Dare to Be a Daniel is about to expand its borders, mate.
The evangelism training program for tweens (age 9-14) has already graduated over 18,500 students in the United States and Canada since its launch with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in May of 2006.
By the end of 2012, it will be launched in the United Kingdom, in Haiti with a Creole translation, as well as in Quebec with an International French version.
And that’s not all.
There’s a Spanish version being translated for domestic use by the end of this year with the possibility of expanding to Latin America.
And there’s developmental work going on right now for an Australian launch of D2BD.
You could say it’s a G’day to be a Daniel.
“We’ve just been testing it here for a bit and already the church has been lit up,” D2BD Director Chad Miller said via telephone from Sydney, Australia. “And there are requests for materials that don’t even exist yet.
“To God be the glory for the doors that He’s opened.”
Miller has been meeting with key leaders in both children/youth ministry as well as camp ministry across Australia to cast the D2BD vision, which has been well-received. One large church camp wants to implement D2BD in three locations for multiple weeks.
“September is a great time for camps in this part of Australia,” Miller said. “And thousands upon thousands of kids go to camp in Australia all throughout the year.”
The target demographic for D2BD circles around the middle school years, with the 5-week session bleeding into early high school age students and the 13-week option often picking up late elementary-age children.
“They both work very well in Sunday school, small groups, bible schools…,” Miller said. “Both do the same thing, they train and equip Christian students to engage their friends with the Gospel.”
This has worked especially well in middle school.
“There are some things that happen physiologically, mentally, emotionally and with the student’s sense of community in those formidable young teen years that don’t ever happen again,” he said. “We see this as a great harvest field.”
Also available is a self-guided study guide on daretobeadaniel.com. But a majority of D2BD’s impact is seen through group settings with the curriculum. This year, church camps have been a major training ground, where 20 have adopted the curriculum this summer alone, yielding an estimated 5,000 Daniels to be trained by year’s end.
“We know kids have meaningful encounters with Christ at Christian camps, but how do we release these kids to do the work of ministry in their own peer groups?” Miller said. “Early this year we engaged camp directors and program directors across the country about how to get the Gospel beyond the campfire.”
And whether that’s in the United States, the UK or Australia, the evangelism training resonates the same and can even utilize the same materials. Five or six years ago, language would have had to be tweaked from U.S. English to the UK’s or Australia’s version, but with the increased use of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and globalization, that’s no longer the case.
Ultimately, Miller said, all the material is geared to point youth toward one goal: sharing their faith with their friends and family.
“Students reach other students,” he said. “I am challenging youth and children’s leaders to make time for this essential component of making disciples of all nations. Train your students to reach their friends with the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no greater message.
“School’s starting back up; kids are making new friends. Your inner circle needs to be your godly friends, but you need to be friendly and in the lives of the people who don’t know Jesus,” Miller added. “You need to live out 1 Peter 3:15 in a way where people want to know more — ‘But in your heart, set apart Christ as Lord; always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’”