Becoming Gold Star Leaders Schedule, April 25-26, 2014

FRIDAY

1:00        Welcome and Conference Introduction

1:15        Presentation: The American cultural landscape and the postmodern mind

(The Culture, The approach of the typical church, How we came to embrace our current position and strategy)

2:15        TAG Time: Becoming a Gold Star Leader, Pages 1-17

2:30        Small Group Discussion

3:15        Large Group Wrap Up/Panel (Gary, Mindy, Student)

4:30        Student Presentation: The Thaw

5:00        Dinner on location

6:00        Presentation: The Power of a Changed Life

(Jesus’ Leadership Model, The Apostle Paul’s Leadership Model, C-4 Communities)

7:00        TAG Time: Becoming A Gold Star Leader, Pages 18-29

Write a Leadership Prayer

7:15        Small Group Discussion

8:00        Large Group Wrap Up/Panel

8:45        Dismiss

SATURDAY

8:30        Presentation: Facilitating Life change and leadership through creating a C-4™ Community, L.E.A.D.S.

9:30        TAG Time: Becoming a Gold Star Leader, Pages 30-34

9:45        Small Group Discussion

10:30     Large Group Wrap Up/Panel

11:15     Student Presentations

(World View Pillars, Blogging, Videos, Skit)

12:00     Lunch on location

1:00        Presentation Counting the Cost, Making a Difference

  • Growth Elevator
  • Counting the Cost
  • Discipleship is messy
  • Impacting Your community and a Nation
  • The importance of your personal leadership and establishing the Vision/DNA of the ministry.
  • As the leader, you are the Keeper of the Vision.

2:00        TAG Time: Becoming a Gold Star Leader, Pages 92-103

2:15        Small Group Discussion

3:00        Large Group Wrap Up/Panel

3:30        Curriculum Overview and Implementation

  • What do I do when I get home?
  • Conduct a starter group
  • How to implement Becoming A Gold Star Leader, Page 105
  • Determine what a C-4 Community looks like where you live
  • Develop a leadership training process
  • Evaluation of Weekend

4:30        Dismiss

For Coeur d’Alene:

4:30        Dismiss for Banquet at Candlelight Christian Fellowship

5:00-8:00              Banquet at Candlelight Christian Fellowship

Only a Changed Life Can Change a Nation

Becoming Gold Star Leaders Leadership Conference
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, April 25-26, 2014 

“Only a changed life can change a nation; only Christ can change a life!”

Life change is the crucial element to discipleship. At Reach America we identify teen disciples as gold star leaders. How does authentic life change and Christian discipleship/leadership happen? There are three fundamental essentials, DNA, environment and process.

DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. Ministryorganizations are actually ministry or living organisms. The DNA of your ministry is vital to the success of the ministry. Two elements that are critical to successful ministries are “life change” and the scope or reach of your ministry.

Environment. In Acts 17:28, the Apostle Paul writes, “In him we live and move and have our being.” Contained in this verse of scripture is a powerful principle — where our teenslive and move, they become.  Christian youth in America are attending worship and church activities for a couple of hours a week, but they are living and moving in an American culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity. Should we be surprised at what Christian teens are becoming?

Process. We have developed a five level leadership process taken directly from Jesus’ and Paul’s models. We call this process — L.E.A.D.S. — a Christian leader LEADS people to Christ.

“Becoming a Gold Star Leader” is two days of encouragement, learning, discussion and strategy planning built around these vital topics:

  • The American cultural landscape and the postmodern mind
  • The Power of a Changed Life (Jesus’ Leadership Model, The Apostle Paul’s Leadership Model, C-4 Communities)
  • Facilitating Life change and leadership through creating a C-4™ Community, L.E.A.D.S.
  • Counting the Cost, Making a Difference
  • Strategy Overview and Implementation: What do I do when I get home?

Pastor Gary Brown is leading the conference. Pastor Gary is in his 37th year of ministry to teens and their families. He has been a pastor, a national education consultant and an advisor to the US Congress. In 2006, members of Congress asked Pastor Gary to lead a national youth leadership conference in Washington, DC.  Reach America was formed to help facilitate Pastor Gary’s teen leadership ministry.

