Graham Ministry Appeals to Youth with 'Ransom'

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has launched a new tool to connect youth with Christ and help provide them some of the answers they might be looking for.

Ransom is a new online movement that speaks to youth and young adults through music videos and personal testimonies from Christian artists and without all the "big talk" about Christianity.

"Young people today face tremendous challenges and pressures and are constantly looking for fulfillment in their lives," said Ken Barun, senior vice president of communications for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in a statement. "It's never too early to seek truth. The question is, 'What will young people find when looking for it?' We want them to learn about Jesus."

Ransom, inspired by the New Testament verse Mark 10:45 (For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many), includes a website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel.

The Billy Graham ministry seeks to engage the millennial generation with the new website's features such as Q&As on topical subjects, culturally relevant articles, devotionals and videos.

"[R]ather than brag about how we've got it all figured out, we're here simply to say that we care about you, we're crazy about learning more about Jesus, and maybe, just maybe, we can all share in that joyful discovery together," the website states.

Eric Samuel Timm is an artist, a painter and a speaker who creatively presents the Truth through live art performances. In a testimony for Ransom, Timm, a pastor's kid, recalls a time when he was far away from God.

"Being raised in church, in any "religion" ... unless you make it your own, unless you wrestle with it and figure out is this truth ... then it really doesn't mean anything to you," he said.

"If you're watching this video ... and you have an idea of who you think Jesus is, what you think the church is about, maybe even what you think Christianity is because someone along the way, maybe they painted a portrait of Christ to you and it's left you hurt ... I want you to know that wasn't God," Timm said. "That was man falling short.

"People in your life will fail you but Jesus won't."

Fireflight's Dawn Michele testified that as a young Christian, she was searching a lot, trying to figure out what God's will was for her life.

"God decided to give us all free choice ... He wanted us to be able to choose to love Him and not be like robots who didn't have a choice," she shared. "We have these freedoms and unfortunately, that frees us all up to make mistakes."

The greatest lesson she learned, she said, is to draw near to God. "He will bring my life together, He will help me to make the right choices ... He'll take that pain, the struggle and the suffering and He'll turn that into power for my life."

Ransom is in part a continuation of the BGEA's 2009 Rock the River Tour, a youth-focused concert series that drew some 113,000 youth last summer. The website is intended in part to provide a place for young people who attended the concerts to grow in their spiritual walk.

On the Web: