what you mean, but I think that we can never be good enough for Christ, but we should do our best anyway, even if our sins and mistakes are forgiven. No matter what we should try our best to live for God the way He wants us to live. If you find yourself getting upset with yourself over a mistake, I suggest reminding yourself somehow that you can always just ask for forgiveness. Put notecards or something in a place that you can see them every day that say positive things like do your best and stuff. Dont get down about mistakes everyone makes them…. instead try and learn from the mistake and think of it as a good thing that you learned it! No matter what you do, as long as you love God you are a Christian and He will ALWAYs Love you NO MATTER WHAT!!!!

        • It REALLY is hard to try, and I’ve learned that if you beat yourself up whenever you do something wrong, you don’t learn from it!
          I’d say that you should go back to God and do what he wants you to do. Read his Word and listen to his voice. It’s hard being a Christian sometimes, especially when you get persecuted for your faith. People in my gym class think I’m crazy since I do stuff such as go to Church every week and I volunteer for things. I tell people about Jesus. Some people blow it off and other people think that it’s pretty cool.
          Think about this: Do you love something or someone so much that whenever you’re with someone else you’re like, “So-and-so said this, and it was so funny!” or, “So-and-so told me this…”? It’s the same thing with Jesus. When we’re wildly in love with Him, we can’t stop talking about Him. It’s kind of an infection. But it’s really awesome, and the whole world needs to know about Him!

      • I’ve been learning that you need to be lead by the Spirit when you reach out to others. Being lead by the Spirit is a porduct of spending time with God. And as for worshipping, yes we have to practice to be excellent for God, but when it really all comes down to it we are doing it unto God, so when you worship just WORSHIP God.

    2. The same thing happens to me. I teach Sunday school and some young people look up to me but I curse a lot in school 🙁 I’ve tried to change but I don’t know what to do anymore. Can I get some advice?

      • I used to to cuss too. The things is, you feel convicted to stop right? So ask God to deliver you from it, and believe He will… And I’m not saying I haven’t been tempted to time I stupped cussing and then about a year later I said one cuss word and I felt so bad. But that time I really had to tell myself: you CANNOT do that again. And you know, it’s really good to be honest with your kids, and once God delivers you of this cussing, I think it would make a good testimony to tell them you used to cuss, but it was not okay and God healed you of it. 🙂

    3. Since I gave my life to Jesus, I’ve learned so many things. One of these things is that living a Christlike life definitely impacts the life of others. My family before was always Catholic, but we were never very active as Christians. Once I realized who Jesus really was, I started trying to lead my heart towards Christ. And it did take a while, but now I’m noticing small changes in my family. Z88.3 is the Christian radio station near me. I have started listening to it a lot. Eventually, my mom started really liking the songs.
      Now here comes the surprising part: out of the blue, completely unexpectedly, my sister said, “turn on Z88.3!” my mom’s like “uh why?” and she said, “because i like it.” So we did. my other sister a couple minutes later was singing along to I Lift My Hands by Chris Tomlin! i never expected them to ask for Z88.3. This is just proof that God works through us to get to others. As long as you let Him. thats why I let Him use me to slowly but surely change the lives of others. 🙂 just thought I’d share this with you! 🙂

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