I first read about Dare to Be a Daniel while working with a church in Des Moines, Iowa, the summer of 2006. As a young evangelist with a call to reach youth, I was greatly encouraged by what I read. Through Dare to Be a Daniel, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association had used its 60-plus years of ministry experience to put together a relevant tool for equipping the next generation with the Gospel.
Last year I had the privilege of speaking at Camp Daniel, the official camp for Dare to Be a Daniel. More than 80 students came together from across the southeastern United States–one coming all the way from Kansas.
During the week, students were ignited and equipped with life-changing truths from God’s Word as they went through the Gravity Course, which teaches them how to share their faith. In the midst of funny stories, loud giggles and real-life application, the power of the Gospel began to sink in, and students were eager to go back and share with their classmates who had not yet accepted Jesus.
Each day the students faithfully completed homework and memorized Scripture that would help them share their faith. Each night, we went over different lessons covering obedient Christian living, staying on God’s pathway, sharing our faith and helping new believers grow.
With outstretched hands the students worshiped their Creator in song, and on bended knees they cried out for their friends in prayer. By the end of the week, more than 60 had committed to sharing Christ after returning home. I could feel the urgency in the room as students prayed out loud for their friends who needed Jesus.
We had just reviewed two methods of communicating the Gospel, and afterward students had lined up to share their excitement. “I feel prepared to reach my friends with the Gospel,” one said, while another echoed, “I am going to share Christ with my classmates.” On the final evening I asked, “Do you feel ready to take the Gospel to your families, friends and schools?” Their answer seemed to resound throughout the mountains as they yelled “Yes!” in unison.
A camp counselor grabbed me after one of the last sessions and said, “These kids are really getting this stuff!” As camp speaker, I am confident that God is preparing to reach thousands through these modern-day Daniels.
It’s easy to get discouraged by all the negative publicity surrounding young people. With the prevalence of substance abuse, premarital sex and depression, it often feels like there’s no hope. At Camp Daniel I was reminded again that even when the darkness seems to cover all, the light of Christ still shines in the lives of those He has changed.
God used Daniel to call forth repentance and change in his day. Through Dare to Be a Daniel, God is raising up a new generation of passionate Christ-followers to spread His message to the world in our day.