From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Sunday, November 3, 2013 @ 6:23 AM PST
in the "Blog" Category.
Yesterday I received this e-mail from Emily. She lives a few blocks from us and her mom is a teacher in the same county my wife is. Once in awhile Emily babysits our kids. I had heard that she had been to Dare 2 Share and that it really impacted her but I didn't know her full story until she sent me this yesterday. She gave me permission to share it with you.
"I grew up in a Christian home, with loving, supporting, encouraging parents and two younger brothers. We went to church on Sundays, participated in Awana, and went to every single VBS. Growing up I began playing soccer at the age of four. It became a part of me; it was my life and quickly became what I idolized. I played it religiously, with every soccer camp; three practices a week, and games every weekend. I was told at one point, that I was one of the top twenty players in Colorado for my age group. They had me playing very competitively because coaches believed that I was good enough. My first knee surgery was when I was eleven years old. I got hit from the side playing against an 18-year-old boy and instantly tore my meniscus. After I recovered from this surgery I went back and continued to play. In eighth grade I was playing in a very competitive game in Loveland, Colorado. It was a gorgeous day, the wind was brisk the sun was out. It was the best kind of day to play soccer. I went up for a header and when I landed, a player from the other team took me out. My knee popped and you could hear my coach and parents on the sidelines gasp, they all heard the pop. Instantly I tore my ACL and meniscus. Recovery from this surgery was a lot tougher. I had physical therapy multiple times a week and strength training, I was not going to let this surgery and obstacle get in the way of my dreams of playing in college.
So, after I recovered I went straight back, full force. Sophomore year of high school, we were playing indoor just for fun and to get some touches on the ball before tryouts. An incoming freshman got so competitive and determined that she was going to do anything in her will power to prove to the coaches that she was good enough for varsity, she proved it by tackling me from the side. Automatically my knee popped. Again, I heard gasps. I felt defeated; I knew it was my ACL again. When I got it checked out, it was my ACL, meniscus and I had broken my tibia. At that moment, I knew that was it. I knew that my soccer career was over. I was quickly became depressed. I was not allowed to be home alone, but all I wanted to do was be in my room. At this time at home, my cousin had just passed away, my grandpa (who was and still is my number one encourager) was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was spiraling down hill quickly, and my little brother was diagnosed with anorexia. The stresses of my family, and my knee consumed me. I became very good at disguising my feelings, because I wanted to be there for my brother and to get him help. They told us in September that if he did not get help, he would be hospitalized by December. My faith at this time was invisible. It was non-existent. I believed in God, but I was very angry with him. I did not understand why he was taking everything and everyone away from me. Thoughts and dreams of suicide were constant. My depression began to take over my life, but I could not tell anyone.
My youth leader knew something was up, I was not myself and I did not want anything to do with anyone. She immediately told me she had an opportunity for me. Our church had just a few tickets to take a handful of students to this thing called, Dare 2 Share. I was very hesitant, but I knew it was a weekend away, so I took it! I showed up not knowing what to expect. The first day was very foggy, I was physically there but mentally was not. It was a lot for me to take in and comprehend. I remember walking in the second day. Everyone dancing and praising a God who they loved. That day Greg told us that he drew a heart on his hand every conference, to remind him that his family loves him and God loves him. Out of everything that he could have said that conference. That is the only thing that I remember. That night was the concert with Shane and Shane, we were singing, Our God. "Our God is greater, Our God is Stronger," that moment my entire body filled with goose bumps and tears began to fall down. I was not a person to show my emotions to people, but I could not control whatever was happening. I prayed. All of a sudden the 5,000-pound weight that was hanging on my neck and shoulders was lifted. It was God. I knew it was God. I had just been freed. He loved me. He saved me. He comforted me. He assured me, and he was forgiving me. That night I re- accepted Christ. Everything that I was told at that conference went into place that minute. I drew that heart on my wrist everyday for a year before I got it tattooed. Reminding me that no matter what I was going through or challenged with, God is there next to me. Guiding me, loving me and comforting me, because HE loves me, he died for me, and has a plan with everything that he has placed in my life.
