Summary: A sermon based on Acts 8:5-40 and focuses on evangelism
Dare 2 Share
Pastor Jeff Williams
I think I’m going to throw up!
This past April, we took twenty-nine students to a youth evangelism conference in Chicago called “Dare 2 Share.” Started by Pastor Greg Stier after the Columbine school tragedy, Dare 2 Share seeks to train students to “defend their faith without offending their friends.” Honestly, it was one of the best conferences I have attended. I was impressed with the strong commitment to theological training. I was delighted to see three thousand teenagers singing their hearts out to the Lord. Most of all, I loved the “hands-on” practical exercises that concluded each session. My favorite assignment was designed to take the students way out of their comfort zones and help them apply what they had been learning all weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, we left the arena and drove twenty minutes north to our assigned neighborhood. We arrived and the students piled out of the vans and quickly gathered around me to hear their task. We divided them into groups of threes and fours and sent them off to knock on doors, collect can goods for a local homeless shelter, and look for opportunities to share what they had learned at the conference. I asked a series of questions to see how the group was feeling. I said, “How many of you are really excited about this?” Two raised their hands. Then I followed up with this question, “How many of you are a little scared?” The majority of the group raised their hands. Then the last question, “How many of you feel like you are going to throw up?” Three students, looking a bit pale and wobbly, slowly raised their hands.” That would be the group I follow.
I made a secret deal with this group. I told them if they just did one side of one street I would let them quit. They agreed and walked slowly to the first house. After trying to decide who would actually knock on the door, the door bell was pushed and they waited. For a second I wished I had brought barf bags with me. Much to their surprise, no one came to the door. One of the students turned around and whispered, “YES!” to me. It was on to the next door - no one home. And the next - no answer. This same students yelled to me that she really like this street. Finally on the fourth house, a lady answered the door, gave them a few cans and was really nice to them. They quickly finished that side of the street and waited for me and another team. I planned on keeping my word and asked the other team to take over. As everyone walked away, one of the students who was so scared at the beginning said, “I think we can probably do this street too.” I tried to contain my smile and agreed. They did do that side of the street and, on their last house, took the opportunity to share the Gospel with the lady who answered the door.
It was a great experience for our students. They knocked on hundreds of doors, collected dozens of bags of canned goods, and had multiple opportunities to share their faith. The evangelistic temperature in our ministry has been white-hot since the conference and many students have reached out to their family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, bosses, and even teachers with the good news of Jesus Christ. We have a student ministry full of students that are not afraid to Dare 2 Share.