1. Generation Z is the first post-Christian generation in the history of the United States. We need to take drastic action to reverse this trend.
“So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Luke 11:9,10
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3;15,16
In this passage Jesus is telling the church of Laodicea that they need to turn the temperature up when it comes to their passion for him. What was true of the Laodicean believers when it came to their love for Jesus is true of the typical youth group when it comes to their passion for the gospel. Most need to turn up the heat.
But how do you do that? After decades of working with youth groups across the nation I've identified three ways to turn up the heat when it comes to the gospel!
1. Take your temperature.
We're always getting our temperatures taken these days (thanks to the pandemic!) Whoever invested in touchless thermometers a year ago must be thrilled with their profit margins today. Why? Because a high fever is one of the first signs you may have COVID!
A high gospel temperature is also one of the first signs of revival in a youth group. When teenagers are on fire for the gospel the heat of transformation just radiates across a youth room in amazing ways.
What brings true and lasting change? For us as believers, it's not politics, policies or protests. It's the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ with our lives and lips! Henry David Thoreau once said, "For every thousand hacking at the branches of evil, only one strikes at the root." Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can strike at the root of evil. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring true unity to our churches, our communities and our country.
That's why Dare 2 Share is promoting a unifying message of hope during a season in which there is far too much division in our country.
By providing a rally point on 10/10/2020 through an event called Dare 2 Share LIVE, tens of thousands of teenagers will be inspired and unleashed in their communities to pray for their cities, serve the underprivileged in their communities, and share the good news of Jesus in their circles of influence. This catalytic event, comprised of multi-denominational, multi- ethnic churches, will be a unifying rally call to churches across nation at a very polarizing time.
Between the pandemic, protests, and political unrest, teenage depression, anxiety and suicide are at an all-time high. I believe we must do something radical to change the spiritual trajectory of this current generation of teenagers. Only the good news of Jesus can set them free from all they’re going through! That’s what Dare 2 Share LIVE is all about. It’s about unifying a generation with the hope of Jesus and then mobilizing them to reach their peers until every teen everywhere has every last chance to put their faith in Jesus. The answer to what ails our country is found in Jesus and Jesus alone.
On October 10th, 2020 thousands upon thousands of teenagers will rally together in hundreds of churches across the nation to bring peace, unity and hope. Through powerful worship, inspirational talks, hands-on training, and cutting-edge technology, teenagers will be unleashed to serve the poor and reach their peers in their local communities. Now more than ever with violence, distancing, isolation, and depression rampant, students are stepping out with the message of life, serving and bringing the gospel to make a difference because the gospel changes everything.
Utilizing technology that students are accustomed to, the event is structured to train teens to relationally share Christ, and then empower them to reach out to both their local communities and their social networks. Dare 2 Share President Debbie Bresina shares, “This is the largest youth population in history. By leveraging technology, these young people have the opportunity to ignite a significant movement of gospel conversations in one day.”
At last year's event, almost 8,000 teenagers attended at 128 sites. This year, on October 10, Dare 2 Share LIVE will be broadcast from the flagship site in Denver, Colorado and is on track to be streamed to hundreds of churches nationwide. Churches have the option to have their own live worship band and emcee trainer in addition to receiving the feed from Denver with prominent speakers and artists such as Gabrielle Odom, Vertical Worship, Zane Black Jerrod Gunter, The Skit Guys and yours truly.
In this one-day event, Dare 2 Share LIVE is seeking to engage hundreds of churches across the nation to generate tens of thousands of gospel conversations in one day. The results could change a nation from the inside out. The results could bring deep unity where there has been deep division, true justice where there has been real injustice and lasting hope where there has been lasting hopelessness.
Sign up your youth group to receive the stream for Dare 2 Share LIVE here.
Events are part of youth ministry. Your Wednesday night or Sunday night (or whenever weekly meeting) is an event. The retreats you do, camps you coordinate and conferences/concerts you take your teenagers to are events.
And there's nothing necessarily wrong with events. But, if these events aren't triggering movement toward spiritual growth in the hearts of our teenagers then we may need to do some re-thinking, re-imagining and re-tooling.
Here are a few questions to consider when leading/doing/attending events with and for your teenagers:
1). Will this event inspire my teens to serve Jesus more passionately?
I have a youth pastor friend named Mr. Bill who has a simple grid for any and every youth group event: "Will this help my teenagers know Jesus and make him known?" If not, then it's off his grid and off the youth group calendar.
Don't get me wrong. Mr. Bill and his youth group have fun, play games, do events and reek all sorts of typical-youth-ministry havoc. But, behind it all, there is a deeper purpose. And he drives everything about the event toward his teens knowing Jesus more deeply and making him known more widely.
He calls the unbelievers to believe and challenges the believers to fall in love with Jesus and tell others about him. It's woven into the fabric of each one of his events.
Two years ago when we kicked off our first Dare 2 Share LIVE event, we had no idea if it would work. Nobody had ever attempted a live, coast-to-coast youth ministry event designed to mobilize a generation for the Gospel.
Dare 2 Share Live is hard to describe.
It's a one day outreach event where your teens do the reaching out.
It's a live simulcast in 100+ cities from coast to coast where teenagers are inspired, equipped and unleashed to put their faith into practice.
On October 12th, 2019, Dare 2 Share LIVE will take place once again...and I can't wait! After two years of doing this live simulcast event, we believe its impact will just become greater as more and more churches jump on board as satellite sites. We are sensing huge momentum and it really feels like God is up to something unprecedented through this one-of-a-kind event.
Maybe you've been kicking around the idea of being a satellite site for Dare 2 Share LIVE this year. Here are 7 reasons why you should:
1. It feels like a movement, not just another event.
Dare 2 Share LIVE started as a simple idea: to do a live, coast-to-coast, teen evangelism mobilization event in 50 cities. But God blew that goal out of the water! We had 68 cities year one! Then it blew up to 93 cities last year!
We have no idea what God will bring this year but we do know that there is growing momentum toward even more saturation of the nation (and beyond!). Why? It's a Gospel advancing movement, not just another youth event. Dare 2 Share LIVE combines all the elements of movement: teenagers, worship, evangelism, prayer and God's Word! It is fast, fun and focused on energizing the Church to mobilize youth to Gospelize their world!
2. It can unite the youth leaders in your city for a common cause.
In John 17, Jesus prayed that the church would be one as He and the Father are one. The unity of the church in a given city is a living, breathing Gospel testimony that impacts all who see it. What better way to bring unity to a city than through the youth leaders!
On October 13th, 2018 we are anticipating 100+ churches from across the nation (we already have 86!) to be satellite sites for Dare 2 Share LIVE! We fully anticipate 20,000+ teenagers being inspired, equipped and unleashed in a single day to share the Gospel to hundreds of thousands of their friends through social media and face-to-face conversations.
I don't run triathalons or marathons. Nor am I a fitness freak. But, as a 52 year old preacher, I've become increasingly aware of my mortality and the ever sagging effects of gravity.