When I say that Dare 2 Share saved my life, I mean it. After the conference I dedicated my life to Christ. From the ‘Un Tour' on, I would participate in everything God had planned for me and given me the opportunity to be involved with. I became a leader at church and have been apart of some of the best and most random experiences. I have met some of the coolest people and have had the opportunity to witness to many. I have traveled to Spain, Morocco, England and Kenya getting to love on others. I am now majoring in youth ministry and minoring in Intercultural ministries at Colorado Christian University. Coach Lopez at CCU asked me to play on the soccer team, because she knew my story. I had the opportunity to play soccer in college, but I turned it down because of all the other opportunities that I would rather be a part of. Many people ask me what I am wanting to do with my major and my answer is always, "Follow where God leads me". Whether it is here in the states or world wide, I feel as though God has sent me here to share my story and most importantly share HIS story. My life verse is Isaiah 6: 8, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I, Send me!" I cannot thank Dare 2 Share enough for the incredible, life altering work they are doing. When churches and youth groups ask me for ideas to do with their students, I always say Dare 2 Share. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Such an encouraging e-mail! Emily is a shining light for Jesus wherever she goes. I'm humbled that God used Dare 2 Share to play a part in her story.
From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Saturday, November 2, 2013 @ 6:00 AM PST
in the "Blog" Category.
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.
From youthministry360 on Friday, November 1, 2013 @ 7:43 AM PST
in the "Resources" Category.
One of the things we are committed to at ym360 is Networking. Our vision for networking is connecting you to people and organizations doing awesome youth ministry.Flashback Friday is a feature where we give you the run down of some of the awesome posts from the past week across youth ministry blogs. Consider it our way of keeping you connected with what is going on. This week's posts from the ym360 BlogFree Thanksgiving Lessons and Games Introducing Our Newest Devotional Journals, (OT) & (NT) Encounters by Andy BlanksAre Your Volunteers Serving People? Or Your Programs? by Andy BlanksTalking About The 'Simply Youth Ministry Conference' With Jason Ostrander by Andy Blanks Posts From The BlogosphereWe search the Internet to bring you relevant information to help you be a better youth worker. Here are some links from posts we thought were pretty great.13 Free Fonts for Youth Ministry by Brandon EarlyAre You Being Clear? by Christopher WesleyUncovering Leadership Potential by Doug FranklinFocus on the Peanut by Greg StierDoctors Recommend Families Adopt a Media Use Plan by Jim Leibelt6 Tips On Small Groups by Josh Robinson10 Lessons I Learned About Volunteers by Volunteering by Michael BayneSpread Your Reach by Mentoring Your Leaders by Peter CarlsonTrending: The church and bullying, teen dating violence resources, halloween, & more. by Youth Specialties That's all the links for this week. As always, have an awesome weekend . . . And THANK YOU for the chance to serve you as part of the ym360 community.
From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Friday, November 1, 2013 @ 5:14 AM PST
in the "Blog" Category.
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
From youthministry360 on Thursday, October 31, 2013 @ 8:21 AM PST
in the "Resources" Category.
We've just launched two new really cool devotional books for students. These books, (OT)Encounters and (NT)Encounters feature devotions based on some of the awesome people from the Bible. And for the next few days, you can get free shipping when you order. Here's a little more info . . . These 4-week, interactive journals introduce students to some of the key characters of the Bible. For each character, we identify a Key Truth from the character's life. Then, we help guide students to applying this Key Truth in their own lives. All in all, these little journals are a great way for students to learn more about God. And about themselves.These are perfect for:Both Jr. and Sr. High StudentsHelping students develop the habit of regular time in God's WordChristmas gifts for studentsFREE SHIPPING! Order now thru 11/3 and get free shipping. Use code: FSDEVOFor more information on (OT)Encounters, including an overview and a sample, CLICK HERE. For more information on (NT) Encounters, including an overview and a sample, CLICK HERE.
