After a very busy weekend (Dare 2 Share/Pepsi Center) and Sunday morning responsibilities (Northern Hills), I am very happy to be off work today. I am very tired today, but it’s a good tired. Spending the weekend with thousands of enthusiastic teenagers and youth leaders was fun work. Friday night at 6 p.m. I was in the Pepsi Center grand atrium entrance and watched them all flood through the doors and pack out the hallways when the doors opened. I loved all the crazy ways youth leaders were trying to keep track of their kids. One waved a yellow scarf above his head. Several had little glo sticks that they held over their heads, but sadly they looked around and saw identical glow sticks being held up….bummer, which glo stick did the kids follow? They somehow got it worked out. Some youth groups all wore the same t-shirts. One youth leader had a cartoon cut-out of Pebbles from the Flinstones that he held up high on a stick – why Pebbles —- no idea. Friday night the most poignant time of the evening was when Greg Stier gave challenges to students to make a decision for God – either to begin a relationship with him for the very first time, or to recommit themselves to living out a godly lifestyle. Then he asked the youth leaders to stand and pray out loud over their kids. Gave me goosebumps. It was beautiful to hear youth leaders crying out to God for their kids. Hearing their love and concern for their kids. Pleading for their kids to come to a place where they understood that God loved them so much and wanted a relationship with them. Then students who made a decisions went to their youth leader to let them know. Again, very moving. It made the weeks of craziness and preparation that were so difficult melt away – it was definitely worth it!
Saturday was another busy day of training. Derwin Gray and Zane Black (we only contract speakers with last names that are a color – ha!) were added to the Speaker lineup this year and both did an amazing job! Derwin is well known as the Evangelism-linebacker and Zane was our guide in our Gospel Journey resource. Click here to watch the first session of Gospel Journey for free.
You can check out some preliminary stats of how it all turned out from Greg’s blog, here.
Thanks to the many friends and family who were holding me up in prayer – needed it, but more importantly, having so many students impacted and so many decisions made – it was worth it!
P.P.S. One more really cool thing – a group of 9 South Korean Youth Pastors, Pastors, and other Korean friends passionate about youth ministry joined us for the weekend. They paid their own way to come and be our guests at this event and were hosted by the Foleys – a wonderful couple who have impacted us at Dare 2 Share in many ways. We have no idea what God might have in store for us all to join forces and bring aspects of Dare 2 Share to South Korea, but we were very honored to have them. I had the blessing of meeting them all and visiting with them throughout the weekend. I am excited about the future possibilities – join me in dreaming and praying!