Our Cause as believers in Jesus is to share his Good News with those we encounter and to make disciples of those who respond (Matthew 28:18-20.) Some call it “The Great Commission.” I call it “The Cause.” There are a ton of good causes out there that we, as believers, can and should be a part of. But there is one overarching, great Cause that every believer is called to as their primary mission in life. It is the call to reach the lost, disciple those who respond, and train them to do the same.
This is an exciting announcement from Dare 2 Share's President, Debbie Bresina. In light of the current pandemic, we chose to make some radical shifts to our summer programming. But we believe that God will use these shifts, not only to inspire, equip and mobilize exponentially more teenagers, but to help us accelerate the spread of the gospel through technology even more effectively in the future. I can't wait to see what God is going to do through this unprecedented youth ministry event (Lead THE Cause Virtual) and I pray that you and all your teenagers will participate!
You don't have to cancel summer! Instead, join us in mobilizing a generation so that every teen everywhere hears the gospel from a friend!
Here's Debbie's exciting announcement:
Dear Youth Leaders, Parents, and Students –
As we have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in the US these past few weeks, we have asked God for supernatural wisdom regarding our Lead THE Cause (LTC) 2020 summer plans. After much fasting, prayer, and discussions with our venue and ministry partners, we feel led to cancel all three of our LTC events for 2020.
Before I get any flack for concept stealing, I want to let you know that I got permission from my friend Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for Christmas and, The Case for....just about everything dealing with the subject of Jesus, to spin his "Case for" theme toward youth ministry.
Lee wholeheartedly agreed that this is a message I should tackle. He, too, is convinced that this next generation needs reached and that it's going to take youth leaders, parents and pastors fully aligned with the right kind of philosophy to reach them.
I hesitate to even use the term "right kind of youth ministry" because I'm actually not referring to any particular youth ministry model or program. Models and programs are fine and necessary, but what makes or break them is, not the program itself but the philosophy behind them.
The old business adage, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast" is also true for youth ministry. When the right kind of culture is present in a youth ministry almost any model or program will work. And when the right kind of culture is not present then it doesn't matter what program or model you have in place, because it's doomed to fail.
But, before I make a case for the right kind (philosophy/mindset) of youth ministry, allow me to make a case for youth ministry in general. Why is youth ministry strategically important for the church?
Firstly, and this is something we all intuitively know, the VAST majority of people who put their faith in Jesus do so by the age of 18. I'm sure that you, like me, have read the statistics that the younger a person is the more likely they are to come to Christ.
Instead of New Year's resolutions let's talk about a youth ministry revolution.
Year's ago I devoured Mark Senter's classic book, The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry. In it he predicted a transformation of the way youth ministry is done. He predicted a massive re-ordering of youth ministry back to the ways of the early church.
This outstanding book was written in 1992 but, sadly, we're all still waiting for the revolution to come. If anything youth ministry seems like it has become more and more institutionalized over the last 27 years or so since Senter's book was written.
Yesterday we wrapped up our 4th annual Certified Trainer Retreat held at The YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado with a full heart. We spent three days with 40+ youth leaders, lead pastors and regional denominational leaders who are passionate about the Gospel Advancing movement.
I believe there is a coming persecution headed straight for us. And there is little we can do to stop it.
I hear a lot of talk among conservative Christians today about "the radical liberal agenda" that is dominating our culture. This agenda is filled with leftist Democrats, unfair and imbalanced MSNBC reporters and pro-gay Starbucks cups controversies.
If you had to bank on one person to share God’s love with the people around them this holiday season would you choose the sweet and soft spoken leader of your church's Sunday school class or the rambunctious teenage boy who consistently attends the youth group?