“I realized I had a year and a half left of high school, and I wanted to make it count for Jesus.”
Jordan Whitmer wanted to challenge the “status quo” of today’s youth culture, and see many students choose to follow Jesus.
Through much prayer, several young leaders developed a dream and a plan, and the vision became contagious.
They started talking to other students….first at their school, then at other regional schools…and they found a “heart-match” with many other teenagers who felt the same way!
Weekly “gatherings” took place where the student-led worship band and drama team would practice. Students continued to pray together, believing God for something big.
The first #HowToLife event took place in March 2015.
Over 700 students came, representing dozens of churches, and many regional junior high and high schools. God moved powerfully through student-led worship, drama, videos, and student “hope stories.”
Every person on the stage was a student.
Callie, a freshman, said, “At #HowToLife I saw God spiritually moving in so many people, and just really working in hearts, and changing so many lives.”
The Gospel was clearly presented, and an opportunity was given to begin a relationship with Jesus. When the invitation was given, over 75 students came forward to declare a new beginning with Christ.
Canyon said, “I saw God touch so many people, one of my best friends was there and when we prayed, he put his trust in God.”
“It is the Talk of the School!”
Amber shared, “This movement touched the lives of many. It is the talk of the school! People keep asking me when the next one is and how the event impacted their lives. #HowToLife was life changing.”
That evening, three students from Branson, Missouri attended – and caught a vision to host their own #HowToLife event…
The movement spreads – to Branson, Missouri!
Christian student leaders from Branson, Missouri began to mobilize for their first #HowToLife event. In November 2015, over 700 students attended #HowToLife Branson, with over 50 making a commitment to begin a relationship with Jesus.
Ellie, a junior, said, “I saw God move through the personal testimonies.” Students in the audience could easily relate to their peers as they honestly shared their “hope stories.”
Hally, a sophomore from Branson High School, said, “I saw God do AMAZING things at #HowToLife, but one of the most memorable parts was the worship. You could just feel the Lord’s presence in that room during worship and it was truly, truly amazing.”
Audrey, a 10th grader from Branson, said, “I saw people wake up and realize that God wanted them to walk away from a life as a sinner. I saw a whole lot of kids realize they aren’t alone and that’s awesome!”
High School students are trained to lead others to Christ
Student counselors, who had been trained in sharing the Gospel, were able to meet and share more with these students.
Ellie shared, “The two girls I spoke with rededicated their lives to Christ said that how they felt God moved them to their decision.”
Some of the biggest impact came on the student leaders, who realized God used them powerfully to impact their peers for Jesus. Emma, a senior, said, “I saw God take a bunch of high schoolers and equip them to do things most high schoolers couldn’t dream of doing. He worked through vessels willing to be used by Him.”
Events planned for February and March, 2016
Additional #HowToLife student-led events are planned for Arkansas in February and March 2016 in Mountain Home, Harrison, and Northwest Arkansas.
“We are very excited about NWA,” explains Whitmer. “This region includes 6 of the 12 largest high schools in our state. I’ve been meeting with student leaders in every one of these high schools for the last few months, and they are so excited for God to move big time at #HowToLife NWA.”
What’s the next chapter of the story? Whitmer is convinced in the power of God working through high school student leaders. “My dream is to see even more Christian young people unite together and challenge our generation to live for Christ.”
High school students from around the country can now request to mobilize a #HowToLife event in their community. Whitmer says, “Our team is ready to equip Christian student leaders who want to make a difference for Jesus in this way. It’s very doable. We’ve seen how God can use this approach to powerfully impact lives.”
Not a Moment, but a MOVEMENT
“One of the things we love to say is that #HowToLife is not a moment, but it is a movement. We are so encouraged by the lasting fruit that is emerging. We can’t wait to see how God will use us to impact our generation!”