Shane (of Shane and Shane) shares why he shares (the gospel)
I had the privilege of traveling with Shane and Shane during the Dare 2 Share Un Tour. These guys are awesome. I remember doing an event with them in Lubbock, Texas for 40 teenagers like 12 years ago and they are still hard at it.
At an event we were both doing I asked Shane to share why he spreads the gospel to others. I love his answer…
Why do you share your faith?
7 reasons I love sharing the gospel
1. It’s like sharing with a person who is broke that they just won the Lotto (only better!)
2. You enter a struggle with the forces of darkness in a battle over a soul’s eternal destination (Epic!)
3. When you share the gospel you are put in a position where you are forced to rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom (James 1:5,6), courage (Ephesians 6:19,20), and clarity (Colossians 4:4.)
4. It’s like sharing with a cancer victim that you just discovered the cure for cancer (only better!)
5. Evangelism is the communication of the greatest love story in the history of the world (sorry Romeo!)
6. It’s like telling an orphan that they’ve been adopted into the family of the richest person in the universe (well, that’s exactly what it is.)
7. The pressure is not on you to convert them but to share the gospel clearly. wisely and lovingly. The Holy Spirit does the rest!
By the way if you don’t know how to share the gospel download the amazing Dare 2 Share app, watch the videos and you’ll be equipped! Or get yourself to the Dare 2 Share “Reverse” Tour kicking off in late January and finishing in April!
Keep sharing the good news!
10 weird little things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving
We all know the standard stuff that every Christian should be grateful for on Thanksgiving (salvation, family, friends, church, country, etc.) And I am deeply grateful for all these blessings. You can also add to my “grateful for…” list my amazing staff at Dare 2 Share, youth leaders who prioritize evangelism in their discipleship efforts, fired up teenagers ready to take their schools for Christ and so much more.
But this Thanksgiving, in addition to the normal stuff, I thought that it would be fun to share with you 10 weird little things I’m thankful for as well. So here it goes…
1. The fact that Starbucks‘ baristas gladly double cup my coffee so I don’t burn my sensitive hands (and, yes, I use a sleeve too.)
2. Costco free samples
3. Old Red Vines that have become hardened over time. For some reason they taste way better that way (to me anyway!)
4. Aisle seats on the left side of airplanes (my bum right knee gets to stretch in the aisle!)
5. When I get some of my wife’s Chapstick on my lips (kill two birds with one kiss!)
6. The fact that I own no piece of clothing with Fleece on it. The feel of fleece, for whatever reason, hurts my teeth.
7. The scan button on my car radio
8. When my kids ask me to have another pie fight (we had one in our front yard a few years ago and they still talk about it!)
9. Relaxed fit jeans (okay “super relaxed”)
10. Discovering old gum in a jacket I wore last winter
What weird little things are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
5 hints for using humor when speaking to teenagers
Humor is a great tool to use when communicating God’s Word to teeenagers (or anyone for that matter.) It breaks down barriers, captures attention and gets the audience’s adrenalin kicked into high gear. As a result, teenagers are more ready to receive what you are seeking to teach them from God’s Word.
With this in mind here are five tips for using humor when teaching teenagers:
1. Remember that telling funny jokes is high risk.
“A priest, preacher and a monk are in an airplane. One of them says…wait, no…It’s a priest, preacher and a nun. No, wait. Let me start all over.”
How many times have you wanted to tell that one really funny joke to someone but forgot how it really started? Or maybe you forgot the middle part or that one word that was key to making the joke work?
You see jokes are all about sequencing and timing. Get the wrong sequence or say it with the wrong timing and the laughter you hear won’t be from the joke you told but the joke you’ve become to your teenagers.
Now some people are really gifted at telling funny jokes. If that’s you then go for it. If it’s not you (like me) then you might not want to take the joke-telling risk.
2. Realize that telling funny stories is low risk.
Telling a funny story is much easier than telling a funny joke. Quite simply, they are harder to screw up. If you can learn to tell them well, stories will get your audience ready to dive deeper into the rest of what God has given you to say.
