The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is debuting its new, high-energy youth outreach today in Davenport, Iowa, before heading up the Mississippi River later this summer.
Featuring some of America's most popular hard rock and hip-hop Christian artists, "Rock the River" is a one-day event that aims to reach a generation with the message of hope and spread the culture of Christ in a society where youth are bombarded with false and unhealthy messages.
After hitting Davenport for a few hours today, "Rock the River" will travel northward from Baton Rouge to Minneapolis-St.Paul, passing by St. Louis and again Davenport, where youth throughout the "Quad Cities" (Davenport; Moline, Ill.; Rock Island Ill.; Bettendorf Iowa; East Moline, Ill.) will experience the full seven-hour event.
"This is an evangelistic summer concert tour filled with hard rock and hip-hop that kids are going to love," says Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the BGEA. "We plan to fish this river all the way from Baton Rouge to Minneapolis – fishing for the souls of the youth of this country."
Christian music artists who are teaming up with the BGEA for the upcoming summer outreach range from Skillet and Hawk Nelson to Kirk Franklin and Flyleaf.
Throughout the one-day events, Graham is expected to share brief yet challenging messages targeting primarily 12- to 25-year-olds.
Those under 18 are the ones the BGEA especially hopes to reach.
According to a poll by The Barna Group late last year, young adults under 25 were found to be more than twice as likely as all other adults to engage in behaviors considered morally inappropriate by traditional standards.