From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 @ 3:48 PM PST
in the "Blog" Category.
1. Dress up as a Fox and sing, "Here's what the fox says, ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.'"
2. Passing out Tootsie rolls and fake $20 bills (the ones that are really gospel tracts in disguise.) The Tootsie rolls are fine but when kids realize that the $20 bill is fake they will teepee your house with real toilet paper.
3. Throwing pocket New Testaments at kids from behind the bushes trying to make it into the top of their candy bags.
4. Answer the door dressed as a Mormon Missionary and then yell, "Get off my porch!!!"
5. Put a "Happy Halloween, now REPENT!" sign in your front window.
6. Insert Testamints into marshmallows covered in chocolate and blessed by a priest.
7. Tell the kids who come to your door that Halloween is the Devil's birthday party (Like my son used to believe.)
8. Give away apples with John 3:16 carved into them. John 3:16 is great but apples? Seriously? Don't be that house.
9. Go as a zombie with a sign around your neck that reads, "Dead in my sins"
10. Dress up like a mime and wordlessly act out the gospel before you give the scared and confused little kids at your door a measly gum ball.
11. Bobbing for Bibles.
12. Answer your door as a TV Preacher and tell the kids if they give you all their candy God will pay them back a hundred fold.
13. Toothpaste, dental floss and Life in 6 Words books (again, don't be that house!)
Okay, all joking aside. Remember that Halloween is like door-to-door evangelism in reverse! They come to YOUR door!!!
Here's what we're doing at our house to reach out: LOTS of GOOD CANDY + Life in 6 Words cards + seeking to get to engage parents and teenagers in conversation!
What are you doing to reach out this Halloween?
From Youth Specialties on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 @ 9:06 AM PST
in the "Resources" Category.
Ten years ago Mike Yaconelli, the co-founder of Youth Specialties passed away, unexpectedly, tragically. The news we woke up to on October 31st 2003 was devastating. A pioneering voice in youth ministry had been called home to be with the one he loved most. I personally never knew Mike, having only met him briefly just weeks before his untimely death. I had no idea then how much his life would touch my own, but the more I learn the more I realize we all step into an ongoing story of God’s interaction with humankind. For all the crazy things Mike did and moments of intentional discomfort he made us sometimes feel, his message was simple, To live in dangerous wonder the call of Jesus and love teenagers, no matter how messy we ourselves might be. Join me today in celebrating a life that directly and indirectly shaped the ministry we have with teenagers today. Please watch these highlights from Yac’s messages over the years and consider how you are handling the baton he passed to each one of us.
Mark Matlock- President Youth Specialties
From Youth Specialties on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 @ 7:04 PM PST
in the "Resources" Category.
This week's links include: The church and bullying, teen dating violence resources, happy slutty halloween, and more.
For the Least of These: the Church must Speak Out About Bullying (Center for Youth Ministry Training)
Happy Slutty Halloween (Jonathan McKee)
Teen Dating Violence: Resources for Teens and Parents (CBS/48 Hours)
Leaving Your Youth Ministry the Right Way (Download Youth ministry Blog)
The Face of Youth Ministry | Volunteer Leader Roles (Brooklyn Lindsey)
From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 @ 2:24 PM PST
in the "Blog" Category.
"When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.' But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.' So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.' Then God said, ‘Well, George, that's more nearly your size.'" George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in the mid 19th Century in Missouri. He went on to become a world famous scientist. Because he was frail and sickly as a child he worked as a gardner. As a result he had plenty of time to investigate, wander the woods and fan into flame his natural curiosity for all things scientific. Although his ambition was much bigger God gave him one thing to focus on...the peanut. As a result of his relentless experiments on that shell covered protein bullet he discovered over 300 uses for the peanut, including peanut butter (Praise the Lord!)
