1. Intercessory prayer has to be part of every Dare 2 Share conference in the future.
After experiencing the 30 minute prayer time on the Saturday night of the Reverse Tour I don't think we can ever go back to not spending at least some time in intercessory prayer during the conferences. It will probably look different than it did during this particular tour but I don't think we can go in reverse when it comes to getting teenagers to pray for their lost friends and their unreached schools and communities. The Reverse Tour has set a prayer precedence (and I'm thrilled!)
2. Great worship bands disappear.
Desperation Band disappeared during the tour. Sure we saw them off stage and they were real dudes with a true heart for God. But once they started leading worship they simply disappeared. All we could see was Jesus. All we could think about was Jesus. All we could worship was Jesus. Several times during this tour I found myself lost in the moment as I worshipped the King of kings from the depths of my heart while these skilled and humble musicians led the way for thousands of us to recognize His presence and praise Him.
3. Roundtables are better than long tables.
Think Knights of the Roundtable verses a boardroom long table. One indicates a team of like-minded warriors who circle up to plan and proceed. The other indicates a corporation where one CEO sits at one end spitting out orders for his/her minions to follow. What I've come to love and appreciate about Dare 2 Share is that God has built a roundtable setting. Sitting around it are staff members, thespians, worship artists, production team members, speakers and volunteer staff...oh yeah, and me too! We are all working together, in the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:27, "...in one spirt with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
4. SALT works.
Whenever you and your team develop an idea to launch you pray that it works. The SALT videos have been, praise be to God, a great success! These little Gospel-conversation-starter videos have already been used to "salt" thousands of gospel conversations around the nation and the kingdom of God is growing as a result! By God's grace, we've also been getting phenomenal feedback from youth leaders about the impact of the SALT curriculum as well. We've heard again and again how this 5 week video-based curriculum has, not only equipped teenagers to share their faith, but enabled the Christian teens themselves to wrestle through some tough questions and find answers from the Word of God.
Here's a sample of one of the SALT outreach videos. This one deals with self-worth...
5. Youth leaders long to be part of a tribe that's making a difference.
This year when I looked around the youth leader room during the Saturday morning training session I saw youth leaders who were itching to be a part of something bigger. More than ever I sensed a holy restlessness that is causing youth leaders to prayer more passionately and attempt the risky, the dangerous and the unimaginable for the advancement of God's glory and story.
I believe that it is this #StuMin tribe that is going to make the biggest difference in the church. If 85% of those who come to Jesus before they are 18 years of age and if teenagers have 100x's more influence on their friends than a stranger has, then youth leaders are poised to raise up an army of Gospel Advancing teenagers who prayerfully and powerfully transform their schools from the inside out.
The time is now. Youth leaders are ready to, well, lead youth. They are ready to lead their teenagers to a greater cause, THE Cause of Jesus himself!
6. Great leaders leave their DNA in the organizations they work with.
Paul Romig-Leavitt traveled with Dare 2 Share for the last 14 years. He has been a writer, key actor and the director of our dramas. I LOVE co-writing the dramas and sketches with him (I have a drama background as well) and will miss him deeply. As I was thanking him for all his years of service to God through Dare 2 Share I was struck with the sudden realization that we will never be the same as a result of his leadership. By God's grace our dramas will continue to be powerful, our sketches will continue to be impacting and our skits will continue to be hilarious. Why? Paul's DNA has been infused into our DNA. Great leaders don't just do their jobs. They change their workplaces for good. That's exactly what Paul has done over the last decade and a half or so at Dare 2 Share.
7. Evangelism is all over the Old Testament.
When I first thought about tackling the subject of evangelism in the book of Daniel I was a bit overwhelmed. I thought I may have to scrap and scrape to find enough verses to do an entire weekend training on the subject of evangelism based on this Old Testament book.
Boy was I wrong.
Evangelism is all over the book of Daniel. As a matter of fact one of the most evangelistically motivating passages in the Bible is located in Daniel 12:2-3, "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."
Evangelism is all over the Old Testament...especially in the book of Daniel. Daniel and company's words and deeds led two world emperors to faith in God as well as countless others. Suffice it to say that the book of Daniel was a great template for teen evangelism.
8. Teenagers are longing for someone to challenge them to be excellent.
One of the most surprising parts of the weekend was the Saturday training session. I heard several times about how this session on "Excellence and Evangelism" taught by Propaganda, Zane Black and yours truly, motivated teenagers in a deep way.
During this session we challenged teenagers to be excellent at whatever they did (school, work, hobbies, etc.) We showed how this excellence would become a platform for evangelism. I think it clicked for many teenagers (and I'm sure parents in the audience were thrilled we told their kids to be excellent at their studies!)
9. Effective youth leaders long to learn more, grow more and take giant steps of faith.
When I informed the youth leaders in the youth leader session that Dare 2 Share was adjusting our priorities to focus MORE on training youth leaders they were thrilled! I was very encouraged by their excitement to learn more, grow more and stretch more so they can reach more teenagers with the good news of Jesus.
As I scanned the youth leader room this year it felt like a bunch of race cars revving their engines ready to put the pedal to the metal and win the race for lost souls. At the end of the session as I walked through the crowd of ready, willing and able youth leaders and prayed for them with my eyes open (as were theirs) I saw lots of tears and lots of Spirit-of-God induced determination to advance God's kingdom exponentially through the teenagers in their youth groups.
10. Revival is already starting to happen.
It's happening in small pockets across the map, from Seattle to Saint Louis, from San Diego to Denver, from Chi-town to Chattanooga, I'm convinced there are pockets of spiritual awakening starting to grow. Teens are praying. Youth leaders are leading. The lost are getting saved and the saved are getting serious.
As these specks of revival grow I believe it could (as God's people pray and God's will permits) morph into the 3rd and Greatest of Awakenings. And I believe it will spread globally, not through a single organization or ministry, but through a multitude of them who are engaging in bold soul-saving efforts and humble dependence on God. Intercessory prayer combined with youthful enthusiasm combined with the power of the proclamation of the gospel cannot be stopped.
These are the 10 powerful truths I learned during The Reverse Tour. What did you learn or what of the 10 truths listed above did God reinforce on this tour?