Forty-four percent of Americans among 18-29 years olds do not identify with any religion, let alone Evangelical Christianity. In the last 10 years, teen suicide has gone up by 50 percent.
One out of five students are bullied. Every day, 15,000 teens try drugs for the first time. Wall Street Journal statistics like these would be drastically different if students grasped the Gospel at an earlier age. Oklahoma Baptists, let’s burn these stats to the ground and reject this as our future reality!
Here are some encouraging Gen Z facts: 77 percent of Christians come to faith as teenagers. If the American church had the same Christian worldview we had 20 years ago, 22 million students would walk through the doors of our nation’s churches.
The size of the average teen’s social media network is 400 percent larger than the size of the average church, making them key players in advancing the Gospel. It is crucial for Gen Z students in our churches to be more on fire for the Gospel as our nation’s worldview gets flipped upside down.
Oklahoma Baptists are partnering with Dare2Share LIVE in assisting churches to stay alive and thrive in the jump to a post-Christian worldview. It is our prayer that it will be a strategic catalyst in helping students across Oklahoma and the nation grasp and share the Gospel!
Dare2Share LIVE is a one-day evangelism training event happening on Oct. 10 (10/10/2020), from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., involving 10 Oklahoma host sites. Nationwide, we will join thousands of teenagers to be inspired, equipped and unleashed with the Gospel to their communities.
The nine Oklahoma locations are: Ada, First; Bixby, Evergreen; Duncan, Immanuel; Enid, Calvary; Heavener, First; Idabel, Trinity; Oklahoma City, Eagle Heights; Tecumseh, New Hope and Woodward, First. This is up from three locations last year. Oklahoma led the country in the number of Gospel conversations initiated in 2019, and we hope to continue that position this year.
The event will be broadcasted live from Denver, Colo., with prominent speakers and artists such as Greg Stier, Zane Black, Jerrod Gunter, Gabrielle Odom, The Skit Guys and Vertical Worship. Dare2Share LIVE will have a combination of broadcast and live in-person elements at the event and in the community.
Teens will be motivated and equipped in the morning and then sent out to serve and share with their local communities in the afternoon. Sharing the Gospel through digital platforms like social media and text messaging will also be a part of a simultaneous nationwide Gospel movement.
Here are eight reasons why Dare2Share LIVE is a good fit for Oklahoma churches.
1) Interactive. Nationally-recognized speakers, artists and bands will engage with our groups.
2) Lasting Impact. It could be the spark that will lead to revival for youth groups and churches.
3) Close to home. A host site has strategically been placed near all of our Oklahoma churches.
4) Affordable. The price is only $149 for the entire group (including lunch). *Scholarships available.
5) Vision. Helps teens develop a heart for the lost.
6) Tools. Trains teens on how to share the Gospel relationally.
7) Opportunities. Launches students into their community to evangelize.
8) Results. Teenagers become on fire to reach their generation and beyond.
A lot is going on in our world today. What will be the thing that will bring real and lasting transformation in our state, nation and world? For us as followers of Jesus, it’s not government, guidelines or griping. It’s the declaration of the Gospel with the way we live and the words we speak.
Henry Thoreau once said, “For every thousand hackings at the branches of evil, only one strikes at the root.” With violence, distancing, isolation and depression widespread, we need teens who will step out with the message of life to make a difference, because the Gospel changes everything.
This year’s theme, “Jesus is LIFE” is fitting in today’s circumstances and will be focused on John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Pray for those who will participate as they are involved in their schools and with their circles of friends. Pray that they will advance the Gospel by reaching their friends for Christ. For more information and to register, visit Dare2ShareLIVE.org. It’s never too late to participate. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
The next big evangelism equipping event for teens will be the Oklahoma Youth Evangelism Conference, Jan. 17-18 at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Davis. Visit oklahomabaptists.org/yec for more information. We hope you’ll join us!