One of the main reasons we exist is to create products that start conversations about Jesus. We believe that the authentic conversations that naturally develop from questions about our designs will create meaningful opportunities to share Jesus with others.
We recently sat down with one of our customers and friends, Kevin Coronado, to ask him questions about an experience and conversation he had with a student.
S: Let's start by telling everyone a little about yourself and what you do.
K: My name is Kevin Coronado and I'm a youth pastor at Community Bible Church in Waterford, California. I've got a beautiful wife and three young boys that I would do anything for.
S: How long have you be a youth pastor?
K: I've been a youth pastor now for eight years, two with my current church.
S: Awesome. Recently you shared with us on Instagram a wonderful conversation you got to have that was started by a simple off-hand comment about one of our products you were wearing. Where were you and what product did you have on?
K: I was wearing my Educatingthewheelers "Do Good & Do it Well" Hoodie, and I was visiting some of my students at the local high school for lunch.
S: Ok cool. Now, what was the initial comment and who made it?
K: A guy (let's call him Travis), freshman I think, walked up to me. I see him all the time but we've never formally been introduced. Anyways, he comes up to me and says, "why do I need to be reminded to do good? Shouldn't we all be doing good?"
S: Okay, so he basically just reads the hoodie and asked about it. So, what was your response to Travis? How did you take such a simple question and engage with him?
K: I responded, "Well, yeah we should be but the important part is to do it well."
S: I really like that approach. Instead of correcting Travis, you affirmed what he said but then added more truth to it. Did that help to create an even deeper conversation?
K: Eventually, yes, but first he said, "I don't know what that means."
And so I told him, "Basically it means that everything we do, whether it's taking out the trash at home or being a billionaire philanthropist, we should do it with the right attitude. We should do it as if we're doing it for God Himself because in a lot of ways we are."
He asked, “Well, what if I don’t believe in God?” I responded to his question with another question and said, “Well, why do you do good things?” He replied doubtfully, “Because they’re GOOD to do?”
“Right, so God teaches us that when we do good things, we also need to do them WELL. We need to do them correctly. If you’re taking out the trash, don’t do it because your parents threatened to take away your phone for a week. Do it because it’s the right thing to do, without cussing them out under your breath. That’s the key to being a Christian, having the right attitude in all that we do."
“We’re all supposed to do good things, whether you believe in God or not, but the difference between me and someone who doesn’t believe is that I need to go the extra mile. I need to take the extra step to do things well and correctly so that when someone sees what I’m doing they go, ‘oh, he’s doing that because of his faith, because he loves God.’”
Travis asked why God would care if we do things well or not and I responded that “He cares because He IS good. He’s perfect, so when we do something good we’re reflecting Him. Like putting up a mirror and others seeing the reflection of whatever it is we’re looking at. So when we do good, basically we’re imitating Him. If someone is imitating you, wouldn’t you want them to do a good job of it?”
He kind of nodded along and said, “yeah, I guess so,” and the bell rang and he said, “alright, bye pastor dude!” And walked away.
S: That is a great conversation you got to have with that student. Thank you for sharing with us and being obedient and sharing so much truth with him. Has that interaction led to any further conversations with him or any of his friends?
K. Yeah, so now when I see him I ask “are you doing good?” And he’ll say, “yeah, I am” and I’ll respond “are you doing it well?” And sometimes he just grins at me and walks away, but most of the time he says, “I’m trying to!”
I’ve also met other friends of his, and they’ll ask me questions about the Bible (usually stuff they think will shock me like whether sex is a sin or not). I always point back to the gospel and tell them, "It doesn’t matter what the sin is, Jesus died for it and wants to forgive you."
S: So it seems like so far these conversations with Travis and his friends haven't lead to anyone praying for forgiveness. Is that ever discouraging to you?
K. I'd say no. I think everybody is on a journey to God and I might not be at the "end" of that persons journey. I may be the one kicking it off. My job isn't to make them believe, my job is to simply show them the gospel of Christ's love.
S: That is a really good perspective Kevin. It certainly gives you the courage to keep sharing and not feel like you failed. If the goal is simply sharing the gospel and not conversion then you achieve your goal just by being obedient.
S: Since you are a youth pastor and you are around teens all the time, what advice do you have for engaging with current teenagers (generation Z) in meaningful conversation about Jesus?
K: Be real. Teenagers are so in-tune with their own feelings, a lot more than we give them credit for, that they can instantly tell if you're putting on a show, trying to be something you're not, or if you genuinely believe what you're saying. Pizza, games and fun are great to get the conversation started with them, but it'll take you so far if you don't let them see the real you. Once they see that you actually care and that you really, truly believe what you are saying, they'll be asking you more questions than you know how to answer.
S: So what do you do when they ask a question you don't know?
K: I'm honest with them and tell them that I don't know the answer. Usually I'll say something like, "Honestly, I don't know the answer to that, but what I do know is..." I won't redirect the conversation, but I'll give them some insight into what the Bible does say about related topics."
S: Thank you Kevin. It was great having this talk with you. Thank you for taking the time today to share this story with us and our readers. We really appreciate all of your insight and advice on evangelism and engaging with generation Z.
It is really cool to hear and see our vision for Educatingthewheelers, starting conversations about Jesus, being played out practically in stories like this. It is encouraging to us to know that our products are making an impact and allowing others to have conversations about Jesus.