I was born into a family full of story tellers. Some of my most fond memories are of sitting around a large dinner table listening to my big, bicep-bulging uncles tell stories of their fist-fighting feats. Their stories included references to bar room brawls, black eyes, cracked teeth, broken bones and the like. But, believe it or not, the way they told these stories was hilarious…in a gangster sort of way.
It was listening to my uncles tell stories about their street-fighting exploits that turned me into the storyteller that I am today. As a result storytelling is core to my style of preaching.
How do you learn to get better at telling funny stories if you are not used to doing that in your youth talks? Think of how you tell a funny story to your best friend then learn how to translate that same tenor and tone into the talks you are giving to your teenagers.
3. Have a serious point to your hilarious story.
Tell a funny story and, at the end, make a transition to your serious point. The story/joke should never be about the story/joke. It should open the door to the point you are going to be making to the audience in that particular talk.
I have a story I have often used about a funny friend of mine named Art who used to always embarrass me. One day in a movie theater public restroom (as I watched from the safety of the bathroom stall) I watched Art sneak up on a guy from behind while the guy was standing at a urinal taking care of business.
The guy looked just like me from behind.
He grabbed the guy by the shoulders, shook him and said, “What in the world are you doing here?” He then turned him around and yelled in embarrassment, “You are NOT my friend!” The guy literally ran out of the bathroom screaming, “I’m your friend dude! I’m your friend!”
He left a trail we could follow and, I’m sure, will never use a public restroom again.
Art is my embarrassing friend.
After I tell this story I ask the audience, “Is Jesus your embarrassing friend?” The audience goes from laughing uncontrollably to thinking deeply. I use that moment of sobriety to dive deeply into the reality that Jesus is the embarrassing friend of many Christians and, as a result, they don’t share their faith with others.
Our funny stories should help lead to serious points.
4. Make fun of yourself.
I think one of the best kinds of humor is self-deprecating. There’s something about making fun of something stupid you’ve done or said that endears you to the audience and makes you one of them. This empathy builds a bridge for communication…especially with teenagers.
If you’re the hero of every story you tell then something is wrong. Jesus is the one in the suit of armor and we are, at best, his bumbling pages. But he chooses to use us in spite of our goofs, missteps and inadequacies.
Helping teenagers that God can use anyone (especially you) breaks down cynical walls and opens closed hearts.
5. Use humor don’t let it use you.
I’ve heard a lot of youth communicators who have become a slave to humor. It seems like these speakers want to be professional comedians more than communicators of God’s Word to the next generation.
Underneath it all I’m convinced there’s a lack of trust in the power of the Word of God and Holy Spirit to do their jobs. These funny guys depend on “holy laughter” to get the audience to like them instead of using humor to get the audience to be open to God’s holy Word.
My rule of thumb is this: Use the first 10 minutes or so of my talk to get the audience laughing. After this, for the most part, I set humor aside and preach. The humor hooks them. But the Word of God and Holy Spirit does the real work of transformation.
I have a simple theory. Once the audience laughs hard they are much more likely to listen closely. The need for humor becomes less and less as you progress through your talk.
Refuse to become a slave to humor. Let humor serve you as you serve the Lord by clearly communicating God’s Word to your teenagers.
These are my 5 hints for using humor when talking to teenagers. Is there anything I missed?
How to give an effective invitation (without crash landing!)
A few days ago I did a blog post about evangelistic sermons that crash at the altar call. Beautiful takeoff. Wonderful flight. Crash-landing.
Basically the premise of the post was that a lot of preachers/pastors/evangelists/youth leaders do a great job opening up their sermon and communicating the gospel but then, for some strange reason, they get confusing at the invitation.
After my rant I got some feedback from a youth leader who wanted more information about what a “good landing” looks like. Here are 5 things I do to make sure I don’t crash land at the invitation:
1. Make sure the gospel has been presented clearly enough for a child to understand.
Is your gospel presentation clear enough for a 2nd Grader to grasp? Does it lay out the gospel in a simple way? If not, this acrostic that we use at Dare 2 Share may help guide your GOSPEL giving:
God created us to be with him.
Our sins separate us from God.
