Stand Up, Speak Up, and Wake Up - Dare 2 Share
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

Stand Up, Speak Up, and Wake Up

Join Greg Stier this month as he discusses the great calling that youth leaders have and what’s at stake. Learn how we can combat the struggles and succeed in our youth ministries.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

On April 20th 1999 I was sitting with six youth leaders in the basement of Arvada Presbyterian Church on 56th and Independence in Arvada Colorado.  I was there to promote our upcoming conference “When all hell breaks loose.” It was a Dare 2 Share conference based on spiritual warfare and evangelism.

Here’s a picture of the actual cover of the training manual we used during that tour.

I’ll never forget when around 11:45 or so that morning when the pastor of the church interrupted our meeting and said, “You all may want to stop and pray because all hell has broken loose at Columbine High School.”

On April 20th 1999 I was sitting with six youth leaders in the basement of Arvada Presbyterian Church on 56th and Independence in Arvada Colorado.  I was there to promote our upcoming conference “When all hell breaks loose.” It was a Dare 2 Share conference based on spiritual warfare and evangelism.

Here’s a picture of the actual cover of the training manual we used during that tour (show picture and I hold up a copy).

I’ll never forget when around 11:45 or so that morning when the pastor of the church interrupted our meeting and said, “You all may want to stop and pray because all hell has broken loose at Columbine High School.”

We stopped and prayed but we had no idea how bad it was. Later on we heard.

We watched the devastation unfold in the same tragic news footage played again and again: A line of teenagers running out of Columbine high school with their hands in the air, a teenager covered in blood falling several feet out of an upper window onto an armored car underneath, anxious parents waiting to see if their teenagers were among the 15 dead and teen after teen crying into television camera’s describing the utter and unimaginable terror unfolding inside the school.

All hell broke loose that day at Columbine High School (pictures of Columbine). My wife is a teacher in the same school district as Columbine High School and I knew a lot of the teenagers who attended there. It felt like all hell broke loose against these kids. And it felt the same to all of us didn’t it?

There are a handful of times in my life where I truly felt knocked down emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually and this tragic event is at the top of that list. The Columbine massacre devastated me. As I heard tragic story after tragic story of the dead and the wounded, my heart was broken.

That shooting knocked me down. And every time I hear about another school shooting I feel knocked down again.

Every time I hear about the latest school shooting it feels like I get knocked down again. Here we are trying to rescue a generation and Satan uses every tool at his disposal to destroy them. Satan came to steal, kill and destroy. But every time Satan pushes us down, Jesus lifts us back up to our feet and puts us back on mission.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Acts 26:16-19 where Saul gets knocked to the ground. Saul was on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus when Jesus showed up and totally changed his plans.

Saul gets literally knocked down by the power and presence of Jesus and is converted on the spot. And that conversion turns into a commissioning, In Acts 26:16-19 Jesus told him, “’Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.” 

And Saul was not disobedient to that heavenly vision. His name was changed to Paul and he went on to become the greatest missionary in the history of the church. We know him as “The Apostle Paul.”

At the end of his life, looking back on decades of rich ministry, he wrote these words to his younger protégé, Timothy, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course, I have kept the faith…”

From the time of his conversion and commissioning Paul was known as the apostle to the Gentiles. That word “apostle” means “one who is sent on a specific mission.” He was sent on a mission to reach the Gentiles.

This calling of ours, and by ours, I mean both you, me and anyone else who is called to reach the next generation. This calling of ours seems very apostolic to me. It’s almost as though as we have received a collective commissioning from Jesus Christ himself.

He has given us a charge from heaven to accomplish a mission on earth, “every teen everywhere hearing the Gospel from a friend.”

May we, like Paul, be able to say at our finish line, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.”

In a sense this Passage is calling all of us to take three action steps in light of the vision he has given us: Stand up, Speak up and Wake up!

  1. Stand up!

After Saul was knocked down Jesus told him, “Now get up and stand on your feet.”

 

Maybe you, like Saul, feel a bit knocked down by life. Maybe even right now you felt the pressure of being knocked down by the pressure of the trials in your life. Maybe it’s the high demands of your company. Maybe it’s relational stresses at home. Maybe it’s some kind of internal pressure to perform and to achieve and to win.

Maybe you feel knocked down by life. My prayer is that God will use this podcast to whisper the words in your soul, “Now get up and stand on your feet.”

I don’t know how you’ve been knocked down by your situations but I challenge you to listen to Jesus calling you to “stand up!” Stand up and realize the vision to reach this next generation he is placing in our hands and in our hearts.

