I feel like one of the luckiest men on earth (“on earth…on earth…”) to work with a ministry like Dare 2 Share. Sometimes I pinch myself. Mobilizing teenagers across the United States to relationally and relentlessly share the good news of Jesus is truly an awe-inspiring privilege. I get spoiled with story after story of youth group after youth group that is growing deeper and going wider as a result of the training conferences or one of the GOSPEL Journey Reality Series or somethig D2Sish. It humbles me and makes me very grateful.
But it’s not enough.There are 83 million people in America under the age of 19 that must be reached and then mobilized with the gospel before its too late.
A week or so ago I caught just a few minutes of the MTV Music Awards. During those few minutes I watched the “Bruno” prank (Bruno is an overtly gay character portrayed by the same guy who brought Borat to the world.) His little schtick/skit/prank with Eminem made me sick and got me ticked. I wasn’t angry with them or MTV, after all a dog’s gonna bark and sinners are gonna sin.
Instead I got angry with myself.
To be honest I don’t feel like I, Dare 2 Share, or the church for that matter, has done nearly enough to stem the rising tide of hedonism in this nation. It’s moving from bad to worse to “worser”. And before it hits “worsest” things have got to change.
And when I say change I’m not at all talking about the culture wars. Christians who spend their time raging against the machine are wasting their time. We are not going to be able to legislate, protest or picket our way out of this one. This world is on the highway to hell and there’s no stopping them with the arm of the flesh. Sorry people but it looks like we are going to have to bust out the weapons of righteousness…stuff like prayer, loving our enemies, living the truth and proclaiming the gospel.
I’m going old school with this one but bear with me because it’s the same kind of old school approach the believers in the early New Testament took to transforming their culture. If you read the Gospels closely you’ll see that Jesus never advocated a political or moral approach to changing the Roman Empire. And talk about depraved! The Roman culture of unrestrained naughtiness would make Bruno blush.
But Jesus launched a different kind of revolution. His was a revolution that centered around the transformation of the internal which would lead to a transformation of the external. In other words the plan of Jesus was to change the world through the good news of the gospel delivered through the lives and the lips of his followers.
Now you may be thinking “well isn’t that what Dare 2 Share has been doing for the last 18 years?” Yes but in the last twelve months our cause has become clearer than ever: to mobilize teenagers on every high school and middle school campus in America to reach and then mobilize their friends to reach and mobilize their friends until every teenager in this nation hears the gospel from a teenager they know and trust.
Maybe you’re wondering if this means that Dare 2 Share is getting into campus ministry. The answer is yes and no. Yes in the sense that we are going to challenge and equip youth leaders to mobilize teenagers for evangelism at every school in their community. But no in the sense that we are not advocating another campus ministry model. Instead we are pushing a strategy that any teenager, group of friends or campus ministry can employ at their own school.
This strategy is a teen-to-teen evangelism plan rather than an “invite them to a meeting where an adult can reach them” plan because we believe that the best one to reach teenagers with the gospel is a teenager they know and trust. Sure, inviting them to a meeting may be a part of that process but it is the teenager who drives the gospel-centered conversation before, during and after that invitation. The goal is lunch room, hallway, afterschool, Facebook/MySpace conversations led by fully motivated and fully equipped teenagers.
Fear not homeschoolers and Christian schoolites, you can participate in this strategy too! Because it is a friend-centric strategy all you need is some unreached friends (online friends, sports leagues, extended family members, neighborhood teenagers, etc.) Pop the bubble my young friends and engage. Somebody once told me that a homeschooler that doesn’t share his/her faith is like a Ferrari that you keep locked away in the garage.
Its time to revv up and peel out.
We are calling this big, hairy, audacious goal “THE Cause” because we believe it is, at it’s core, the Great Commission given to us by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. As LeCrae raps, “One teach…two teach…three teach…four…disciple cycles who make disciples.” We are truly becoming Dare 2 Share, not in the cold calling “jack you upside the head” with the gospel type of way, but in the being witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria type of way.
Today’s teens are into causes (environmental, social justice, etc) and this is the cause of causes. It is the cause of giving teenagers purpose now and heaven later. It is the cause of saving them from the hell they are headed to and the hell they are going through. It doesn’t get anymore urgent than that.
I believe that the upcoming Blaze conference, starting November 6 and 7 in Denver, Colorado, will feel more revolutionary than any D2S conference of the past. Teenagers will start doing THE Cause before they ever leave the event. By the time they pile on buses to go home they will already be well on their way to reaching and mobilizing their friends with and for the gospel. Youth leaders will be on their way to seeing this God-give initiative (aka “The Great Commission”) become a reality in their own communities.
What’s really fun is that this is a cause that youth leaders can accomplish with their own style, flair, imprint and pace. This is a cause that everyone can do, speak into and improve.
We don’t have all of the strategy and tactics for THE Cause figured out on purpose. Although, by God’s grace, we are going to have the basic tools and strategy to launch this initiative we are going to depend our champions (sold out youth leaders, students, volunteers and donors) to help us figure it out on the ground. We are going to elicit feedback and build the full strategy based on the input that we get back from those who are actually carrying it out.
To mobilize teenagers on every high school and middle school in America is no small feat. It is sobering to realize that there are over 67,000 schools that fit this category. It is such a big mission that we are convinced that we are not the ones who can accomplish it…the youth leaders, students and adults who buy off on THE Cause are. What we are fitted to do, by God’s grace, is to inspire these champions and arm them with the tools to carry it out.
What do we need? We need wisdom. We need money. We need champions. In other words we need you. Check out the Get Involved section of the Dare 2 Share website to see how you can get involved right away with mobilizing teenagers. Signing up for Mission Mobilize is a start. Prayers and donations are appreciated as well.
If you want to find out more about THE Cause make sure you sign up to bring your teenagers to The Dare 2 Share “Blaze” Tour this upcoming school year. That’s when we will officially unleash the idea and strategy to youth leaders and students. By God’s grace we will unleash it nationally a year later.
Sign up and stay tuned.
Bruno and Eminem watch out. Some teenager you know may be trying to reach you with the gospel soon.