(Photo courtesy of Pray With Youth)
Josh McDowell has agreed to team up with Timothy Eldred for Pray With Youth, a global campaign that seeks to help the world's youth to find their identity in Christ and their role in local churches.
"We are honored to have Josh's support again. He clearly recognizes the needs of this generation," Eldred, the president and CEO of Christian Endeavor International, said in a statement. "While many people look to 'flash' in order to attract youth, Josh knows we need to return to foundational truths.”
The Josh McDowell Ministry is a division of Campus Crusade for Christ International, and has sought to share the essentials of Christian faith and ministry to people of all generations.
Pray With Youth is focused around a 21-day period in which adult prayer partners will gather with young people between the ages of 12 and 21, on a weekly basis, to share how God is moving in each person's life. Each participant will also pray, read, and journal daily on their own. Most importantly, adults will not just pray “for” or “about” the youth, they will pray with them.
"Prayer is, absolutely, overlooked as the most significant power we have," Eldred told The Christian Post.
Organizers of the campaign hope to see the younger generation become more secure with their identity in Christ.
“Young people don't believe in who they are until somebody else believes in who they are,” Eldred said. “If youth don't learn to lead the church they leave the church.”
The last event McDowell and Eldred teamed up for, Pray 21, was based on the same concept under a different name. The event resulted in adults praying with 75,000 young people from over 3,000 local churches back in 2007.
This year, they're aiming even higher. The new goal is 10,000 churches and seeing a quarter-million youths praying alongside adults.
"We're running this campaign on zero money,” Eldred said. “We just said, 'We don't need a big budget because we want the success to be so astounding the only explanation can be that Christ got involved.'"
Churches can participate in the event by downloading the necessary materials off of the Pray With Youth website. It is free to participate in, and will begin on Sunday, Aug. 21 and will end on Sunday, Sept. 11, though Eldred says the event is only the beginning for young leaders.
"This is just the first step ... the Pray With Youth campaign is not going to be the whole thing that keeps them connected, it’s going to be the catalyst to help them recognize 'I'm valuable in Christ's cause and I have a role in the church.'"