It's been a jaw-droppingly good week but I needed every bit of yesterday (Saturday) to recover. Lead THE Cause is a sun-up-far-passed-sun-down affair with very little time for rest or recovery.
But this week was beyond fantastic. There are so many highlights its hard to know where to begin.
I can't help but think of one girl from Texas who told the spell-bound crowd of teenagers about a recent incident in which she almost died from a lethal milk allergy. She challenged every teenager there to realize the brevity of life and maximize their gospel opportunities.
There was Peter from Staten Island who had never attended Dare 2 Share and knew nothing about Sonlife (the two partnering organizations that pull off Lead THE Cause.) But he Googled evangelism training for teenagers and did some research. The deeper he dug the more he got excited to make the road trip. He and his crew made the 30 hour drive and are on their way back right now, strategizing to gospelize New York!
Both outreach days went extremely well with over 1044 Gospel conversations and 30 indications for faith in Jesus! Teenagers also made phone calls, sent text messages and wrote letters to friends, sharing the good news of Jesus with the right mix of boldness and humility!
One of the biggest highlights was having our commissioning ceremony in the mountains. There in the woods almost 300 teenagers were challenged, prayed over, anointed with oil (as a symbolism of the anointing they have already received from God, 1 John 2:20) and signed their name on a large X, sealing their decision to make and multiply disciples for the rest of their lives.
Starting on Wednesday night, when I talked for a bit on world missions and the urgency of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth, I gave a challenge to teenagers to consider becoming a full-time overseas missionary. Those who made the decision that week could mark my arm with an "X". My prayer was for ten marks on my arm. When all was said and done I got 18 x's on my arm, 17 during Lead THE Cause and one teenager over Instagram yesterday asked me to mark my arm on their behalf!
One of those x's on my arms came from my son! For me this was the highlight of the week (year? decade?) because, since he's been born, I've prayed that God would use him in a great way to spread the Gospel. Of course he could do that as a businessman, construction worker, etc. But there's something about world missions that screams of urgency and potential. As my friend Dave Gibson says, if you have a heart to reach America for Jesus you have maybe 5% of God's heart.
We don't know how or where or when yet but Jeremy is only 14 years old. I believe this calling will provide a trajectory and focus for him which will shape him in years to come as we prepare for his global launch!
Thank you for your prayers for us as we trained these teenagers and youth leaders last week. Pray for the youth leaders and students as they go back to their cities, that God would use them in amazing ways to truly lead THE Cause of Christ in powerful and exponential ways! Pray for us as, in a week from Monday, we go to Portland for one final training week!
If you are interested in being a part of Lead THE Cause in Chicago, Denver or Portland next year click here for more information. You won't want to miss this one-of-a-kind week of inspiration, training and outreach!