Building a network of youth workers for Dare 2 Share LIVE can be hard work. But what if you already have a pretty solid network? Shouldn’t it be a breeze to get other youth leaders in your circle on board?
Andy McGowan and Nick Brzozowski—the Lead Pastor and Next Generation Pastor at Immanuel Kenosha Church—were already part of a strong youth ministry network when their church committed to hosting LIVE last year. So while they weren’t exactly looking for new ministry connections, they still needed to cast vision and generate excitement for LIVE in their existing network. If other local youth ministries participated, not only could more teens be trained to share the gospel, but the camaraderie among their network would also get a serious boost.
We asked Andy and Nick for some advice on getting a current network on board with LIVE. Here are three crucial steps they suggested:
Watch the whole interview with Andy McGowan and Nick Brzozowski below.
1. Keep investing in relationships with other youth leaders.
Andy and Nick’s network of youth pastors, known as the Kenosha Allies, meets once a week to share encouragement, prayer requests, and ministry ideas with each other. “When we meet, we say ‘Hey, we’re guys in the trenches. Let’s be together and encourage each other to see this city won together,’” says Andy.
Andy and Nick say it’s important to keep the focus on building relationships rather than on pushing events. In fact, Andy says that getting other youth pastors to buy into an event like Dare 2 Share LIVE is sometimes a “slow drip.”
“Because relationships are slow and it is a slow drip, you begin not to just think of one year, but three or four years down the road,” he said.
Other youth pastors might not buy into an event like LIVE right away. But through continued investment and your own testimony of how God is using LIVE, pastors in the “slow drip” category could be the ones signing their own churches up to host Dare 2 Share LIVE 2021.
2. Be serious about evangelism in your own life and ministry.
If you want others to prioritize evangelism, set the example and do it first. The Kenosha Allies know that Andy and Nick aren’t just talkers when it comes to training teens to share their faith—they’re doers. “They’ve dubbed us as the ‘evangelist people.’ We’re passionate about the gospel advancing,” says Nick.
“And we’re okay with that!” Andy interjects with a laugh.
If pastors in your network aren’t actively prioritizing evangelism in their youth ministries, let your own actions back up what you say about training teens to share the gospel.
“It’s a conversation,” says Andy. “It’s a long-standing theme of not just ‘Oh, he’s going to say the Dare 2 Share thing again.’ Dare 2 Share is a natural outflow of what we’re about all the time.”
And don’t give up—overtime, your passion for evangelism in youth ministry will rub off on others!
3. Encourage others to join you in the most exciting way to do youth ministry.
“Is this all there is? There’s got to be something more…”
Getting stuck in a rut, doing the same thing week after week, and not seeing any growth or impact can be all too common in the youth ministry world. It doesn’t have to be that way though, because there really is “something more” to youth ministry!
“Greg [Stier] talks about there being a burning ember in youth pastors, and we’ve got to fan it,” Nick explains. “There’s something there, this passion, a holy discontent that the gospel needs to be going out, that there are far too few followers of Jesus in our schools, and that this generation needs to know the hope of God.”
Helping teenagers become passionate about reaching the lost with the gospel is the most exciting way to do youth ministry. If you see that “burning ember” or “holy discontent” inside the youth pastors in your circle, encourage them to join you in training teenagers to reach their world for Christ—starting with inviting them to Dare 2 Share LIVE!
“Dare 2 Share LIVE is for students, but my prayer is that leaders catch that vision too because it’s so easily forgotten in the rat race of youth ministry,” said Andy.
Not part of a Dare 2 Share LIVE network yet? Join a network of youth pastors in your area and get your tickets to Dare 2 Share LIVE now to be part of a huge day of teen evangelism training on October 13th!