20 Second Teachings of Jesus
September 24, 2015

Throughout my travels, I encounter thousands of people who want to share Jesus with their friends, but simply don’t know a way to start.

We love Jesus, but let’s face it. A lot of us have forgotten how to simply share about Jesus while being relatable to people.

A lot of our “evangelistic” methods are antiquated, awkward, and – arguably – ineffective.

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 Why Can’t I Warm to Street Preaching?

I created a really SIMPLE way to develop rhythms of sharing the message of Jesus.

It’s called “20 Second Teachings of Jesus.”


I tried it last week in real life with some friends at the University of Southern California.

Here’s how it went.

Each day, we would take five minutes and brainstorm one of the major things Jesus taught.

You know, like…

“The kingdom of God is near. Change how you think and believe this good news!”



“God so loved the world that He gave His only beloved son…..




We walked around, finding people who were just hanging out. We’d approach them and ask,


“Hi, can I interrupt you a second? We’re followers of Jesus. We’re not selling anything or recruiting people to come to meetings. We’re just walking around to meet people and share 20-second encouraging excerpts of major things Jesus taught.

Can I share one with you? 


Pretty soon, we’d met with 40 students.

Out of 40 students, only 4 (four) had grown up around church activities.

85% of the people we met were willing to listen to a short teaching about Jesus.

After we shared a 20-second teaching, we’d ask them,


“Does this encourage you or have relevance for your life?”


Often conversations would start. Sometimes we thanked them and moved on.

Other people wanted to sit and talk.

Several of them exchanged phone numbers with us to meet up again.

One student met with me and my friend Nick the next day.

He became a follower of Jesus.

He immediately began to think of others with whom he could share this good news about Jesus.

Nick set up a time to get together with him to start doing 7 Experiences with Jesus.

One girl said, “Wow, this really brightened my day.”

Keep in mind, many of these are people we’ll run into again throughout the year. For those we didn’t exchange numbers with, we hope to share more teachings of Jesus and create ongoing dialogue and relationship.

A couple scriptures inspired the 20-Second Teachings of Jesus…


“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” (Mark 6:34)

Jesus felt compassion for people. This prompted him to start teaching them. Who do you feel compassion for?

“Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.” (Luke 15:1)

Question: Why do you think sinners wanted to continue listening to Jesus’ teachings?

I’m finding that people are often very open to discussing Jesus, learning about Jesus and the way of life He teaches – as long as it’s presented in an authentic, relevant way.

This was a great start for the tool on one of the top campuses in the United States.

But I think the method could work anywhere.

As my good friend and missiologist Dr. Pam Arlund often says, “Jesus followers tell Jesus stories.” It’s just a way of life for us.

20 second teachings of Jesus.

It was fun.

It was easy.

It was faithful to the way of Jesus in teaching people who don’t yet know His message.

I think this is gonna be a tool I’ll use in lots of other places.

I hope you can use it, too!




  1. andrew six

    Wow, this one thought could be a blog on its own! Great stuff, but I would love more info on what the actual twenty second teachings entailed. Really powerful story!

  2. Joel Zehring

    Good stuff, Erik. You just removed an excuse for not sharing the gospel. Hoping to use this approach with team mates on my coed soccer team that I just joined.


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