(Photo: Dare 2 Share)
Dare 2 Share Ministries kickstarts its "GameDay" 2012 tour in Washington, D.C., Friday with the goal of shaping hundreds of teenagers into young evangelical leaders through "powerful training, worship, drama and outreach opportunities."
President and youth evangelist Greg Stier will address gatherers, along with Zane Black, a Christian born out of a life mired in drugs and alcohol, and Jason Petty, a spoken word poet and orator.
Dare 2 Share spokesperson Emma Schenkel said the two-day conference will empower teenagers to be active in spreading their faith in their communities.
"Mainly the goals are to train all of the teenagers there, give them the inspiration for sharing their faith, to provide the 'why' behind the 'what' and to give them the steps to be really practical with following the mandate of Christ," Schenkel told The Christian Post.
"GameDay" will visit six cities following this weekend's event in D.C. Attendees usually discover the annual event through Dare 2 Share's network of youth groups and churches throughout the country.
In addition to hearing from speakers, teens will be given exercises to hone their evangelical skills, including employing effective outreach to both friends and strangers.
"We actually give them opportunities throughout the weekend to take steps," Schenkel said. "One of them is to maybe text a friend on Saturday and see if they want to meet up on Monday to talk about spiritual things."
Other outreach opportunities include visiting food and clothing shelters, going to restaurants and engaging strangers and meeting with other church leaders and teens. Schenkel said attendees will also engage in several worship sessions to "recalibrate" their connection to Christ.
"The goal is to inspire students to share their faith, and to make disciples," Schenkel said.
Dare 2 Share president Stier has worked with Christian youth for over 20 years, turning teens into crusaders for Christ. Stier grew up in a low-income home and uses his troubled upbringing to glorify God to those who attend his conferences.
Part of the difficulty in stirring up teenage Christian leaders is the stigma that accompanies the evangelist movement, the group says.
"I think it's kind of [seen as] a dirty word, evangelism, because it's got a lot of baggage," Schenkel said. "People who approach it in a negative way, or an obnoxious, street preacher way -- not that that's necessarily a wrong thing – we want to make sure the teenagers see [evangelism] as a positive thing. I think the perception of it is really an obstacle."
After visiting D.C. this weekend, the "GameDay Tour" will head to Lakeland, Fla., Lincoln, Neb.; Twin Cities, Minn.; Dayton, Ohio; and St. Louis and Chicago. The tour will take place through February and March and into April.
More information is available at Dare 2 Share's website.