On April 20th, 1999 I felt knocked down by the Columbine shooting. But soon after it’s almost as though I could hear Jesus whisper in my soul, “Now get up and stand on your feet.” He used the tragedy of Columbine to give me an apostolic like calling to reach the Next Generation. And all of us here participate in that apostolic calling.

So, no matter what you are going through, realize that God has a greater purpose for you, something to channel your time, talent and treasure toward accomplishing… reaching the next generation for Jesus. Stand up and receive it!

Jesus is calling for us to stand up. And he’s calling us to…

  1. Speak up!

“I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.” Acts 26:16

He appointed Saul as a servant and witness.

The word servant in the Greek is “Huperetes” which means “Under Rower.” It describes the slaves who were down in the ship’s belly doing one thing….rowing. One man, standing at the front of hull would shout “Row! Row! Row!” and these servants would play their part.

My trip to the bush of Alaska with my son…how rowing took us down the wrong path and how we had to just keep the shore to our left to get back…3 hours of back breaking rowing against the waves.

Saul was called to be an under rower for the Gospel. The Spirit of God standing in the hull of his soul, chanting, not “Row! Row! Row!” But “Go! Go! Go!”

Why we stopped doing conferences…we couldn’t reach every teen.

Why we stopped charging teenagers for Dare 2 Share Live…unnecessary roadblock.

We are rowing and going. We are going to do what it takes to get to the destination in these stormy seas.

What are you willing to do? Are you willing to row where the Holy Spirit has called you…even if it means rowing in a different direction.

We speak up as servants of the Gospel.

We speak up as “witnesses” for the Gospel.

I want to challenge you as a man and woman of God to realize that we are not just to delegate the accomplishment of this vision to a group of teenagers. We, too, must participate in reaching the next generation.

I think of my buddy Kevin Mark in Texas. He’s the VP for the Texas region with Fellowship of Christian athletes…I’m going  to be more faithful in sharing my faith personally before I train any of our staff.

Just yesterday we had our board meeting for Dare 2 Share and we clarified the final definition of a Gospel Advancing Leader… “Someone who is sharing the Gospel personally and mobilizing teenagers to do the same.”

  • Why I love this definition…

Just like the Apostle Paul we must speak up the good news that God has given to us. We must not be disobedient to this heavenly vision.

By the way, if you don’t understand the Gospel…give GOSPEL!

We must stand up, speak up and we must…

  1. Wake up

In Acts 26:17 and 18 Jesus tells Paul to wake up to the dangers, the darkness and the Devil. He said,  “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God….”

In this passage Jesus is telling Saul to wake up to the dangers, darkness and the Devil because it’s these three enemies that will seek to destroy him and those he is seeking to reach. We too must…

    1. Wake up to the dangers

The Big 3:

  • Social Media addiction (leads to isolation, depression and anxiety),
    • Same struggles we had as teenagers but amplified by technology
    • At Lead THE Cause we have to spend time helping teenagers learn how to have actual convesations.
      • 30 seconds of eye contact
      • Triple A Cafe
  • Vaping and marijuana use (super rampant and severe health hazards),
    • I’m from Colorado so I’ve seen the negative affects personally even driving down the street…
    • Jonathan McKee’s article, “Just one thing your kids need to know about Weed.”…it harms developing brains!
  • Porn and sexting  (In an article from Barna called The Porn Phenomenon there are some pretty disturbing statistics about teenagers and this plague called porn and sexting.
    • Teenage girls and young women are significantly more likely to actively seek out porn than women over age 25.
    • 56% of women 25 and under ever seek out porn
    • In contrast, among teen and young adult men, 81% ever seek it out
    • Most teens are “sexting”—either on the receiving or sending end of sexually explicit images.
      • 62% of teens and young adults have received a sexually explicit image and 41% have sent one (usually from/to their boy/girlfriend or friend).
    • The most disturbing statistic of all doesn’t have to do with teenagers at all:
      • 57% of pastors and 64% of youth pastors admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past.
      • If there’s no revival in the preacher, there will be no revival in the people. If there is no victory in the lives of the youth pastor, they’re will be none in the lives of the youth either!
  • We must wake up to the dangers that all of us are facing, especially our teenagers. We must wake up…
    1. To the darkness

The darkness of teen suicide especially. According to a recent edition of USA Today 47,000 men, women and teenagers kill themselves every year in the United States….It has risen by 30% in the last 17 years.

Suicide story from Francisco Pena in Dayton, Ohio

We got a post from Francisco Pena from Dayton, Ohio last week with these words, “heartbroken today for another student who killed herself.”