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.
Paying the price for sin Jesus died and rose again.
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life.
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever.
Let’s remember the words of Paul to the believers at Colosse when it came to sharing the gospel, “Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” Colossians 4:4
2. Refuse to use terms that confuse what a person must do to be saved.
There are certain terms that many preachers use that are confusing at best. These terms can be ambiguous (“accept Christ“), confusing (“Let Jesus into your heart“) or need more explanation (“repent.”)
So what term do I use when explaining what a person must “do” to be saved? The same one that Jesus used most often. In John 6 Jesus was asked, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” He answered in verse 29, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
The book of John uses the word “believe” 98x’s to describe faith as the only way of salvation. The Greek word for believe “pistou” is closer to our English word for “faith” or “trust“. It is not mere intellectual accent (“I believe that Jesus existed.”) Instead it represents a child-like trust, “I rely fully on Jesus, based on what he did for me on the cross, to save me from my sins.”
When I give an invitation I use the word “trust” or “faith” in Jesus to describe the way of salvation. These words are simple, clear and, by far, what Jesus used the most to describe how a person was passed from death to life.
3. Ask them to put their faith in Jesus right where they sit.
There is nowhere in Scripture where people are asked to walk an aisle or say a prayer for salvation. They can trust Jesus in the quietness of their hearts right where they sit (or stand for that matter.)
That doesn’t mean that I don’t ever ask for a public response. It just means that before I ask for any public response I make sure they have a moment to put their faith in Jesus in the secret sanctuaries of their hearts. I usually say something like,
“Right where you sit put your faith in Jesus. Believe that he died for you on the cross and trust in him alone to forgive you from your sins. As soon as you do this you are adopted into the family of God and enter into a personal, permanent relationship with the God of the universe.”
Regardless of the words you use don’t be ashamed to ask them to trust in Jesus right then and there. Preachers that don’t challenge the audience to put their faith in Jesus may not realize the urgency of salvation. This may be their last time they hear the good news before they leave this world. Wouldn’t it be a shame if they weren’t given a challenge to trust in Jesus right after they heard the gospel from you?
4. Make sure they understand saying a prayer doesn’t save them.
There’s gonna be a lot of people in hell who said the sinner’s prayer but never genuinely put their faith in Jesus. Saying a prayer never saved anybody. It’s a person faith in Jesus that saves them.
If you lead the audience through a prayer of salvation (which I often do) make sure they understand that reciting the words to a prayer doesn’t save them. Saying a prayer is just a way of thanking God for the gift of salvation. No, the prayer doesn’t save them. Faith in Jesus saves them.
When I lead an audience through a prayer I usually say something like this, pausing along the way to give them time to repeat them in the silence of their hearts,
“If you are trusting in Jesus today you can express your newfound faith in Christ by simply repeating these words in your heart to God, ‘Dear God, (pause) thank you so much for sending your Son to die in my place for my sins. (pause) I believe Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again. (pause) I trust in him to forgive me for all of my sins. (pause) I receive this free gift of eternal life through faith right now.” Then I remind them that this prayer didn’t save them but their faith in Jesus does.
5. Give them an opportunity to respond.
After I give the gospel and have given them an opportunity to trust in Jesus right where they sit I give the audience someway to respond. Usually, I’ll have the whole audience bow their heads and close their eyes. I’ll ask those who are trusting in Jesus for the first time to raise their hands. Sometimes I’ll have them walk an aisle or fill out a response card. But, almost always, I’ll have them respond in some way.
There are those who say that a response to the gospel is not important. I remind them that there was always a public response in the New Testament when the gospel was preached. That response was water baptism.
While baptism doesn’t save someone it is an important step that will accelerate a new believer’s spiritual growth. It enables them to be publicly branded as a Christ follower.
I hope these five tips help you give a more effective and clear invitation.
No more crash landings!
How to share the gospel with an atheist
Last week I sat next to James on a flight from St. Louis to Denver. As we talked the subject turned to spirituality and religion. I confessed that I was a preacher and he confessed he was an atheist. What unfolded on the rest of the flight was a deep, thought-provocative, laughter-laced gospel conversation.
