The students at Elevation are unlike any students I’ve encountered before. There is a group of students here in Charlotte that aren’t content with being labeled as hell raisers. They’re determined to be a generation of world changers. Seriously. These students are leading the way. They’ve got heart. They take initiative. They’re excited about Jesus. There’s this core group of students who have taken it upon themselves to start The Hope Design. They’re redefining their generation. And we wanted you to hear from them. So, meet Will Darden.
“As a 17-year-old, seeing the growing lack of faith in my friends really bothered me- I knew that the message of Jesus had power to transform lives, but I had a hard time seeing this reality manifested in my generation. Then God laid a vision on my heart to change all that, and I launched a movement of students called The Hope Design earlier this year. The movement exists to unite students from all over the city of Charlotte and eventually around the world under the banner of Jesus. Everyone we know has heard about Jesus, but we launched this movement to lay out the reality of the unconditional love of Jesus in a bold way.
This past Saturday, we tried something totally new. We wanted to host an event that revealed the basic truth of the Gospel to both our Christian and non-Christian friends, but we didn’t want to be condescending about it. We decided to go ahead and throw out any misconceptions that people had about Christians, and we called the event imperfect. We convinced a local church to let us use their auditorium, printed lots of invitations, created a promo video, and told our most passionate people to invite their friends like crazy. And it worked. Over 150 teenagers showed up to the event. We opened up with a piece by a high-energy rapper, showed a video of a high school senior’s transformation through The Hope Design, and I talked about the love of Jesus for 30 minutes to a group of rowdy students.
God moved in a big way, and we’ve already received multiple stories from 13-year-olds to college students who had their lives changed after attending imperfect. And other people are noticing too. People who I’d never expect to talk to me about God have approached me to ask why we’re so passionate about this. I’m believe God’s got something amazing in store our generation, and I’m convinced that we’ll see students from all over the world impacted by this movement one day. I’m just grateful to hang on for the ride!”
Check out more about The Hope Design here.