“Learning that God is with us everywhere we go is a blessing.”
Those are words not from a pastor, a theologian, or even a quote from the Rev. Billy Graham.
This came from Damon, a normal 11-year-old, who probably enjoys video games, sports and cartoons like most boys.
But what makes Damon different is that he’s now committed to something those even quadruple his age often find to be a daunting task — confidently sharing his faith every chance he gets.
Studies by the Barna Group show that Americans are five times more likely to come to Christ between the ages of 5 and 12 than after age 19.
That means for many, “What you believe at age 13 is what you will die believing,” says Chad Miller, Director of Children’s and Youth Evangelism Training at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
This impressionable stage of adolescence is the driving force behind BGEA’s Dare to Be a Daniel program. The initiative offers evangelism training kits for kids ages 9-14 and curriculum guidance for church leaders and teachers.
Miller notes that, “More than half of teen Christians don’t know how to share their faith.”
“Picture the significance of children coming to Christ, growing in Him, and sharing their faith on their own with their friends,” he adds.
To date, at least 29,038 young people have completed the Dare to Be a Daniel training.
Damon is among the 11,000 teens and tweens who became trained “Daniels” at Dare to Be a Daniel camps.
“We see Dare to Be a Daniel visibly used and a viable part of camp ministry for the next 2-3 years, and we’re excited about that,” says Miller.
And although many of the kids who participate are already Christian, stories of salvation continue to pour in.
Miller says, “It’s not uncommon for every teacher that sends us a comment to say that someone came to Christ within the classroom while they were going through this.”
“They are confronted with the beauty and the simplicity of the Gospel,” he adds. ”There is power, Holy Spirit power, in the Gospel.”
Be encouraged by these actual testimonies written by Dare to Be a Daniel camp participants:
- “One thing I did at Beechpoint (camp) is learn how to cherish God and what He’s done for me so far. Another thing I did that I would never forget is that I got saved. I also must admit that being at this camp is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It kept me out of a lot of trouble that I could have been in back at home. I learned how to read the Bible and memory verses. Something I did was rode on the horses, and that was a hug fear against me, and I can’t believe I faced it all because of YOU!” – Tiesha, age 15
- “Three girls from my cabin are now sisters in Christ. That would of never happened if you guys weren’t here… I can say my life really changed at camp.” – Mia, age 11
- “This week I learned how to be a light in the darkness and how to separate myself from the rest of the world. So I want to thank you for blessing me with the chance to come here and learn for the fifth time. The Bible says in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” This is my new favorite scripture. I’ve learned to step out in the world and be different.” – Brandon, age 13
Check out Dare to be a Daniel on Facebook here.