On a snowy Tuesday afternoon last month, 12-year-old Jennifer raced home from school, threw her books on her bed, and powered on her MacBook. Although the Illinois native enjoys checking out what her classmates are doing on their personal Facebook pages, on this particular afternoon, she headed straight to the Dare to Be a Daniel page.
“Dear God, I am grateful for Your unchanging holiness, righteousness and love,” she wrote in her post. “Thank You for loving me. Give me Your love for the people that You bring into my life.” Within moments more than 86 people who were plugged in to Facebook agreed. One person responded, “Really needed this reminder. Thank you God.”
Lorrie writes, “I dare to be a Daniel. My desire is to win souls for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I desire to follow God, no matter where He takes me, and have decided, I will not serve any other gods but, the one Living God.
Jennifer and Lorrie are among the 39,000-plus “followers” who regularly log on to the Dare to Be a Daniel Facebook page, a shining star in ministry’s efforts to raise up the next generation of evangelists.
According to Chad Miller, director of Dare to Be a Daniel, “The social network provides an outlet for devotional thoughts and updates and brings more users to daretobeadaniel.com, which was re-launched in 2010 with added functionality on the back end, and a better user interface on the front end.” Within a month, almost 8000 active users were added over the previous number of users. As the new site is continually developed to better deliver content, students can more effectively interact and know they are not alone in their commitment to God.
Both the website and the social network were designed to have a positive influence on kids and constantly hold up the authority of God’s Word. “We want to encourage those in the work of the ministry that someone who is lost might catch a glimpse of the Gospel through Facebook,” Miller explains. It is an opportunity for the Dare to be a Daniel ministry to have a voice in the social networking world with real-time results.
Kids who commit to be Daniels are Miller’s heroes because they care about their friends, want to do something to share the Gospel with them, and ultimately introduce them to God. Miller says, “The kids believe that Jesus is worth doing a little bit of hard work for… Jesus is worth risking something relationally.”
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Check out our Dare to be a Daniel ministry, which equips tweens to live boldly for Jesus Christ and share Him with friends.
After the kids complete the training sessions that involve reciting key scripture from memory and sharing the Gospel, they fill out a completion card, which is submitted to BGEA. As members of the D2BD team, the Daniels receive a personalized membership card that identifies them as a certified Junior Evangelist of the BGEA and dog tags inscribed with key scripture, which they learned throughout the year, to use as a witnessing tool.
Miller says that 65 percent of kids who have successfully completed training respond: “Dare to be A Daniel has equipped me to share my faith and I am sharing my faith with others as a result of going through the training.” Kids are accepting the challenge and reaching out to others.
In 2010, 2,939 new Daniel team members utilized the training resources, joined and made a stand for Christ which brought the total to more than 17,000 team members across the United States and Canada.
The D2BD ministry will continue to expand throughout 2011. Plans included looking at home school programs to determine if there is a need and provide information about the D2BD ministry. D2BD also will expand training internationally in Australia, the United Kingdom, Haiti, and Quebec (French). A Spanish version for U.S. residents is being created. The D2BD ministry will determine the appropriate avenues and resources to translate the training material, which includes the online site and the five and 13-session training.