Too many times we as Christians want to conquer the world but God is calling us to something seemingly much smaller. But when we apply laser like focus onto our God calling in the power that He provides, the results can be astounding and abundant. In the words of DL Moody, "Give me a person who says, "This one thing I do, and not these fifty things I dabble in."
We live in a generation of Christians who dabble. We dabble in books. We dabble in apps. We dabble in entertainment. We dabble in church. We dabble in this. We dabble in that. But what if we made the one thing we do the very cause of Christ himself?
Jesus focused on the peanut. In Luke 19:10 he said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." He wasn't a dabbler. Everything he did from between his baptism and ascension was focused on reaching and rescuing the lost.
The peanut I'm focusing on is energizing a generation to evangelize their world. As the President of Dare 2 Share I have the privilege of working with youth leaders to build gospel advancing youth ministries which results in teens relationally and relentlessly reaching their friends for Christ.
From this obsessive focus we have developed conferences, camps, curriculum, books, videos and apps. Lately we've witnessed pastors in some of these churches adopt and adapt our training material to equip the adults in their churches to share their faith. We've also heard recent stories of how God is using our training materials world-wide to equip pastors and their people to evangelize effectively.
This doesn't mean I'm changing my focus. It simply means that when you focus on one thing obsessively over time it can often be used in other ways for other audiences. Occasionally I get asked "Why don't you expand into doing evangelism training conferences for adults?" or "What about doing more discipleship-centered curriculum?"
My answer to all these is this...I'm focusing on the peanut God gave me to focus on.
May we, like George Washington Carver, focus on the peanut. May we, like Jesus, focus on reaching the lost.
From youthministry360 on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 @ 7:50 AM PST
in the "Resources" Category.
At ym360, we're fortunate enough to get to attend quite a few youth ministry conferences each year. One of our absolute favorites is the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. Year after year, SYMC is one of the real highlights of our ministry calendar. It's a chance for us to worship, learn, and just hang out alongside youth workers from across the country.Our friends at Group/Simply are running a great early bird registration discount until Thursday. In light of this, we thought we'd interview Jason Ostrander about what makes SYMC such a special conference. Jason is Director of Publishing for Simply Youth Ministry. I asked Jason a few questions about SYMC. I thought his responses were dead on and really helpful for people who may have never attended SYMC but are considering it. Read our interview, then, click through the banner at the bottom of the post to lock in your Early Bird registration rates. We'll be there. Hopefully we'll see you there, too!Me: SYMC is one of our favorite youth ministry conferences for a lot of reasons. If you had to name one favorite thing about SYMC, an admittedly tough task, what would it be?Jason: I think it would be the way God continually does his thing at SYMC. When you're intimately involved in the planning of an event like this one, it is easy to put your trust (or frustration) into people or programs. They are necessary for the attendees experience, but our SYMC team always says "God, this is yours to do whatever you want with it." Then we just wait and watch at the conference for God to do it! It happens in the large things (like on the main stage) and it happens in the small things (like elevator conversations that turn into lifelong friendships).Me: One of the core-values of SYMC is that the conference is Jesus-centered. How does this Christ-centered focus impact the experience of the youth ministers in attendance?Jason: There probably isn't a Christian conference out there that would say they weren't Christ-centered. But to me the proof is in the pudding. In other words, where the SYMC team puts their time and energy (as it relates to the conference) is really where this Jesus-centered approach begins. From the speakers that we choose to present, and the bands we pick to play, to the many hours of workshops available, all of it is in full view of Christ. Will people talk about him? Will bands focus us on him? Will workshops represent Christ's thinking? These are all things we wrestle with far in advance of the gathering.Then during the week of the conference we are constantly asking ourselves, "Is everything we're doing here making a bee-line to Christ?" It's a high-priority for youth workers to see Jesus at SYMC. If they cannot see him above the fray of ministry then we have failed as a conference.Me: For the youth worker who has never been to SYMC, or for the youth worker for whom this is a tough decision due to finances or scheduling, how would you answer the question, "Why should I attend SYMC?"Jason: As you look through the SYMC website you will find an enormous amount of workshops, tracks and peer-panels. We offer a well-rounded group of folks who all strive to be current and realistic when it comes to presenting into the landscape of youth ministry today. The real "work" of SYMC is done during all of these breakout times –while the Main Stage exists for corporate worship and inspiration. Even today you could go on to the site and plan out your week.Whenever I meet a youth worker that has never attended SYMC, I encourage them to go online and make a schedule for yourself and see if what we offer meets your needs. It is very important to do your research when it comes to spending money on a conference (or anything for that matter) so choose wisely!As I said, I thought Jason's answers were really representative of the heart behind SYMC. We look forward to it each year. If you're interested in attending SYMC and want to lock in Early Bird rates, or just want more info, simply click on the banner below.