Leading in worship is Chris Martinez, an accomplished Christian musician, and founder of Anthems of Hope — a Christian worship band. You are going to be blessed and refreshed by Chris’ ministry.

This is not your typical conference. Four learning cycles include a presentation, quiet reflection, small group interaction, and large group discussion with a panel — interlaced with videos and student testimonies.

Come, be refreshed . Meet youth leaders from across the Northwest. Re-dream the dream and catch a vision for developing young Christian leaders for a new millennium!

The cost is $69 for adults and $39 for teens 18 and under. This fee covers all materials and meals beginning with dinner on Friday through Saturday. The fee also covers our community banquet on Saturday night.

The Cd’A Conference location is 1602 W. Lee Court, Cd’A, Idaho, 83814. We are still looking for a Boise location. If you have questions, our phone is 208-966-4434. Pastor Gary’s email is gary@letsreachamerica.org.

To register:

  1. Fill out the registration form online HERE
  2. You can pay the fee online on our “store” page (click store and scroll to the bottom) or mail a check made out to Reach America. (In the notes section, make sure you indicate that the check is for the Becoming Gold Star Leader Conference.) Our mailing address is 1602 W. Lee Court, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83814.

In my next post I will include the conference schedule.

God Bless! I am looking forward to hearing from you,

Pastor Gary

How the Left Discredits Authentic Americanism – Part 2

In my last post I set the stage for a discussion on how the left discredits authentic Americanism.

On Thursday, January 23, I was invited to speak at a political gathering on the topic of winning the future through winning the next generation. Our local press showed up. When they printed the story of my speech, they were fairly — fair. It was the comments posted in the online version of the article that I would like to spend some time on today.

In no way do these comments personally offend me. This old bird has been around too long to let a few hot heads get under his skin. As a pastor, I have had an interesting journey. God’s path has taken me from the pulpit to halls of Congress and everywhere in between.

As I read the comments following the online version of the article, I was intrigued at the language the various bloggers were posting. The comments are very similar to what I have heard by liberals on every level of government.

I thought it would be educational for us review some of the comments made about my speech. I believe we can all learn from this exercise.

Before we begin I need to define “Americanism” or “American Exceptionalism.” After all, this is basically what they are all uptight about.

According to Merriam-Webster Americanism is:

  • 1. a characteristic feature of American English especially as contrasted with British English
  • 2.  An attachment or allegiance to the traditions, interests, or ideals of the United States
  • 3a. A custom or trait peculiar to America
  • 3b. The political principles and practices essential to American culture

American Exceptionalism as defined in The National Republican Platform:

“We are the party of peace through strength. Professing American exceptionalism – the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history…While the twentieth century was undeniably an American century – with strong leadership, adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy our Founders’ enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a continued reliance on Divine Providence – the twenty-first century will be one of American greatness as well.”

Mike Huckabee said, “To deny American Exceptionalism is in essence to deny the heart and soul of this nation.”

In my speech, I made reference to American exceptionalism and the values that have made America a unique and great nation. I also mentioned how we need to create conservative communities in which to raise our children — and so forth.

As a pastor of 37 years, a national education consultant in public schools of 20 years and an advisor to the US Congress for nearly five years, I assure you, the comments I am about to share are being used against all who dare to proclaim that America is great because it was founded on Christian values and because we recognize the place of the Almighty as a nation.

Again, the link to the online article is http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_0231ef40-517e-511a-9103-f4c6a6493c87.html

Here are the comments:

“Screen Name” believes that conservatives embrace “slavery, no voting for women, child labor and debtors prisons” as American values

Miketeague states that Reach America…wants to indoctrinate 10 year olds to their way of thinking, what next, water boarding 11 year olds that don’t get the message? These far right wing pseudo religious groups are getting more blatant to their intent as each day goes by. By the way, the Thaw was looked into and found to be total bull. (Really?)

wwrd if by “Traditional” you mean no choice in anything then you are right.

DCIdaho accuses Reach America of child abuse and that we should be arrested.
This isn’t education…this is brainwashing for political agenda. Anyone doing this to children should be arrested for child abuse.

Those who oppose us for raising godly children and encouraging them to be engaged in the public square compared us to the Aryan Nations and said that churches cannot be political.

