Gospel Nails

by - 11:34 PM

Anybody remember the ole' tried-n-true power band? You know, that bracelet made with six colors that represent the Gospel story? Well I recall making those way back in the '90s...and apparently, they haven't fallen out of style with the younger set. But we're talking really young - like lower elementary grades - and I work with middle/high schoolers. So what's a girl to do?

Lest a good way to "wear our witness" lose steam, I googled more teen-friendly ways to use the colors and landed on the idea of Gospel Nails. All you need are the correct six colors of nail polish: black, red, white, blue, green, yellow. This is where order comes into play. These colors must be painted on the nails in exactly that order. Why? Think back to the Power Band:

Black stands for sin. Sin separates us from God and requires atonement (Romans 3:23; 6:23).
Red stands for Jesus' blood. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us - to pay the penalty and atone for our sin (Romans 5:8).
White stands for purity. If we believe that Jesus died for our sin, gain forgiveness through His blood, and confess Christ as Lord, we are saved and cleansed from all sin (Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 1:9).
Blue stands for baptism. Baptism is a symbol of our being washed clean. Our old lives are buried with Christ, and we're raised to walk in His likeness (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).
Green stands for growth. True followers seek to grow to be more like Christ through fighting temptation and developing godly character (2 Peter 1:3-11).
Yellow stands for Heaven. We will one day pass on from this earth and go to live out the rest of our eternal life with God on the "streets of gold" (Revelation 2:18-21).

Now...the tricky part is that human hands (yes, even teenage ones!) have ten fingers, not six. So the question becomes, "What do I do with the other four fingers???" Since slicing them off with a mini guillotine leaves quite a mess to clean up, you may choose from several less painful ideas: 

A. Paint them all a different color (I usually choose silver, because that's the color jewelry I wear).  
B. Don't paint them at all. Au naturale, baby!
C. Paint them whatever color out of the original six that you want to emphasize the most when witnessing  (e.g. black for the deep depravity of our sinful state, green for how much growth in Christ lies ahead, etc.)
Note: I like order and symmetry, so that usually guides where I place the six featured colors. But you may not be as OCD as I am...so have fun with this part!

I have used Gospel Nails several times since I learned about the technique. Peruse the following, and feel free to try some out:

1. This past summer, I was blessed to be a part of a short-term mission team to Ecuador. We took Gospel Nails on the road, and it was a complete hit with the local kiddos - of every age! I was able to use my years of foreign language training in high school and college to communicate the Gospel in broken Spanish through the colors. [Let's be honest...most times, I simply read the card that had each color described with verses of Scripture. I can definitely read Spanish much better than I can converse in it!]

2. My tween/teen VBS girls painted their Gospel Nails at Vacation Bible School last summer. While I must confess, the girls probably paid more attention to the glopping on of layer after layer of the six bright colors than they did to the lesson we were discussing at the time...but nevertheless, they were able to proudly "wear" their faith on their fingers for weeks to come!  

3. I painted my own nails with the Gospel colors (pictured at the top of this post). Since I work with families on a daily basis, I thought it'd be a great way to witness...and it was! I had one father tell me to "pick a color, already!" He later shared with me that he'd recently been saved and baptized in a local church, and I was able to share with him about growing in the Lord. I also had several teen clients ask me about the nails, and I was able to share the Gospel story with them.

Here's the challenge: if you work with girls, give the Gospel Nails a go...and lemme' know how it works out for ya'!

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  1. What a lovely spin on the bracelets and such a pretty way to get people interested and able to share the Gospel.

  2. What a great idea! It's also a great personal reminder to share the gospel daily!

  3. Thanks for your comments, ladies!

  4. I had decided to do this before I read your post on a mission trip to Thailand coming up. My day daughter and I just practiced. She is 13 and going to Thailand with us. We are going to paint a light base color. Then we will do three fingers on each hand - pink, middle, thumb. We are going to do a half paint with the six colors, and use silver dots between the two colors.

  5. I like that idea, Sonya…thanks for sharing! Praying for you and your daughter as you're headed to Thailand!

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