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of engaging many atheists like James in various settings. I’ve discovered five helpful tips when sharing the gospel with someone who claims to not believe in God.
1. Don’t be shocked and do ask tons of questions.
Some atheists like to shock Christians with the fact that they don’t believe in God. This brand of atheist pulls the pin on the “there is no God” grenade and drops it in the middle of the conversation, expecting Christians to run for cover.
Don’t be phased. As a matter of fact start asking questions about their atheism. Find out what they mean by atheism (some are agnostics but call themselves atheists.) Ask questions about their background. Were they raised in church? Do they have any Christian friends? Where were they educated about atheism?
And remember that, as you ask questions, your goal is not to trap them but to understand them. Find out areas where you agree. Just like Paul found common ground with the athenians when he discovered an altar “To the Unknown God” we can find common ground in a mutual rejection of legalistic religion, a passion for science and reason and, usually, an overall positive view of the historic Jesus.
Although James spoke somewhat negatively of religion he spoke well of Jesus. While he didn’t view Jesus as the Son of God he did perceive him as an enlightened soul. At the minimum that was something I could build on in making my own case for Christ.
2. Listen deeply for the real “why.”
Often atheists have a reason (other than “reason“) for becoming atheists. Listen for it. Sometimes it’s anger over losing a loved one. Other times it’s that they were hurt by the church in some way. But often there’s a “why” behind the lie they are embracing.
In John 4 Jesus masterfully attacked the why behind the lie that the woman at the well was embracing. She was not an atheist but a hedonist who thought that satisfaction could be found if she finally found the right guy. But Jesus offers her living water to satisfy her deepest needs and, finally, her thirst was fully quenched.
James shared with me about his upbringing in England and his regular attendance at The Church of England. He told me about how his wife had left him and how he could only see his kids every other weekend. James shared how he reads at least a book a week and how he loses himself in novels.
As he shared I couldn’t quite nail why he was an atheist but I could sense that he was a lonely man. My heart went out to him and I think he could sense my sympathy.
3. Connect relationally.
Atheists are real people with real feelings. They laugh, cry, talk and connect like anyone else. I think that too many times Christians treat atheists as objects and not people.
James and I joked together as we sparred each other. I listened to him and he listened to me. Bottom line is that I like James. He is an interesting guy with an interesting story.
We should heed Paul’s reminder to Timothy about how to deal with those who disagree with us theologically,
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:23-26
4. Assume that, down deep inside, they do believe in God.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who genuinely rejects the existence of God. Sure, I’ve met many who have claimed God’s existence to be a lie but I’m convinced that, down deep inside, they really do believe there’s a God.
Why do I believe that? Because Scripture makes it clear in Romans 1:18-21 that there are no real atheists,
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
They may try to suppress their belief in God but, sooner or later in the discussion, atheists say something like, “Well if God is so good then why does he allow….” This is the point in the conversation where they have “forgotten” their atheism and revealed some of their challenges with, not the reality of God, but the nature of God.
When you assume that an atheist does really believe in the existence of God it gives you the freedom not to have to prove God’s existence but to share God’s story. You can be sure that, down deep inside, the gospel is churning in the soul of the atheist.
5. Frame the gospel as a love story (that just happens to be true.)
When I shared the gospel with James I wasn’t trying to prove God’s existence I was simply sharing the story of God’s love. I said something like, “James, at the core of Christianity is a love story. Jesus put it this way, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but has everlasting life.’”
I could tell that James was intrigued by this view. He listened respectfully and asked thoughtful questions.
Yes, I dipped into some apologetics at this point (C.S. Lewis’ Lord, lunatic or liar argument, Teleological argument, etc) but only after I had framed the gospel as a love story. In the words of my friend Bill Jack, too many times too many Christians use apologetics as a sledge hammer instead of a crowbar to pry open closed minds. As a result the conversation turns argumentative instead of respectful.
James and I had a respectful conversation where I heard him and he heard the good news of Jesus. My job is not to lead him to Jesus but to “set forth the truth plainly” and let the Spirit of God take it from there.
