Raised in a Hell on Earth - What if you never knew your father and your hard-partying mom almost aborted you along a road of one-night stands? What if Denver’s crime rate peaked in your neighborhood, where walking home from school was like dodging trouble in an espionage film? Dead center in the chaos stood your two uncles, who even the local mafia sidestepped, and who were constantly in and out of jail. Greg Stier didn’t have to imagine.
Many boys in his shoes walk straight into delinquency. But at the age of six, Greg was uncannily fixated on other things: God, sin, the cross, man’s eternal choice, and how heaven and hell are our only options. It’s a bottom line many refuse to believe, yet he saw it plain as day. As if present circumstances weren’t enough, hell scared him to death. Greg ran to God, who began to build in him a desire to help other “unlikelies” see eternal choices clearly. Greg looked to America’s teenagers. God certainly works through adults and young children, but He’s historically fond of adolescents, Greg observed. He believes that the Bible shows Jesus as a youth leader with one adult sponsor (Peter) and 11 pimpled faces in tow. While teens are often labeled as misguided and rebellious, Greg sees them as ideal evangelists—moldable, chock-full of energy, unencumbered by ego, fear, or “the systems” adults get lost in.
In 1991, Greg cofounded Dare 2 Share Ministries part time in Arvada, Colo., with a goal to mobilize students at every high school and middle school in America as relentless followers of Christ who develop a relational, lifetime habit of helping others do the same. Teenagers nowadays value authenticity and a personal environment, so Greg utilized both in his approach. Despite critics’ jabs, he still unabashedly presents the reality of heaven and hell and the eternal ultimatum, but in teen language, and has found that it resonates, however uncomfortable the topic. To date, he’s helped mobilize close to 400,000 teenagers from all 50 states.
On April 20, 1999, Greg was at a Denver-area church promoting a conference entitled “When All Hell Breaks Loose,” when news broke of the nearby Columbine shootings. The tragedy that rocked our nation made him realize a deeper need to spiritually anchor its youth, so that year he went full time with Dare 2 Share. In the next five years they hope to go international. Meanwhile, Dare 2 Share holds annual conferences nationwide and has trained numerous youth leaders, published nine books, developed a wide line of online media, and produced two reality video series.
If Gospel work is so urgent, why detour through college? Greg’s been preaching since age 12, including leading his mother to Christ, but he developed his theological framework and ministry philosophy at CCU. His work is sometimes unsettling--not everyone wants Jesus. That’s just the tension we live in because results aren’t our job, Greg says. We’re simply to spark conversation, listen in love, reach as many as possible, and pray to God knowing only He can save.
Greg’s youth pastor sent him to the mall when he was 12. As strangers passed, Greg was to picture three words on their foreheads: Bound…for…Hell. It felt silly and judgmental, until he saw that it’s all anyone has left without God. Then his tears flowed freely. Now that conviction and vision drives ;Dare 2 Share, and is part of what’s become a guiding beacon for a nation of youth, ready and willing to be a part of Christ’s cause.