“LMYCDA” Students being persecuted for their beliefs. What a bunch of hogwash and propaganda. Sounds like the Aryan Nations folks. Hey, why don’t you just STICK with religion what you are being paid for and not paying any taxes for. Churches need to be taxed as they have become political!!!!

CaiusCosades: In other words “Brain wash our children to fit our selfish political agendas”. Idaho Republicans are so archaic! For any intelligent child that grows into an educated young adult that has been exposed to this type of brainwashing, they will see it for what it is and turn away from Conservatism. Then Idaho will be left with only the dumb Conservatives, which we already have way too many of!

Why Not: Gary Brown…is talking about controlling the thoughts of little Johnny and Jill with religious gibberish and neocon fantasy in public schools. Religion and conservative indoctrination in public school violates the constitutional rights of children. Schools are responsible for teaching, which by the way is hopelessly underfunded in Idaho. Teaching methods are changing and will hopefully adapt to individual needs faster than when my boys were in school.

Observations

I hope this exercise was helpful to you. Be prepared — any time you step into the public square, you can expect this treatment. Freedom of speech and religion are hallmarks of Americanism. Also is parental control of their children’s education.  However, apparently, Christians are not afforded the right to freedom of speech and religious expression. These belong inside the church, only.

Oh, and parents — if you choose to take control of your child’s education, you are brainwashing your children. If the kids do not comply with your Christian ideas, you water board them.

Their goal is simple — they want us to go away.

Want to know the sad thing? For the most part, going away is exactly what we are doing.

Well, not this guy. I refuse to sit idly by and let those who do not love God or our country call the shots.

Are you with me? If so, send me an email at gary@letsreachamerica.org. If you are in the northwest, come and see us. If you would prefer, call me at 208-966-4434.

If you are in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area, I am speaking, Friday, February 7 at the Red Lion Hotel in Post Falls at 12:00, noon, for the Panhandle Pachyderms.  It is a lunch meeting. I would love to see you there. My topic is How to Win the Future through Winning the Next Generation, Part 2.

Let’s not back down. Together, let’s stand for Christ. Together, let’s Reach America!

How the Left Discredits Authentic Americanism – Part 1

Yesterday — Thursday, January 23 — I spoke at a local political meeting, in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. My topic was “Winning the Future.” I spoke of how past strategies to rally young people to traditional Americanism are not working, today. Actually, this was just part one of a two-part speech.

In part one, I shared my insights about the postmodern views of 21st century teens and young adults.

A reporter from our local newspaper, the CDA Press, was in attendance. To provide you with the proper context, I have included the manuscript of my speech and the link to story written by the reporter.

I do not have a lot to say about the article. For the most part, the reporter simply reported what I said. It is the comments at the end of the piece that I want to call to your attention. Be assured — I am not, in the least, offended by the comments. My purpose in responding to them in a blog post is to help us understand how those who do not love God and America are trying to discredit those of us who do. And, by the way, their strategies are working — at least, up to now, they are working.

To get the whole picture, you need to know what I said and what the reporter wrote. Today, I am providing my manuscript and the link to the article. In my next post, I will analyze the comments. I realize this is kind-a long for a blog, but here is the manuscript.

And — don’t forget — this is only part one of the speech.

The link to the Cd’A Press article HERE.

The manuscript:

Winning the Future – Winning the Next Generation

It was eight years ago that I sat down with Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute, in Washington, DC, to discuss reaching the next generation of conservatives. He had called me in to ask me about how to reach the next generation. He really didn’t like what I told him. Morton insisted that we begin with college-aged youth. I have great respect for Morton. Let me tell you a little about Morton.

  • Morton was the youngest Barry Goldwater delegate.
  • In 1980 he organized and oversaw the national youth effort for Ronald Reagan.
  • He served as Special Assistant to the President on President Reagan’s White House Staff from 1981-1984.
  • At the time of our visit in 2006 he had been working to reach college students for conservative causes for 41 years.
  • From 1965-1980, Morton’s strategy was tried and proved to work.
  • His strategy was to knock on college dorm room doors and ask students if they were conservative. If they said they we not conservative, he would thank them for their time and move on. If the student said they were conservative, he would invite them to a training event; there, he would train them in this method.

I told Morton that day that I felt we needed to get even younger. We needed to reach middle and high school students. That we needed to build relationships with them when they are young, not to recruit them, but to listen to them and help them to realize their importance.