James didn’t say the sinner’s prayer when the plane pulled up to the gate after landing. But I believe that somewhere between Denver and St. Louis the Spirit of God nudged him closer to Jesus. It is my prayer that, in God’s perfect time, he will cross the line of faith and receive Jesus as his Savior.
Let’s love the atheists we encounter as we humbly and gently introduce them to the God who loves them even more.
How to start a revival in your youth group
The Holy Spirit is the only one who can refresh, renew and revive His church. But he stands with matches ready to set your teens’ hearts on fire. It’s interesting to me that you never see the word “revival” in the New Testament, perhaps because it should be the normal Christian life.
Sadly, it is not.
Too often dead-eyed Christian teenagers whose hearts are filled with apathy instead of fire fill our youth ministry meetings. With rolling eyes and heavy sighs many of them endure the lessons and enjoy the games. They keep showing up so we keep juggling flaming poodles (so to speak) to keep their attention. But down deep inside we want to taze their cold hearts into beating hard and hot after God.
So what is our role in seeing revival break out in the midst of the deadness? Can we do anything about it? The answer is a resounding “YES!!!” Here are 5 action steps you can take to unleash the force of revival in your youth ministry.
1. Pray with passion.
Intercessory is not just the domain of little old ladies and those “crazy” intercessors we sometimes meet. It should be the standard operating practice of every believer.
Acts 4:31 gives a micro recipe for revival, “After they prayed the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and went out and spoke the Word of God boldly.” The building was shaken with the power of intercessory prayer and then the city was shaken with the power of the gospel message.
Are you interceeding on behalf of your teenagers? Do you pray as a staff for them? Is intercessory prayer something you practice with your student leaders? Is prayer a big part of your youth ministry program or do you use it as fairy dust to sprinkle on your meetings but then depend on the latest, greatest curriculum to produce the real change?
The revival I’m witnessing unfold in power-packed pockets across the country are happening where the youth leaders are committed to intercessory prayer. They are looking to God to light that fire not a strategy or a program or a method. And God is igniting their strategies in ways they never expected with results they could have never dreamed of.
Start taking prayer walks or shutting your door for 30 minutes a day or whatever you have to do to start making intercessory prayer a personal priority. Make prayer the first thing you do as a staff for your teenagers. Make time to pray for all the teenagers in your youth group and revival at their schools as part of your student leadership team meetings. Make intercessory prayer the engine of the train that drives your youth ministry efforts not the caboose.
2. Identify and recruit the 10%ers to join you.
“Scientists at (RPI) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.” Science Daily July 26, 2011
Look for the teenagers, adult leaders and fellow youth leaders who are excited about revival to join you. Too often we waste a lot of energy trying to get every teenager on board with our vision. Go with the goers and pray for the others. Wasn’t this the strategy of Jesus? He ministered to the crowds but poured 3 1/2 years of his life into the high will/raw skill disciples. The result was that 11 out of 12 of them changed the world.
The parable of the Sower reinforces this principle in a powerful way. Some seeds we sow will land on hard hearts. Others will get choked out by worldliness. Still others will die due to lack of spiritual maturity. But those precious few seeds that land on good soil will produce 30, 60 or even 100x’s what was sown. The lesson? Go with the “growers” and pray for the others.
Take a look at your student leadership team and adult youth staff. Are they 10%ers? Are they all in? If not, it might be time for a shake up. Once your 10%ers get 100% on board with this vision they’ll inevitably impact the rest of the group.
3. Pursue non-legalistic, grace-drenched holiness together.
“’Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.’ In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” 2 Timothy 2:19-21
God only serves revival on clean plates. So scour your soul and keep all your 10%ers encouraged and accountable to do the same. We must be fighting the good fight of holiness together. Let’s keep our talk, habits and hearts pure. When we do this God will be inclined to use us to start a movement of transformation in our communities.
But do this in a grace-filled way. I read accounts of some of the great men of God in earlier awakenings who longed to see revival so much that their well-intentioned pursuit turned into a guilt-filled drudgery.
