Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why I love Dare 2 Share

Hey guys, I didn't get a chance to share something this morning. I wanted to let everyone know why the youth group going to Dare 2 Share is as important to me as it is.

When I was 16 my pastor challenged the whole church to seek God hardcore about our calling. So I did, I spent hours and hours of time in prayer everyday, and studied extra hard. After a week I had a dream about standing at a podium(pulpit in Churchese) talking to students about my life and what Christ had done in and through it. I told this to Pastor Petty and he said, "Sounds like God is calling you to Youth Ministry. Well that freaked me out. I didn't want to be a pastor to anyone let alone teens. I wanted to be an army Ranger. Well that didn't happen.

Super long story short, I spent the next 10 years disqualifying myself from ministry. I did some pretty terrible things. Things that I should have gone to prison for but somehow didn't. During this time I met Tash. Tash and a Doctor friend of mine named Chad that I use to go to church with convinced me to start going to church again.

Well for years Chad had been trying to get me to go to Dare 2 Share with his parachurch youth group called Salvaged Youth Ministries and I always had a reason not to. My thing was I had no right to tell anyone about Jesus after all the stuff I did. There was no way God could use me. I'd done too much.

Because I was somewhat intimidating and the kids at the church we went to listened to me, I was recruited to basically be the youth group hammer at the church Tash and I went to. Well that happened in October and come March guess where I had to go. That's right, Dare 2 Share. I went with our church and they happened to be going with Chad's group.

Still thinking I had no business being there, there I was sitting in the Dodge Theater in Phoenix Arizona surrounded by literally thousands of Christian teenagers. It was unreal. I had never felt the presence of God like that. That night they did a skit called The Door and it changed my life forever.

This girl is sitting in her room txting this guy that's trying to get her to go out tonight. Then these two adults come in her room and ask if shes been talking to that boy again and how she needs to stay away from him. Hes bad news and all that. Well as it goes on you see her deal with severe issues and she starts hearing this knocking and the parents come in and tell her its nothing she just needs to take her meds. Then they start telling her that since life is so hard and shes obviously so crazy she should just end it. Go ahead and kill herself. The boy calls again and is inviting her to youth group but she has to hang up real quick because the parents come back in and start pressuring her again telling her this knocking was all in her head and on and on. She starts pacing and is getting panicky. She remembers the boy telling her something about being saved and she tries to remember what he said but the "parents" start yelling and trying to drown out the memory, she falls to the ground clutching her hands to her head, shaking it side to side, while the knocking gets louder and louder and the "parents" are trying to drown it out, and then she just yells out at the top of her lungs "JESUS" and this door towards the back of the set is kicked almost off its hinges and Jesus(played by Derwin Gray aka The Evangelism Linebacker) walks through it and over to her. The "parents"(if you haven't figured out by now were demons in her mind) instantly fell to the floor when Jesus kicked opened to door. He looks at both of them as they lay there, then he holds out his hand to her and points to his wrist and says I have scars too. He helped her up, dried her tears and they walked out together. At that moment I was almost sobbing, even now as I type this I cant help but cry when I remember that moment. The spirit told me that all that stuff I'd done didn't matter. What mattered was that Jesus loved me, that He had taken all that garbage in my life and nailed it to the cross. That I was a beloved child of God and I could never uncall what God had called. I felt something change inside me that night. I felt the chains that had been coiled around my heart shatter and fall away.

Over the years I've seen amazing things happen at and because of the Dare 2 Share ministry. That same conference I got to see a girl that was caught up in witchcraft be saved and then turn around and start witnessing, I saw a 13 year old boy answer the call to be a missionary, not to mention the hundreds of others that were saved the first night of the conference.

Last year when we went one of the girls that went with us led a friend to Christ through txt message while at the conference. Another one called her mother to witness to her, then when we got back witnessed to her cousin that was in the army station in Georgia and didn't believe God could be real because of what he had seen in Iraq. She kept on witnessing to him anyway and convinced him to start going to chapel services on base.

Dare 2 Share is a different breed of student conference. They don't just hype the kids up and then send them back home. And its more then just an "I love Jesus, yes I do, I love Jesus, how about you?" thing. They train everyone at the conference to share their faith in an easy and non-jerk way, teach what it means to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, along with a whole lot more. Then they unleash everyone to do just that on Saturday afternoon. These students go out into the city and share the gospel. For a lot of the students they just got saved Friday night and now they are out there telling others about Jesus. Its real, its raw, its awkward and its awesome. Then they challenge them to continue the journey with Christ. To not just do evangelistic events from time to time, or try and program it into things but to live out their walk with Christ. To go and spread to the gospel in everything that they do. That all of life is worship and is to be lived to the glory of God.

We don't have a lot of money at the church so we have to be picky about things. So when I have to choose what youth event we should spend money on, its going to be Dare 2 Share. Its solid, biblical truth, that is presented in a way the students can get and get into. There are literally thousands upon thousands of testimonies about how God has blessed people through this ministry. When you get people together who love God wholeheartedly and are devoted to fulfilling His calling on their lives no matter what the cost, God does amazing things through them and that's whats going on here.

So what do you say, you wanna go with this year?

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