This girl was an 8th grader who had been bullied and she just couldn’t take it anymore. Francisco when on to say, “I wrote our mission ‘every teen everywhere’ in the center of the card….as a reminder to ourselves. (Picture of card taken off facebook….close up to every teen everywhere.”)

You see the darkness that these teenagers are facing is strong but the light we are shining is stronger and brighter.

These teenagers are facing the dangers, the darkness and…

3.  To the Devil

In Acts 26 Jesus tells Saul, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God….”

Satan is our biggest enemy. Once the bodyguard of God himself and leader of the heavenly choir he went rogue and took a third of the angels with him. These millions of angels are good at being bad. They are smarter than us, stronger than us and way more strategic than us.

So we must “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”  We must “put on the full armor of God” and fight for the souls of these kids who are held captive to Satan’s will.

We must stand up! We must speak up! We must wake up to the mission before us…like soldiers on the battlefield!

One of my favorite movies is “Sergeant York.” Anybody in here see that class movie starring Gary Cooper? The movie was nominated for an astounding 11 Oscar nominations in 1941 and won 5 Oscars, including Best Picture.

The movie is a dramatic and powerful story of a rebellious young man in the back hills of Tennessee who is radically converted to Christ right before World War I. Because of his newfound Christian convictions he hesitates to enlist in the army and decides instead to appeal for exemption. He was a conscientious objector. In the innocence of his walk with Christ he couldn’t reconcile “Thou shalt not kill” with fighting for one’s country.

Alvin York’s application for exemption was denied by the army. He had to fight. Being a conscientious objector in a boot camp full of gung ho battle boys was no easy thing. He was constantly scrutinized and criticized, some because of his back woods hill billy drawl, but mostly because of his pacifism. A pacifist couldn’t be a patriot in his world of red-blooded American soldiers.

But Alvin York excelled in boot camp in spite of the furrowed brows. An avid hunter, Alvin excelled at marksmanship and soon became known as the pacifist who could shoot. He finally tempered his internal dissension when he read, Matthew 22:21, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars, and unto God’s that which is God’s.”

That was like his personal commissioning from God to go and fight for his country!

That little verse was enough to go and fight for his country. Even though he still struggled with it, he felt that God had given him the green light to go and fight.

It was in the war that Alvin York showed his leadership. His courage and love for his fellow soldiers combined with his down-home common sense and excellent marksmanship made him a formidable foe for the Germans. In a crucial battle at Argonne, the Americans were pinned down by German machine gun nests, Alvin York made his way through a barrage of enemy fire up a hill to flank the gunners.

You see in a war time situation the hill is always the position of advantage. It is the where you want to be. You can see more. You can shoot easier and you, often have several ways of escape if things go bad.

But Alvin York wasn’t on the hill that day. He had to take the hill. So he climbed up that hill and one by one he picked off those German machine gunners. He was the primary reason the Germans on that hill surrendered that fateful day. He singlehandedly took on 30 machine gunners in continuous action and picked them off one by one with his sharp shooting abilities. They finally gave up and surrendered. By the time the day was done he, and the seven other American soldiers under his command, had taken 132 German soldiers prisoner!

In one day Sergeant York became a national hero. What’s amazing about this movie is that it is absolutely true. Sergeant Alvin York became an icon of heroism in all the free world and was the most highly decorated soldier of World War I. Never proud of the fact that he killed Germans he chose to focus on the American lives that were saved by his actions that fateful day.

When asked how he could reconcile the killing of German soldiers with his pacifist beliefs his response was that he was actually trying to save lives and to save the lives of his fellow soldiers he had to stop them machine guns and that’s exactly what he did.

Right now this generation of teenagers is getting mowed down by the spiritual machine guns of the enemy. I’m tired of hearing stories of teenagers who have succumbed to drugs, or sexual promiscuity, or cutting or hopelessness or suicide.

Jesus put it this way to Saul, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God….”

And the Spirit of God is putting it the same way to us! We are on a rescue mission for the next generation from our Commander and Chief!

Yes, all hell has broken loose against this next generation. Satan is using everything at his disposal to drag the souls of Generation through and to hell. And what do we do when all hell breaks loose? The answer is on the back of the training manual that we used to mobilize teenagers during the “When all hell breaks loose….”

We “Strike Back.” (hold up back of notebook and show on screen)

With every soul that we save we strike back. With every teenager we mobilize we strike back. With every prayer we utter we strike back.

Unless you’re driving I’d like for you to stand up because I want to remind you of your commissioning.

Pray a prayer of apostolic commissioning!

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