From ChurchLeaders.com Youth Leaders on Monday, October 28, 2013 @ 8:00 PM PST
in the "Articles" Category.
You can't make changes to make your youth ministry more relational if you don't know what needs to change.
From Youth Specialties on Monday, October 28, 2013 @ 1:19 PM PST
in the "Resources" Category.
In case you missed my first post, you should know that I’ve been an avid National Youth Workers Convention attendee for more than five years. I’ve attended the convention in four different locations and, let me tell you, every time has been worth it.
To me, Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Conventions are a time of renewing, recharging, vision seeking, and growing. Each time I attend, I naïvely go into the weekend with an idea of a specific area of ministry that I want to focus on learning more about and growing in. And each time I attend, God surprises me by shedding light on a vast majority of other areas that He also wants me to focus on. It always reminds of the saying, “Man makes plans… God laughs!”
One of the biggest things that I’ve benefited from, especially over the last two Youth Specialties’ conventions, is the content offered on Volunteer Youth Leader recruiting and training. These sessions immediately impact me and my staff: Because my Volunteer Team has their own full-time jobs outside of Youth Ministry and can’t attend the conventions with me, I can bring home my new knowledge and train them with all the tips and tricks I learned at NYWC.
Plus, my stories from convention give my team a morale boost. They’re often encouraged to hear about the youth leaders I meet who are dealing with the same issues that we face in our ministry. It helps us to feel that we aren’t alone in the problems we face with students, parents, church, and ministry; our challenges are universal, and together, we can make a difference.
It’s also encouraging for me personally to get together with youth workers from around the country to talk about what youth ministry tactics just aren’t working anymore. NYWC provides an opportunity for us as youth workers to learn new methods together—and to learn how to switch over to those methods. This chance at networking is incredible and it helps us build camaraderie as we go off to work separately to support our ministries.
This year at NYWC, I also zoned in on the content offered for marriage and ministry. I recently got married (August 10, 2013) so at the San Diego NYWC in October, I was very interested to learn how to maintain a healthy marriage and ministry. I enjoyed and got a lot out of Doug and Kathy Fields’ seminar, “Surviving and Thriving in Ministry and Marriage.”
My advice to a potential NYWC attendee: If you are only there for someone to tell you a few quick tips to fix your problems, then you probably won’t find what you are looking for. Instead, spend adequate time praying before, during, and after the convention to dig deep into what you should be focusing on. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s lead about which sessions to choose and what you can to learn.
I’d also encourage you to plan to spend some time with your heavenly Father in the Sanctuary. Not enough youth workers take advantage of this unique opportunity to pause and listen to God. If your primary goal of attending the National Youth Workers Convention is to be renewed, it’s not going to happen if you don’t step foot in the Sanctuary to seek God’s presence and help in your life and ministry.
Paul Georgulis, Pastor of Student Ministries, Doylestown United Methodist Church, Doylestown, PA
Youth Website: wix.com/dumcyouth/ministries
There's still time to join us in Nashville and experience NYWC for yourself. Visit NYWC.com for all the details.