“It is very hard to be a teenager because of things like insecurity and peer pressure,” says 16-year-old Allee Keener.
“I know at least for me, I’m constantly trying to conform to others, and there’s always that pressure of wanting to fit in,” Keener says. “You’re always trying to conform to everybody else so that you’ll be accepted.”
Anri Stewart, a sophomore at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, says it doesn’t get any easier in college. “It’s really hard being my age because you’re just getting out on your own. Your parents aren’t there to watch you, and you get introduced to a lot of stuff that is very crazy out there in the world.”
Growing up in today’s culture is more challenging than ever. Our young people need Christ, but reaching them is hard. Most turn their backs on traditional religion or outreach efforts.
So How Do We Reach Them?
It takes some new ideas – a fresh approach – to introduce youth to Christ. Here at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, that “new approach” is known as the Rock the River Tour.
“In the battle for the souls of young people,” says Franklin Graham, “God gave us victory in Baton Rouge. And that was just the start. As we head up the Mississippi River to St. Louis on August 2, the Quad Cities on August 8, and Minneapolis/St. Paul on August 16, we will be going against the currents of secularism, postmodernism, and the godless culture in which we live.”
Franklin asks for prayer: “Pray that the Holy Spirit will draw thousands of lost young people to each of these Rock the River Tour events. The devil wants our young people in bondage to sin, but we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep pursuing the lost. We do that by proclaiming the Gospel, which is “the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16).
“God has provided only one way of eternal salvation, and that is through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. We must do whatever is necessary to make sure our young people–as well as older–hear this truth.”
We Need Partners
Financially, Rock the River, is a huge undertaking that goes far beyond a one-day concert. In each of the cities – Baton Rouge (July 18), St. Louis (Aug. 2), Quad Cities (Aug. 8), and Minneapolis/St. Paul (Aug. 16) – BGEA staff is mobilizing churches, training and equipping youth, and getting ready for follow up.
“We don’t only look forward to seeing decisions for Christ as a result of Rock the River,” says John Cass, one of the discipleship trainers. ‘We want to see kids who are already Christians turn every aspect of their life over to God and follow Him.”
“I’m going to make an investment in the future,” says Franklin. “Come join us.”