by Michael Shaughnessy

“When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” – Acts 4:31

In the Book of Acts chapter 4 it says that the early Christians spoke the Word of God with boldness. The word boldness in Latin is audacia, from which we get the word audacity. Something audacious pushes the boundary. Indeed, the early Christians were persecuted for the audacity of their claims. They challenged the status quo and some were martyred because of it.

Kairos, the Sword of the Spirit related missionary network of students and post university aged people, is called to audacity, to be challenging. Some of what we must do should be offensive. Like the Gospel we should offend the “world, the flesh, and the devil.” Kairos should also be offensive in the other sense of the word. Like the “sword of the Spirit” which the Apostle Paul talks about in Ephesians 6:17, it is meant to be a spiritual weapon of attack. We are commissioned to go, not to wait until others come looking.

As a ministry to youth, Kairos engages young people in mission from the beginning. They grow in faith when they engage in mission. They also overcome peer fear in the same way. We must help youth to be bold, and not just bold, but audacious. We don’t want people just to say, “what boldness!” We want them to say, “what audacity!”

Audacity has an appeal to youth. It carries a sense of cockiness, chutzpah, and nerve. Like daring, audacity has an impatience that is characteristic of youth. It seeks the adventure and it is energized by risk.

Audacity on Mission
In the Spring of 2014 two young men from East Lansing, Michigan USA, John Michael Adelman and Stephen Giles, were at the YES retreat. James Munk, the Kairos Program Director, gave a talk that called those present not to wait until they were older to engage in mission.

When they returned home a Christian friend at East Lansing High School proposed that they consider doing something together. They met with a couple of other Christian friends in their basement where they decided to do a bible study at their school and call themselves “The Christian Student Union” (CSU).

They had no real plan. They just invited other students they knew. They were surprised when thirty came. Since then, they have had as many as fifty students at the bible study. They have also sponsored other school-based and off-campus activities. Some of the CSU students have become involved in the Work of Christ community’s youth group and will be taking over leadership of the CSU this autumn.

John Michael, Stephen, and several others from CSU have graduated and are joining University Christian Outreach (UCO) at different nearby universities.


Michael Shaughnessy is the Kairos director both in North America and Internationally. Kairos is an international federation of Sword of the Spirit outreaches to high school, university and post university aged people.

From Living Bulwark. Used with permission.