  • The concept I had was to build conservative communities across America.
  • He disagreed, saying that was a waste of time. We don’t have enough time for that!
  • Listen my friends, it is no coincidence that our sitting president is a “community organizer.”

It didn’t take long for me to realize that Morton really wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say, he had heard that I was conducting youth leadership training events and wanted to recruit me to conduct his college training events.

We must reach young people, ages 10-19.

According to Forrester, a business technology and consumer strategist company, if a business is smart, they will start to gather data from middle and high school students, ages 12-17. Buying habits start young and those businesses who still want to be in the game 20 years from now better not ignore this important age group.

In a 2011 report, Forrester stated that only six percent of 12-17 year olds who use the web want to be friends with a brand on Facebook.

It would serve us well to understand the postmodern mind.

The following information is taken from my observations from working with teens for 37 years and a little help from some research by Purdue University.

  • Historians generally place the beginning of the postmodern era in America at 1945. The characteristics of this era are as follows.
  • There has been a breakdown of cultural forms. Everyone is coloring outside the lines.  Although the average teen is “retro” when it comes to fashion and style, they reject the grand narratives that have made America great. Youth reject that America was founded as a Christian nation, American exceptionalism, capitalism and free enterprise.
  • America is becoming an oral society. According to Purdue University, literacy rates had been rising steadily from the introduction of print through the modern period. Postmodern society has seen a drastic reversal in this trend as more and more people are now functionally illiterate, relying instead on an influx of oral media sources: tv, film, radio, etc…
  • This culture still very much relies on print to create media outlets; however, it is increasingly only a professional, well-educated class that has access to full print and computer literacy. An increasing percentage of the population merely ingests, orally, the media that is being produced.
  • Due to these factors, young people are visual and temporal. They have lost all connection to reality and history. This may help to explain why they are so fascinated with reality television. Pop culture keeps coming back to the idea that the line separating reality and representation has broken down. The movie, The Matrix, is a prime example of this.

Young people have a deep desire for individualism, yet they have a strange comfort level with collectivism and government. Capitalism and free enterprise is on the way out and the government as caretaker is in. Due to advancements in technology, especially surveillance technology, young people have the sense that they are always being watched. And who do they blame for this invasion of privacy? You guessed it, the government. I know, this is getting a bit convoluted, but hang in there with me.

Essentially, teens and young adults are looking to government to protect their individuality, and provide for their daily and life-long needs. They see capitalism as the embodiment of greed and they want nothing to do with it. Yes, Marxism is making a comeback.

Don’t get me wrong, they value individualism. It is the way it is being defined that is troubling. This generation wants the freedom to do whatever they want and to be whatever they want – individualism. They believe in a type of social justice where we all have the same things – collectivism.  Again, can you say “Marxism?”

In general, this generation is disoriented; there is no right and wrong. Truth is within you. Don’t judge me, and give me what I am entitled to have. Give me an education, health care, a job and a retirement plan. Take care of me and keep me happy from the cradle to grave.

Josh McDowell in his book, “The Disconnected Generation,” he created a list of terms and how they are defined by adults and by teens. Pay close attention to this list. “Folks, definitions of words are a-changin!”

Tolerance

Adult Understanding: Accepting others without agreeing with or sharing their beliefs or lifestyle choices.

Teen Understanding: Accepting that every individual’s beliefs, values, lifestyles and truth claims are equal.

Respect

Adult Understanding: Giving due consideration to others.

Teen Understanding: Wholeheartedly approving of other’s beliefs and lifestyle choices.

Acceptance

Adult Understanding: Embracing people for who they are, not necessarily for what they say and do.

Teen Understanding: Endorsing and even praising others for their beliefs and lifestyle choices.

Moral Judgments

Adult Understanding: Certain things are morally right and wrong, as determined by God.

Teen Understanding: We have no right to judge another person’s view or behavior.

Personal Preference

Adult Understanding: Preferences of color, food, clothing style, hobbies, etc. are personally determined.

Teen Understanding: Preferences of sexual behaviors, value systems and beliefs are personally determined.

Personal Rights

Adult Understanding: Everyone has the right to be treated justly under the law.

Teen Understanding: Everyone has the right to do what they believe is right for them.

Freedom

Adult Understanding: Being free to do what you ought to do.

