Daily Devotional for Friday September 22, 2006
Reaching Lost Kids with God's Truth and the Hope and Love of Jesus Christ
(Psalms 127:3, 34:11; Ephesians 6:1-)
"Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD." (Psalms 34:11 NIV)
Today is a very critical day in the life and work of the Liveprayer ministry. As I have shared with you often over these past 84+ months, we have the better percentage of two full generations that have never been to church and have little or no direct exposure to the Christian faith. The sad reality is, that is not going to change or get better, since there is little being done to reach the unchurched kids in the world, meaning they will be growing up void of God in their life, and soon have their own children who will be raised void of God! Most youth-focused ministries are geared to, marketed to, and focused on kids already in church. That is great, but they are missing the vast majority of kids out there who DON'T go to church.
Over these 7+ years Liveprayer has been in existence, we estimate that approximately 15% of the 2.3 million subscribers to the Daily Devotional are 18 and under. Every day we get thousands of emails for prayer from kids between 13 and 18 dealing with all of the issues they are facing in their lives in the year 2006. I have come to realize that the greatest needs of kids today is to have someone to talk to. Greater than any other need is the need to simply have someone who will listen to them and what is going on in their lives. I am constantly haunted by the last post on James Dungy's MySpace prior to taking his life. It simply said that he didn't have "ne [sic] one to talk to."
Already dealing daily with thousands of teens, I can assure you that most of the "rebellion" you see is simply their attempt to cry out for attention. Their involvement with smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex, abusing food, and cutting themselves, are all cries for attention, as much as anything else. Parents are too busy with their lives to give their children the love and attention and nurturing they need, the schools are overcrowded, and teachers are too overloaded with work to get involved in the lives of their students, so where do these kids turn when they need someone to talk to, for guidance, for someone to tell them what life is all about?
First, they turn to each other. You would be surprised and shocked at how much influence other kids have over your kids. The thing that should concern every parent about this fact is that the vast majority of these kids they are learning about life from are NOT Christians, do not have Christian parents, so they are learning about life from a totally unbiblical perspective. Second, is the media. Again, you would be shocked how much influences TV, radio, music, movies, and the Internet have in shaping how your child views the world. Again, it is a view of the world and of life void of God and Biblical truth. Lastly are those adults in their life, whether they are family members or friends of the family. Again, with so many adults who don't go to church, these adults who influence your children are most likely not Christians and their view of life is not how God tells us to live in His Word.
The biggest challenge for me the past year that God has been speaking to my heart about these unchurched kids, is how to reach them. The schools are the best place, since that is where they are all congregated for 9-10 months of the year. Of course, the problem there is all of the legal obstacles involved. In doing my research for over a year now, I have found that most of the Christian programs that do exist in the schools are mostly attended by the kids who are already in church. That is great, since those kids need the support and encouragement of one another, but these outreaches for the most part are not reaching the vast majority of the kids who don't go to church. The other challenge is that even if we could get to these unchurched kids, how do we approach them? What do we approach them with?
After long discussions with one of the top Christian attorneys in the nation, after many, many hours of prayer, God finally gave me a very simple, yet I feel, powerful game plan to effectively reach these unchurched kids and have an opportunity to plant seeds of Biblical Truth in their life, while telling them of the hope and love of Jesus Christ. I have had 1,000,000 red business cards printed, separating them into 5,000 boxes of 200 cards. The plan is to have Christian kids in each school hand these cards out to their fellow students. It would be illegal for a teacher to do it, it would be illegal for me to do it, it would be illegal for a parent to do it, but it is 100% legal for another student to do it! So I am going to call on those Christian kids in the Liveprayer family who go to junior or senior high school to step up to the plate and allow God to use them to reach those they go to school with by simply handing them one of these red business cards!
The card itself is simply an instrument to encourage these kids to reach out for help to a new website Liveprayer has set up called www.teenhopenow.com. The red card lets them know that there is someone available via email to listen to them, respond back to them, and help them. It is 100% confidential and anonymous. I have found in these past 84+ months of dealing with thousands of kids a day, that they are willing to open up in that type of setting. The red card lets them know there is help available and someone to listen to them by driving them to the website. At the website, it allows them to confidentially send an email that will be read, prayed over, and responded to, just like the 40,000+ emails we read, pray over, and respond to every day already.
