ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - Nine students and two adults from Eastern Hills Baptist Church, Albuquerque, recently returned from an evangelistic training program in Denver, Colorado.
Between July 8-13, the students attended Lead THE Cause, a program hosted by Dare 2 Share Ministries, and held on the campus of Colorado Christian University. Trevor Clark - the church's associate pastor of youth and families - and another adult chaperoned the trip.
According to Dare 2 Share's website, "Lead THE Cause is a summer intensive that makes disciples who are passionate about the lost, know the gospel message and can relationally share it with others."
Clark said the schedule kept students busy, and provided a "lot of good teaching [and] evangelism practice," adding, "students have gained a lot of courage to bring up spiritual subjects - not just with their friends, but also with some family members."
During the weeklong event, students were encouraged to practice their faith through evangelism with friends and strangers. According to Clark, "One of the students [from Eastern Hills] was able to talk to his friend on the phone for about three hours and was able to see that friend renew his commitment to follow Christ in a big way and he was so excited about it that he was shaking and jumping up and down."
Clark said the importance of the trip is two-fold. First, it equipped and energized students to share their faith, and second, it allowed Clark to "develop a focused vision" for the youth group. "Time slows down when you're at an event like that and you're able to spend time thinking about where you're going in your ministry," he added.
According to Clark, this fall he and his students plan to "pray together more as a youth group during [their] weekly meetings, and increase the amount of personal disciple-making happening between adult volunteers and teenage students."
Funding for the trip came from various sources, including the church's budget, bake sale funds, and a fundraising drive in which students collected change from church members. Clark said that students were responsible for any remaining trip costs.
During a phone interview with the Baptist New Mexican, Clark extended an invitation to youth groups across the BCNM to attend Eastern Hills' annual simulcast of Dare 2 Share Live on October 12 at the church. Dare 2 Share Live is "a one-day live simulcast and outreach event that will give … teens the inspiration, motivation, and training they need to be confident in sharing their faith with others," according to the event's webpage. Clark said that the same principles that students learned at Lead THE Cause will be taught during Dare 2 Share Live.
For more information on Dare 2 Share Live, contact Sarah Wilkerson, ministry assistant for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico's Student Leadership and Development Team, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-924-2316.