Teen Understanding: Being free to do everything you want to do.

Truth

Adult Understanding: An absolute standard of right and wrong.

Teen Understanding: Whatever is right for you.

Thanks for hanging around long enough to read all this. My next blog is coming very soon.

God Bless!

~Pastor Gary

The Youth of Today are Ready – Today!

By Jacob Howard, Teen Editor

It has been said that when Martin Luther King Jr. saw the youth gather at his rallies, he knew he had won the fight for civil rights.

Youth are a powerful weapon. But, we are a weapon many people think is to be used in the future. Youth are often called the “future of the world”. Truth is, the youth of today, are ready and excited for – today.

Why should the Christian youth be labeled for the future? If the youth are trained up well, they should be in the battle right now!

Look at the secular youth; those not saved. They are so into the battle against God that almost everything revolves around them. Music, television, movies, etc. Very few forms of media are made today that are not for teens.

Think about the influence the unsaved youth are having on the world. What would change if Christian youth really got out there and starting fighting?

Would forms of media change? In the next few months, some high-budget movies will be coming out with famous actors and such based off Biblical events, for both Noah and Moses. You can guarantee that these movies are going to be geared toward capturing teen’s attention.

What will these movies teach? The producers are saying they stuck with the Biblical accounts, but what will really be taught? I sincerely hope the truth will be shown, but I do not know.

My point is: even Hollywood “based off Biblical events” movies are being geared toward the unsaved youth of today. Where are the Christian youth? Are they in the future, or ready to be deployed today?

If they are deployed today, then forms of media will change. America will change if we take up the fight! Let’s go!

 

We Welcome Jacob Howard to Our Blogging Team

At Reach America, we are expanding our blogging ministry to include teens whom God is using to impact the world through the internet.

I am excited to introduce to you our first student, Jacob Howard. Jacob will be joining me in posting on this blog as Reach America’s Teen Blog Editor. We believe Jacob will be the first of many youth who will be joining us in this effort.

Let me share with you a little about Jacob.

Jacob is a high school senior who attends the Idaho Virtual Academy, an online charter school. I am excited to have him as a student in our leadership program at Reach America. Jacob is a leader of his generation. He believes God can use him and other passionate Christian youth to bring America back to Christ.

Jacob has committed to begin an internship at Reach America following his graduation in May.

Jacob enjoys writing, reading, web designing, talking with friends and studying up on creation – specifically dinosaurs. He has been awarded Journalist of the Year (2011 and 2012) and the Albert Einstein award from his school. As well, he has written for Creation magazine.

He plans to attend the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to get a Master’s degree in paleontology so he can spread the truth about dinosaurs and other creatures. His passion for creation and salvation have lead him to run two ministries, Already Answered (www.alreadyanswered.org/), a creation evidence/Christian living ministry, and the United State’s Latter-Day Saints (http://www.uslds.org/), a website examining the contradictions between Mormonism and Christianity.

Welcome aboard, Jacob!

If you know of other teens who would be interested in joining our blogging team, email me, Pastor Gary Brown, at gary@letsreachamerica.org.

Let’s Go!

Defining Christian Leadership

In a word, leadership is influence. We all influence someone, therefore we are all leaders. The question to ask young and old alike is what kind of leader are you being?

Christian leadership is influencing people to come to Christ and to become positive Christian Leaders.

The key to Christian leadership development is helping teens learn who they are in Christ and how Christ lives His life through them to impact our world. A couple of our RA theme verses are Galatians 2:20 and Philippians 2:15-16. I will break down these, and other scriptures, in this series.

To facilitate the leadership process, at Reach America, we have developed five levels of Christian leadership.

We say that a Christian leader L.E.A.D.S.

Level One: Look and See. When people look at my life do they see that Jesus matters to me?

Level Two: Encourage and Serve. Who am I going to encourage and serve today?

Level Three: Adjust/Apprentice. When I sense that God is working in someone, am I willing to adjust my life?

Level Four: Develop Leaders. Are those I am leading, growing?

Level Five: Success. Are those I am leading, leading others?

Over the next several posts, I will take a closer look into each of these five levels.

Equipping Teen Leaders in This Postmodern Age

Step One: In my last post I suggested to create a C-4™ Community, a Christ-Centered, Counter-Culture.

