Four years ago, a group of young teenagers spray-painted messages on a wall in the Syrian city of Daraa. These sprayed messages read: “The people want to topple the regime.” They could not have anticipated how in next nine days, their graffiti message would escalate to the Syrian civil war and would go on to echo in other countries during the Arab Spring (World Watch Monitor).
Reading the World Watch Monitor’s article on the Syrian graffiti reminded me of the impact young people can have on each other, the church and, as we have seen, a nation. The challenge we have has leaders is to encourage students to use their powerful influence to build up the Kingdom and point others to Christ. But this requires the dedication and patience of youth pastors, campus ministers, teachers and professors alike to share with students their love, time and wisdom.
As the Director of Open Doors Fortify, I have the privilege to travel throughout the US partnering with great organizations, colleges and universities who are investing in students and bringing to them the message of the persecuted church. This weekend, I will join Student Leadership University (SLU) in their final week of the LIFT Tour where they have been challenging students for ten weeks to live out their faith RELENTLESSLY!
Using the persecuted church as one of the examples within the conference, LIFT Tour Director Ed Newton challenges, “the western version of Christianity [that] has been painted without pain, persecution and problems.” He asks the students to take a RELENTLESS approach to their faith in Jesus and bring, “an attitude that holds high the principle that the goal being pursued is worth more than the pain endured.” This message both excites me and challenges me! And that’s what I love about working with students; as I share and challenge them, my heart is always impacted and challenged by their response.
Please join me in praying for the 10,000 students who have heard this message throughout the 10-week LIFT Tour, and watch with me in anticipation to see how the Lord is going to use these students and make an incredible impact for the Body of Christ.