Just two days ago I read this account in Tullian Tchividjan’s must-read book, One Way Love, about a man of God who pursued revival but got frustrated by his own apathy,
“Samuel Johnson, the great eighteenth-century thinker and writer, documented in his diary his efforts over the years to fight sloth by getting up early in the morning to pray. He wrote:
1738: “Oh, Lord, enable me to redeem the time which I have spent in sloth.”
1757: “Oh, mighty God, enable me to shake off sloth and redeem the time misspent in idleness and sin by diligent application of the days yet remaining.”
1759: “Enable me to shake off idleness and sloth.” 1761: “I have resolved until I have resolved that I am afraid to resolve again.”
1764: “My indolence since my last reception of the sacrament has sunk into grossest sluggishness. My purpose is from this time to avoid idleness and to rise early.”
As you pursue holiness with your 10%ers remember it should be fueled by grace, not by guilt. We are called to a happy holiness not a sour sanctification. The joy of our salvation should drive the excitement of our sanctification!
4. Inspire and equip your teenagers to clearly share the gospel.
One characteristic of every revival is that it explodes externally into the community around it. The gospel advances through on-fire teenagers and youth leaders into classrooms, cliques and school cafeteria tables.
Are you relentlessly challenging your teenagers to share the gospel? Have you equipped them to do just that? Is the gospel you’re presenting good news or has it been muddied up by terms that are unclear or inaccurate?
Dare 2 Share conferences do a great job of inspiring your teenagers and our free mobile app and other resources can help equip your teens to effectively evangelize.
A key way of inspiring your teens to evangelize is to tell stories of changed lives in every youth group meeting. Have teens share stories of how the gospel changed their lives or how God is using them to change the lives of their friends through the gospel. In my opinion every youth group meeting should have at least one story of how the gospel is changing lives.
If God provides the spark for revival then stories provide the fuel to keep it burning. (This is why we love the book of Acts by the way…it’s full of these kinds of stories!!!)
5. Don’t just make converts but make disciples who make disciples.
The goal is not to just get a bunch of teenagers to say “yes” with their mouths but to say “yes” in their hearts. We must equip our 10%ers how to lead other teenagers to Jesus and then equip the ones who do to grow and go as well. This discipleship multiplication starts with evangelism but culminates in new believers multiplying more new believers.
How do we do this? We get the new believers equipped in evangelism right away (along with the other spiritual disciplines!) Yes we want to get them growing but the best way to do that is to get them going. We must get them going to their friends, family, classmates, teammates and co-workers with the good news.
The first thing that happened to those who were baptized with the Holy Spirit in the upper room in Acts 2 is that there tongues were set on fire with the gospel message. As a result 3,000 were added to their number that day. When our teenagers have a chance to lead someone to Jesus they should immediately be equipped to share this life-changing message with others.
Too often churches are tempted to just put them in a 12 week course that ends up exegeting the excitement to evangelize right out of them. Yes they need sound doctrine. Of course they need to learn key components of the Christian life. But they can learn these on the way as they are sharing the good news of Jesus with those they know.
If this post gets you excited and you want more. If you want a way to inspire and equip your 10%ers to go all in for Jesus and start living this revival out take a look at bringing them to Lead THE Cause University this summer. It’s 6 days of intensive revival training that you need to get your student leaders to.
But don’t wait for LTCU. Start putting these principles into practice now.
It’s time for revival and it starts with you choosing to lead the way!
Viva LA Cause!
12 reasons you should bring all your student leaders to Lead THE Cause University next summer
1. It will equip you and your team how to, not just make disciples, but multiply them.
2. You will learn how to master (the basics) before you multiply (disciples.)
3. You and your team will develop a customized, adaptable action plan (based on everything you learn during the week) to go back and implement over the next 12 months.
4. At LTCU you will be surrounded by like-minded kingdom advancers, some of whom will become friends and co-conspirators for life.
5. You will leave ready to inspire and equip the rest of your youth group first and then other youth groups in your community.
6. It is held in Colorado so you and your teenagers will get some “mountain time” alone with God to discover His vision for you to advance THE Cause individually and collectively.