Step Two: Parents and the church take control of education. (Sorry this is coming a little late. We are selling a house.)

When it comes to equipping teens to become effective leaders in this culture, one word comes to mind – education.

When turning postmodern Christian teens into multiplying disciples the only place you can begin is where they are. And where are our Christian youth? … in School.

As parents, and the church, we need to become involved in the education of our youth. Education is a vital part of discipleship. When parents and the church take over the education of a teen, we gain access to the process that is molding that teen.

Currently, Christian parents and the church have given our children over to the state to educate them.  We have literally handed our children to the secular state and have said, “Here, take my children and mold their minds. Shape the way my children see the world.”

After giving the state approximately 40 hours a week to impact our children, we herd them into the church for an hour a week and expect them to become everything God wants them to be.

Gang, take a moment and think about that.

In my last post I mentioned the importance of creating a C-4™ Community – a Christ-Centered, Counter-Culture. This next step is just as important.

I believe that if we are serious about turning postmodern Christian teens into multiplying disciples, the next step is getting control of their education.

I believe, we need to take a page from Daniel. You remember Daniel. In chapter one, we read that Nebuchadnezzar had occupied Jerusalem and had taken the Israelites captive. He chose the best young people Israel had to offer to train up as leaders for him. A part of their training was eating the King’s food. For Daniel, and his friends, that was a problem. The King’s food was not acceptable to God; eating it would cause them to be defiled.

Daniel made a deal with his Babylonian overseer. He challenged the overseer to allow them to eat food that was approved by God for a period of 10 days. At the end of the 10 days, the overseer could judge who was healthier – Daniel’s guys or those who ate the King’s food.

Ten days past and Daniel’s group was healthier than the others. As a result, they were allowed to continue eating food that pleased the Lord.

You see, Daniel knew that God’s ways are always better than the world’s ways. He knew that when he followed God’s ways that he would always come out on top.

Education is a vital part of teen discipleship and spiritual growth. Parents and the church can do it better than the state!

Do you agree?

Two important things happen when parents and the church take over the education of Christian youth. First, youth are educated with a Christian worldview. Secondly, the educational process is more efficient leaving teens with time during the day for training in righteousness and discipleship.

We must get involved in education.

Teens are busy, thus they have precious little time for training. Ninety (90) percent of Christian teens are educated in public school buildings, which is the world’s most inefficient way to educate children. Also, teens are involved in all sorts of extra-curricular activities. Combined with loads of homework, they simply are not available for the training they need to be effective Christian leaders.

As adults, we must reevaluate our priorities.

The typical Christian adult’s priorities are somewhere else other than spiritual growth. Parents do not value spiritual growth, for themselves or their children. Personally, I believe education and activities, like sports, are very important, but so is learning to hear the voice of God and learning a biblical worldview. Parents will make every effort to ensure their teen is “going to school” or “playing sports,” but church and things related directly to spiritual growth are optional.

At Reach America, we have partnered with a group of parents who have thrown the old model of American education out the window. We do not have all the answers, but we believe we are on the right track. We have created a C-4™ Community and the parents of our students are in more control of their teen’s education than they have ever been.

Although we are still learning how to effectively reach this postmodern age, we believe we have made some progress.

Next Post: Defining Christian Leadership

CYBER MONDAY DEALS AT REACH AMERICA

CYBER MONDAY DEALS AT REACH AMERICA
THIS WEEK ONLY (DEC 2-6). Must call or email us to get the deals. (See Below) http://letsreachamerica.org/store/

T-SHIRTS, BRACELETS, BUMPER STICKERS, and MORE!

If you order product at a certain dollar amount, we want to say THANKS by giving you a free gift of certain store items.

Orders of $20.00-$49.00: You will receive a free “Thaw” video

Orders of $50.00-$99.00: We will send you a free “Thaw” video, 2 bumper sticker, and 3 bracelets

Orders of $100.00 or more: We will send you a free “Thaw” video, 2 bumper stickers, 3 bracelets, and one (1) curriculum.

We love and appreciate your interest, support, and prayers more than you can imagine. This is our way of saying THANKS, and your family at Reach America sends our prayers and love in Christ.

If you are interested in our “Cyber Monday” special for the week, you MUST CALL Tricia at 208-966-4434 or EMAIL at tricia@letsreachamerica.org.

