All I can say is "Wow!" and "Amen!"
God did so many amazing things this last week at Lead THE Cause in Chicago that, by the end of the week, the miraculous seemed normal! It truly felt like the book of Acts!
The Word of God spread and multiplied.
The believers spent time constantly in prayer.
There was no needy person among them.
Midway through the week I posted a blog of highlights (you can read it here) and, after that post, great things continued to happen! Here are just a few of them…
The teenagers came back from sharing their faith on fire for THE Cause! After spending two full afternoons on the city streets of Chicago engaging complete strangers in Gospel conversations the teenagers were pumped up. When the pumped up teenagers were coming back into the auditorium from the outreach experience it sounded like a dance party. I remember telling Livia, our stage manager (on loan from Switzerland by the way), "Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of evangelism!"
We equipped teenagers to "Ask, Admire and Admit" by learning to ask questions, admiring what they can about what someone else believes and admitting the reason they are a Christian is because they desperately needed Jesus to save them. This little strategy for evangelism made a big impact in helping teenagers trigger Gospel conversations and not just making evangelistic presentations.
In addition teenagers had the opportunity to engage three friends with the gospel (one via text, one via phone call, and one via letter) over the course of the week. Many put their faith in Jesus as a result! I can't wait to hear more stories as they roll in from all of these conversations!
Midway through the week I challenged teenagers to prayerfully consider becoming a full-time overseas missionary. I reminded them that everyone was a missionary but that there was a need for those who are exclusively focused on reaching those who've never heard the message of Jesus in a foreign country. If they were called that week to be a missionary they could mark an X on my arm with a sharpie. By the end of the week I had 14 marks on my arm (my prayer was for 10!)
Another very exciting part of the week for me was the "internationals"! We had Donovan from South Africa, Jeffery from Canada, Callum from Australia, Gustavo from Puerto Rico and, of course, Livia from Switzerland. All of them have plans to go back to their respective countries and multiply what they've learned in their own contexts. We spent the day with Donovan yesterday brainstorming how these same Gospel Advancing values could transform the young people of South Africa from jobless and hopeless to a Godly gang of on-fire, Jesus-loving, Gospel-sharing continent changers!
Please pray for all of these brothers (and sister) as they take what they've learned back to implement in a way that fits their context and fuels THE Cause!
And, of course, one of my highlights was the commissioning service on Friday night. Almost 600 teenagers signed "The X" to show that they were committed to going back to make and multiply disciples through the power of Christ! Pray with me that God uses them as they do! And pray for their youth leaders as they coach them along the way!
There were so many highlights for me this last week from outreach to hanging out with our Sonlife partners-in-crime (against the forces of darkness!) to worshipping with Stephen Miller and his band to eating Chicago-style pizza to chatting it up with Zane Black and Wilson McSwain in late night discussions.
If you were at Lead THE Cause in Chicago last week what was your highlight?