There is nothing complicated about this new outreach, it is actually very simple. We will initially use those kids who are already part of the Liveprayer family to get these red cards to those in their school, and these red cards will encourage those who receive them that they matter and someone cares about them, driving them to the TeenHopeNow website, so they can send a confidential email. That, of course, then allows us to minister to them and their needs.
***We initially launched this outreach to kids in school last February. We sent out over 800,000 of the red cards and each day receive approximately 1,000 emails from them. I pray that we will send out this fresh batch of 1 million red cards in the next month, and that we will see thousands of kids each day emailing us for prayer, for guidance, and for direction in their lives, allowing us to share with them the Truth of God's Word and the eternal hope we have in Jesus Christ!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I need everyone reading this today to take a few minutes right now and be praying for God to use this new effort to touch the lives of these unchurched kids we will be reaching. It is my goal to have these red cards in every junior and senior high school in the country within a year. It is not the total answer, but hopefully something God can use to reach some of these lost kids with His love and the hope we have in Christ. Please, be praying for lives to be transformed by His Spirit, and that we will see many souls and much fruit from this new effort.
Now, for all you young men and women out there who go to a junior or senior high school, I need your help. YOU are the one who is going to be responsible for getting these red cards into the hands of those kids you go to school with. Go to www.teenhopenow.com and at the top right there is a link that says "Order Cards to Hand Out." Click on that and fill out the info and I will send you a box of 200 cards for you to hand out to kids in your school. Without you, this new program can't work. YOU are God's instrument! Parents, if you have a child in junior or senor high school, get them this Devotional and encourage them to help me in reaching their classmates. This is a simple, but powerful and easy way for kids who know the Lord to reach those unsaved kids they go to school with and see lives transformed by God's power!!!
*YOUNG ADULTS! You can also help me by posting the www.teenhopenow.com address on your MySpace, on your various Blogs, on message boards and chat rooms you may frequent on the Internet. Help me by spreading the word all over the Internet that there is a place for kids to go for help and it is 100% confidential!!!
Let me give you parents and teachers a quick word of encouragement. Parents, I KNOW that your life is challenging. However, never forget what I tell you often, and that is your number one ministry will always be to your children. We both know that the greatest thing you can do for your child is to spend time with them and talk to them. Just like in most marriages, a lack of communication is the greatest issue between parents and their children. Make that a HIGH priority over the next 30 days to SPEND TIME TALKING TO YOUR KIDS! I will be praying for you.
For you teachers, I know you are overwhelmed on every front. However, never forget that God has called you to this great ministry to those kids in your classes. For many of them in unhealthy home situations, you are the one person in their life each day that can influence them for the good. In spite of all the legal hurdles, you can be a great light for Christ in their life, even if it is in just how you live your life and reach out in love to them, genuinely caring about them. God will protect you and guide you, since it is God who put you there. I will be praying for you.
The bottom line is that too many of these kids in junior and senior high schools are damaging, even destroying their lives before they even get a chance to live. Before they even learn what life is about, they are getting involved with things that are hurting them and in too many cases, killing them. We have GOT to reach them. In spite of the fact we already reached several hundred thousand young adults daily, we are serious about this new project targeted specifically to these kids in junior and senior high schools around the country who aren't going to church and don't even know about the love Christ has for them. Rather than leave them to satan, we are going after them boldly and aggressively!
This is another reason why I am so passionate about the Liveprayer TV program and our drive to take it nationwide this November. A huge block of our viewers each night are these unsaved kids. TV is one of the mediums that satan is using to destroy their lives, and I am just as driven as satan is in using it to SAVE their lives!!! Now more than ever these kids are being bombarded 24/7 with every message of sin and evil you can imagine. We have got to get out into that same marketplace and reach these kids with the Truth of God's Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ. As committed as satan is in seeing these kids destroyed and die in their sin, I am even more committed to seeing these kids blessed and find everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ!!!