A Detroit minister has launched the "I AM 6-S Tour" in an effort to reach young people seeking to navigate the potential snares of life without compromising their Christianity. The "6-S" tour – which refers to being saved, single, satisfied, sexy, silly, and successful – also hopes to provide answers to everyday questions minus the judgmental or highbrow tones.
The effort is spearheaded by Minister Matthew E. Jones, a youth pastor at The Fountain of Truth Church in Detroit, Mich., whose ministry is simply called "The Righteous Youth." The ministry, founded last summer, is described as an "explosive" extension of the main church ministry that operates as "a full service community and church designed specifically for youth."
Between late September and early October, Jones felt called by God to start organizing a local tour in an effort to reach young Christians and let them know that being saved does not have to equal a "boring" life. The 25-year-old minister told The Christian Post that he also hopes to help equip young people to face the troublesome issues and concerns of life "while challenging them to uphold a standard of righteousness," which is what the "6-S" of the tour name speaks to.
While most of the terms are self-explanatory, Jones said "sexy" refers to young people being aware that they have been "fearfully and wonderfully made," as well as them simply taking care of themselves and having pride in their appearance.
Promoted under "The Righteous Movement," Jones, in a series of engaging events and messages, hopes to address such issues on the tour as clubbing, pre-marital sex and homosexuality, as well as drinking alcohol and smoking – things the minister teaches should not be done. Overall, the youth leader hopes to impress upon young believers how to please God.
The fist stop on the "I AM 6-S Tour" was Wayne State University, which enrolls about 32,000 students. At Wayne State University, about 200 students turned out for the meeting, which was held Nov. 10. Jones said the feedback he received after the event was overwhelmingly positive.
"What I kept getting was, 'I learned a lot. You answered a lot of my questions. I never understood this,'" Jones said. He went on to note that the Q&A segment was especially enlightening. Oftentimes in church, people are told what not to do, but are very rarely taught what kinds of things Christians are free to do, he added.
The minister also emphasized that it was important to teach about all sins and not just particular ones, such as homosexuality or pre-marital sex.
Jones said at the end of the day, his work is really about helping to realize God's Kingdom on Earth, which young people are very much a part of. The key to getting young people engaged into actively seeking a relationship with God, according to the youth leader, is to simply give them the truth in a language they can understand.
The minister, whose city is currently ranked as the most dangerous in the nation, said the biggest issue he has noticed growing up in and serving the youths of Detroit is that young people often fail to take hold of a goal or vision for their lives.
"Really there is a void for every person for God. Some people try to fill this void with organizations or friendships or relationships... We're so committed to things that are unworthy of ... our loyalties" when only God can fill that void, he said.
The remaining stops on the "I AM 6-S Tour" are Grand Valley State University on Nov. 21 and Eastern Michigan University on Nov. 29. All events are free.
The Fountain of Truth Church, a Baptist congregation, is home to about 2,000 members and is led by Bishop Michael Jones and is co-pastored by his wife, Brenda Jones.
In this recently recorded sermon, Minister Matthew Jones breaks down the "The Prodigal Son," the parable found in Luke 15:11-32, for his youth ministry, members of which range in age from 6 to 19 years old: