Today more than ever we need to provoke this generation to a passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ. For far too long we have let the culture of today's society own the hearts of our teens. MTV even claims, "We don't advertise this generation, we own this generation." And as one of the pinnacle influencers of culture, they are making waves in the hearts of our teens.
This is why we have to confront them. We have to raise our voices louder than they do. We have to take a stand for purity in the hearts of this generation. Many teens are listening and have allowed God to recapture their hearts from the clutch of society. They want a different kind of message and are willing to step up and be a part of the creative process in achieving it.
An incredible push was made as hundreds of young people gathered February 8th for ReCreate 2008, a rally for youth from all over the nation to come together on a platform in the center of the media headquarters of the world; right outside of Viacom's MTV headquarters. They stood right in the heart of our culture, where much of the media created to destroy their generation originates from. Stepping up to the pedestal, kids who are actively pursuing a change in our culture shared their stories, inspiring others to follow. Teens demonstrated their creativity with art, dance, poetry, video, etc.
"Leaders of this nation, help save this generation."
The cry rang out and during the rally; we beckoned pivotal leaders of our country to our cause. We unveiled the top concerns relating to issues we have seen tearing apart this generation and presented them to the presidential candidates, demanding a response on what they will do to combat these issues.
1. The UN estimates there will be 25 million AIDS orphans by 2010. What should be done about this?
2. What should be done to stop glamorizing the things that are destroying my friends like drugs, alcohol, and sex?
3. What will be done to protect us and even younger kids from exposure to internet porn?
4. What will be done to ease the pain of those victimized by human trafficking and sex slaves all over the world over?
5. What should be done to protect us from graphic or explicit lyrics in music or images in video games?
6. How will you ensure that my freedom to practice Christianity will not be taken away?
7. Can abstinence be presented as viable solution to the questions raised in sex education?
8. I can't get my ears pierced or tonsils out without my mom's permission, should I be able to get an abortion behind her back?
A rally in Times Square is only a spark; more passion must be unleashed. This is why after the rally, we implemented a monumental event, pulling over 13,000 people from the Greater New York City region entitled BattleCry: ReCreate. God used Teen Mania to penetrate and revolutionize the lives of each individual who came. All weekend, we continued to hear things from teenagers and youth leaders such as, "We've never had an event like this in New York City before," and "We've never seen all these churches work together to do something so big for young people."
That is our heart, to unify the body of Christ in a stand for morals in this nation. The only way we can make a national change is through the combined forces of churches of all races and denominations. As a 300 voice choir made up of teens from numerous churches's joined their voices Saturday afternoon, we saw God's hand moving.
In addition to this, we were honored to have different guest speakers, leaders, and sports figures including David Tyree speak to the audience, all emphatically pointed glory to the Lord. Bishop T.D. Jakes, known for joining the forces of the church, imparted an amazing word on Friday night of the event, beckoning teens to seek God for their purpose in life. Testimonies of lives changed to fervently pursue this call have been overwhelming.
The New York City BattleCry is the beginning of the BattleCry season. This March we will be having events in Dallas, Texas and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The spring tour of Acquire the Fire is underway. Go online at www.acquirethefire.com to find specific dates and locations near you. The ReCreate message is going to reach hundreds of thousands during this spring season of BattleCry events.
We plan to return to New York City April of next year. This will be a fulfillment of the real vision of BattleCry. We've been working to mobilize churches for months, equipping them to pursue young people. The goal is for 100,000 leaders to DOUBLE and DISCIPLE their youth group each year for the next 5 years, provoking their entire church congregation to rally around the kids in their community. We hope to see the fruit from the training we will offer leaders at this event, seeing evidence in groups from all over the five burrows of New York City, as well as in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Ron Luce is the founder of Teen Mania, one of the world's largest Christian youth organizations, which inspires, empowers, and equips teens to reject the negative influences of pop culture and embrace the "coolness" of Christ. This year, Teen Mania is rallying hundreds of thousands of teens in the BattleCry movement to save their generation. For more information, visit www.BattleCry.com.