Thursday, October 07, 2004

Billy Graham cover story

Read a very interesting article yesterday in Billy Graham's "Decision" magazine - click here. The article is in a section called "reaching the next generation" and has articles about what Billy Graham is doing different in his rally's, talks about his grandson Will Graham (son of Franklin) and other ways that churches have adapted to reach youth (like us).

The article goes on to talk about "Dare 2 Share" conferences where youth are challenged to share their faith. Here is one quote that caught my eye:
Teens get pushed to succeed everywhere except church. They get pushed to perform by coaches, teachers and parents. But in most churches teens are coddled or throttled not pushed to succeed. No wonder they are leaving the church in record numbers! They're bored to death, and I don't blame them.

Each of us can think about how that applies to our own particular church. Is there anything for the youth to do except sit in the pews? What is the solution? Here is another quote that gives us some ideas to play with:

At Dare 2 Share Ministries we have launched something called "The e-team Revolution"

What the online version of the article does not mention is the caption next to the picture. In that caption it describes each member of the "e-team" and what their role is in the youth group:
The "greeter" helps visitors feel welcome and makes sure they are followed up and invited back. The "webcaster" is an internet/computer savvy student who researches apologetics questions, invades chat rooms with the Gospel and keeps everyone up to date on what God is doing in the youth group. The "prayer warrior" is committed to praying that the Kingdom will be advanced through the e-team efforts. He or she also coordinates a youth group prayer movement to intercede for unsaved students

This approach seems to be effective and appeals to me. Has anyone out their tried it? Is anyone having success with reaching youth (unchurched) with this program,or others? How about Evangelism Explosion - click here? Has anyone tried it with youth? We have the challenge of "inner-city" youth, which are much different than "suburban youth" which makes it even tougher to mobilize them for evangelism. What can we do to encourage youth to share the gospel? What are you doing with your youth group? What has failed? What is working? What are we going to do?
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