Last Saturday we had the honor of doing something unprecedented before in the history of youth ministry...a live simulcast event to 68 cities across the United States.
There was no one or two hour delay. It was truly live.
People would ask me what to expect. I would describe it and then say (much to the chagrin of my staff) "Well, it looks good on paper. But we won't really know until we do it."
Now we know and, quite honestly, God blessed it in spectacular ways. Although the final attendance numbers fell short of our goals, we were blown away by the overall event and how it mobilized a generation in one day to say together #LetsGo!
Here are 5 of my takeaways from Dare 2 Share LIve so far:
1. Prayer, prayer and more prayer was crucial for it to work.
We had over 1200 people on our Dare 2 Share Live Prayer Force on Facebook and hundreds (maybe thousands) more praying at 9:23 everyday for the September 23rd event to make an impact. Thank the Lord for mighty men of God like Malachi O'Brien who led the charge on his knees for God to trigger a spiritual awakening through Dare 2 Share Live.
2. Having a live band and live emcee in each room was key for the "live" feel.
I've personally interviewed about 20 of the 68 emcees and the feedback, so far, has been unanimous...the rooms were popping, praising, praying and proclaiming! Teens were engaged. One emcee said it was like the stage team in Denver was really there in the room. Others told me that, because they were doing some of the training themselves, it felt like a live event, not a live event that teens were watching.
From the local volunteers to the tech teams to the worship bands and emcees at each site we are super grateful for their investment. These are the teams that made Dare 2 Share Live work on a local level!
3. Working with old friends and new ones made a big difference.
We've been working with our current production team for over 15 years, which made the transition to doing this event live in so many other cities a more seamless transition. And working with the "classics" like Zane and Propaganda sure made the event feel like home. But having Kayla Thompson emcee the Denver event, the Skit Guys provide the sketches and TAN bring the music, gave Dare 2 Share Live a whole new feel.
4. This is a whole different animal than the Dare 2 Share conference.
Dare 2 Share Live was NOT a Dare 2 Share conference. Sure there were some common elements. But there was no Friday night drama, no youth leader training and very little "life training." But there was high inspiration, high activation and high interaction (with teenagers across the United States through the Dare 2 Share LIVE app...which, by the way, was approved by the Apple Store at 6 am the morning of the event...whew!)
While there is nobody who loved the Dare 2 Share full weekend conferences more than me (we did 185 of them since 1991 and I never missed one) it was time to find a way to train more teenagers and mobilize more teenagers in a single day utilizing technology. And, although we're still getting final numbers in, one thing we know is that Dare 2 Share Live was our single largest event we've ever done. We are convinced that this kind of model can scale to the point of training tens of thousands and, someday, hundreds of thousands of teenagers, to share the Gospel from coast to coast.
One of the weird things for me was not doing a youth leader training at the event. But, again, Dare 2 Share Live is not the Dare 2 Share conference. So we are utilizing technology to train youth leaders how to implement a Gospel Advancing Ministry strategy. If you're interested in being a part of our 4-part webinar (free) go here and join the group.
5. The Dare 2 Share Live app created connection and traction.
One of the coolest things about the Dare 2 Share Live event (other than Prop of course) was the Dare 2 Share Live app. It has Gospel conversation starting videos, platforms for teenagers across the nation attending the Live event to connect with each other, outreach tools and a next steps feature for after the event.
But the coolest part of the very cool app was the map. You could literally watch Gospel conversations blow up across the map as they were happening!
Overall we were super excited about the response to and results of Dare 2 Share Live. We are still compiling data, looking at surveys and all that jazz but, despite the fact that we failed to hit our overall attendance goals, we feel a new model has been created.
Pray for us as we unpack all the data and make decisions for the future. If you attended Dare 2 Share Live what were your thoughts?