7. You will get to know the excellent staff and students at Colorado Christian University.
8. You’ll get to hang out with me, Zane, Doug Holliday and other youth ministry leaders who will brainstorm, troubleshoot and conspire with you how to exponentially advance THE Cause in your circle of influence (and beyond!)
9. Your teenagers will learn how to develop the habits of intercessory prayer, living a lifestyle of evangelism, inspiring and equipping their friends to evangelize. Then they will all be deployed to multiply disciples.
10. You will get to meet and hang with many of the amazing Dare 2 Share staff!
11. You and your teenagers will become part of an exclusive fraternity of change makers (Alpha X!!!)
12. Lead THE Cause University is, and I say this with full conviction, the most spiritually transforming week for teenagers and youth leaders that I have ever been blessed to be a part of personally. I’ve heard the same from many of the LTCU alumni students and youth leaders.
The Share 6 Campaign (A Movement of Gospel Conversations)
What do you get when you combine a teenager fully equipped to share their faith, a viral GOSPEL video and a highly designed evangelistic book? The Share 6 Campaign!
Three years ago we produced an evangelistic video for our conferences called “Life in 6 Words.” Our good friend Jason Petty (aka “Propaganda“) wrote it and did the spoken word. To be honest it’s the best spoken word piece I’ve ever seen. T-Pain, the famous rapper (unofficially known by not-in-the-know guys like me as “the auto-tunes guy”) Retweeted this video to his million or so Twitter followers two months ago. Although T-Pain claims to be a Muslim he sent out a Tweet that read, “This is one of the most amazing pieces I’ve ever heard. Pls enjoy and RT this. The gospel in 4 minutes…”
Since the release of the video to YouTube the Life in 6 Words video has had well over 2,000,000 views. It’s been used in the “Back to Church Sunday” kit that went out to over 20,000 churches six weeks ago. And tens of thousands of teenagers have shown it to their friends as a direct result of the Dare 2 Share conferences.
So last January we added a highly designed little evangelistic book to go with it. The idea was that teenagers could give the book out to their friends with a hand written note in the front of it (the first two pages are blank), ask them to read the book, watch the video and then get together to talk about it. The book and video are door openers for these teenagers because they need a simple way to “bring it up” to their friends.
Over the last 20 years I’ve had the privilege of training about 500,000 teenagers to share their faith. Over that time I’ve realized that one of the biggest reasons teenagers don’t share their faith is they simply don’t know how to broach the subject. This slickly designed little book and viral video help them bring it up naturally.
But evangelistic books and videos are not enough. Sure, they can make converts. But it takes a relationship to make disciples who make disciples. That’s why equipping teenagers to share their faith is so crucial. At Dare 2 Share we have conferences, curriculum and even a free Dare 2 Share app that will help your teenagers do just that.
Our hope is that, over the course of four years, we will be able to see 1,000,000 teen-driven Gospel conversations unfold from coast-to-coast. Already, in less that 11 months, we have distributed 120,000 Life in 6 Words to youth groups across the nation. It is our prayer that every book becomes a launching pad for a serious discussion about God.
I think when we focus on real and deep conversations and not just conversions then more actual conversions will actually take place. Our prayer is that teenagers don’t just say “yes” to Jesus with their mouths but with their hearts and minds. This is a result of the Holy Spirit turning the light switch from off to on and a teenager truly explaining the whole story of the gospel in a way their friends can understand.
We are distributing a limited amount of these Life in 6 Words books free of charge to any youth leaders who will join this campaign. All you must do is commit to a prayer strategy, make sure every book is followed up with a Gospel conversation and that you give us a report back of what happened afterward. Just go to Share6campaign.com and get your free box of books right now!
Join the campaign! Give to it. Pray for it. And, if you’re a youth leader, drive it in your community…until every teenager hears the gospel from a teenager they know.
Stumbled upon this evangelistic video by @glenscrivener after watching his excellent Halloween spoken word video. Good stuff (plus he’s got a killer accent!)
I love that this video doesn’t avoid hard theology but illustrates and explains it in a way that someone who knows little about Christianity could get it.
Check out more on three-two-one.org