Have a great day,and God Bless!

~Pastor Gary

http://letsreachamerica.org/store/

Turning Postmodern Christian Teens into Multiplying Disciples: Part 6

Step One: Create a C-4™ Community

I want to prepare you; the solutions I share below aren’t “sexy.” Turning Postmodern Christian teens into multiplying disciples is, in a word – hard. Only those who wish to get their hands dirty should continue to read these posts and answer the five questions at the end.

I am looking for partners who are willing enter into the culture wars. We are in a battle for minds, hearts and souls of our youth.  I look forward to hearing from you. Here we go!

In Acts 17:28, the Apostle Paul writes, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” In essence, where our kids “live” and “move,” they “become.” Our youth are attending church for a couple hours, but they are living and moving in a world that no longer recognizes Christ as God. Actually, should we be surprised at what our youth are becoming?

In Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we are creating a C-4™ Community, A Christ-Centered, Counter-Culture. The biblical foundation for a C-4 Community is Jesus’ ministry with His disciples, Acts 17:28 and Paul’s ministry found in 1 Thessalonians chapters one and two.

A C-4™ Community is a vibrant, growing group of Christian youth and their families on a mission. These Christians love Jesus and have a burning desire to see their family, their friends, their community, their state and America come to Christ. This is important: When people come into our C-4™ Community, we do not become like them, they become like us, then Christ.

The object of a C-4™ Community is to create a Christ-centered culture that is counter to what the American culture has become. We believe we can be more effective reaching people for Christ by bringing people to us, rather than trying to reach them where they are living.

Spiritual development happens best in a C-4™ Community. Spiritual growth is all about people and places. Who teens are with and where they are is very important. Jesus built His training strategy on a powerful spiritual principle – Christianity is caught more than taught. Yes, there is an important teaching component to disciple-making, but you catch Christianity the way you catch the flu, you catch it from being around someone who has it!

CREATING C-4™ COMMUNITIES — “CHRIST-CENTERED, COUNTER-CULTURES”

Youth must live and move in Christ-Centered, Counter-Cultures if we expect them thrive. The perfect example of a C-4™ community, of course, was Jesus and His disciples.

For three years, the disciples lived and moved with Jesus, and they took excursions into the world. They didn’t live and move in the world and visit with Jesus for a couple of hours a week. The disciples walked with Jesus daily and had a front row seat as He taught, performed miracles, and confronted the religious leadership of the day. After a day of watching Jesus, He would sit down with His disciples and hold de-briefings on what they saw and heard that day. Eventually, Jesus sent the disciples out into the world with specific assignments, and they would return and report.

After three years of intense training, of living and moving with Jesus, the disciples were ready to launch out on their own – they had become everything Jesus needed them to be. Jesus could now return to the Father.

What was the result? Just read the book of Acts and beyond!

With our youth attending church activities (worship, youth group, etc…) for just a couple hours a week, can we expect to get similar results from our youth that Jesus got with His disciples?

At Reach America we are creating a C-4™ Community where youth are able to live and move daily and become everything God made them to be.

Parents, Pastors, Youth Pastors: I would like to end this post by asking five penetrating questions.

  1. Is your youth ministry Christ-Centered?
  2. Is your youth ministry Counter-Cultural? Recently, I was speaking to a teen who is a regular at his youth group’s Wednesday night meeting. He said, “Pastor Gary, I believe our youth group is a C-2 Community. We talk about Jesus, but we don’t see a lot of real life change, and I don’t believe we are impacting the culture.”
  3. How many of the teens in your youth group are seriously leading others? Do you have a leadership training process in place? Have your leaders been equipped to lead others, and are in fact leading?
  4. How many of your youth are actually leading people to Jesus at their public school versus how many of your youth are being led away from Jesus at their public school?
  5. Are you open to something a little different? If you are open, please email me at gary@letsreachamerica.org.

Without a doubt, this is a tough culture in which to be a young Christian. At Reach America, we do not pretend to have all the solutions, but we have dedicated our lives to cracking the code that unlock the answers for turning postmodern Christian teens into multiplying disciples.

Interesting in partnering?

Next Post: Equipping Teen Leaders in This Postmodern Age

Pastor Gary Brown