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Comm #43: Who Needs the Church the Most? This May Shock You.

They’re often the last ones thought of. Not the little adorable tots, nor the seniors we care for. Not our friend or colleagues. 


Shock. It’s the tweens and teens. It’s those kids we think are self sufficient enough to be quasi adults yet the same ones who may give off a leave me alone vibe. Yet oh boy- they need Jesus and they need us the most of everybody.


Joan here, dear Church leaders. Our coalition of 4 that is ‘The Church Finds Its Voice’ are right this moment shattered at another young teen suicide. You should have been on our call. We were talking about this and were just so so so sad. 


The media is a real culprit here. I know from working around the media for half a century just what a powerful adversary it’s become. Social media has taken destructive messaging to a whole other level and fostered intense feelings of despair in our young ones. These young ones just can’t hold up under it.


Please teach your parents to kick social media to the curb in their families. They’re going to have to be tough here. And to compensate for their tweens with other social life; family social life.


The media is very illusory. It’s not real, just seems real. Especially to kids unless they’re trained to know it’s a craft of illusion. They want real, crave real, and are literally dying to know the beauty of truth. We’re up; let’s step it up and give them truth at the level they need it.


No blame here and no judgement either. Just a Christmas message that God thought two teens valuable enough to parent His Son


Kielle’s a Mom of tween and near tween girls, and an extremely media savvy commentator on social media. Here’s Kielle to give you a closer look at this:


Joan Holt Lindsey, Founder and President of Lindsey Communications

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I want to start by wishing you all a very blessed Christmas season! As we ready our homes and hearts for Christmas this year, our kids are very present on all our minds, but our nation’s children are especially on our minds just right now. I’ve been spending quite a lot of time reading, studying and learning about Gen Z lately…these are our 11-26 year olds currently. They are a fascinating generation, very different from the one before them in their composition, interests, education and influence. But sadly, they also differ tremendously in the pressures and struggles they are enduring. Gen Z - or Zoomers - are a group of young kids who are dealing with more mental health concerns, and voicing those concerns, more than any other demographic that has come before them. Mental health help is the number one issue they say worries them and for which they are most focused on finding solutions and resources. Having come into the world in a nearly fully digital age, their reliance on and usage of the internet, devices and social media has led to a mental health crisis. They are also a tremendously influential cohort, with nearly 12 million of them reaching the age of majority in 2024. For the Presidential election this coming year, Gen Z and their predecessor, Millennials, will make up just about half the voting population (48.5%). They are many, they hold great influence and abilities to impact this nation now and for our future, but they’re hurting. And where is their support coming from? Who and what is influencing them? We know one major influence is social media - they spend hours a day on it! - and a majority of their time is at school and with peers. Our kids are seeking health in their lives…wisdom, truth, goodness…they want to be happy! My hope and wish for us all is that we can refocus our own time more intentionally and with greater boldness than ever before to meet our kids and their needs directly. You, the Church, can offer what they are seeking and needing so desperately, particularly now for this new generation of 70 million hearts, minds and souls. Let’s love them best by giving them what they need - our focus, time, love, affirmation and the empowerment that can only come from biblical truth and the power of knowing and following Jesus Christ. What better time to let the youth of this incredible nation know how much we value and believe in them than Christmas, the holiday celebrating the miraculous journey of a young man, Joseph, and a young woman, Mary, as they courageously brought the Savior of all people into this world. God has entrusted us to raise up the generations who come after us to be confident believers and purposeful warriors for His kingdom. Let’s make 2024 a year of ensuring that our children have every opportunity to do just that.


Kielle Campbell is the President of the Lindsey Foundation

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Our topic this month is a special one— focusing on our children and the challenges they face. There is no doubt that there is an all out assault on kids in public schools, social media and within their peer groups. I am pretty sure I’ve not witnessed in my entire lifetime the level of confusion that today’s kids are having to endure. All of the circumstances highlight the overall issue of “Parental Rights” and who has responsibility for raising kids these days. That idea wasn’t even under debate until recently when the left put down stakes that teachers and librarians and government officials said the quiet part out loud and declared that they, and NOT parents, suddenly had new rights to influence YOUR kids. Since we deal with pastors every day, we see and hear of the fallout of these confusing messages that young people deal with in our times.


We had to witness up close some awful impact of some of that confusion recently. A beautiful and sweet 13 year old girl in our local community took her own life just a few weeks ago. While I am careful not to assign blame— as most of you know, my first wife committed suicide 17 years ago and I am all too aware of the multitude of “reasons” it happened. It is devastating and heartbreaking, and only made worse by the time of the year. She had terrific value to her family and to her community. She was a youth leader and never missed a youth group church activity. Older and younger kids looked to her, and yet, she clearly was getting mixed messages about her value and life’s meaning. It sure seems that the world is affirming all the wrong things these days and social media is making it all worse by the unhealthy comparisons and examples it brings. It is more important than ever that we teach, equip, encourage and admonish in love coupled with truth. That is what we seek to do every day at Faith Wins and our “Church Finds its Voice” team. We sure hope you’ll join us! 


Out of all of the mess and confusion out there, Christmastime reminds us that a little baby can change the world!


And now Brad gives us some great legal points about how churches can support parents’ rights..


Merry Christmas!

Chad


Chad Connelly, Founder and President of Faith Wins

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In Closing:


Churches, a major pillar of our nation, are under attack. Another pillar, just as important, is the family. Without question, our children are being pulled at a rapid pace to reject the faith of their family (2 Tim. 3:2) and to believe lies challenging their identity, purpose, and worth. So, what can a church do to provide strength for the weakened youth of America? Here are just a few suggestions:

 

1.     Update Curriculum: Provide Bible study and private school curriculum that addresses what the Bible says about who and whose they are as born-again Christians. Such identity instruction must also confront the lies challenging gender identity and sexuality scripturally, medically, and emotionally. Children in public schools are bombarded with pro-confession indoctrination leading to horrific outcomes. In fact, most public high schools in California have at least 2 or 3 students with gender dysphoria.

 

2.     Create Alternative Influences:  While Sunday school and youth group meetings are valuable, most children in public schools will likely turn away from their faith entirely. Unlike the past, they are not returning to their faith after they get married and have children. For most parents, private schools are financially unreachable. However, churches (large and small) can initiate church/homeschool co-ops. We at PJI have references to specific ways this can be done and will offer our free legal resources to make a difference.

 

3.     Protect Against Social Workers: Unbeknownst to most, children are now being removed from families who simply refuse to encourage any gender or sexual orientation confusion. And these cases are increasing rapidly throughout America. While children in public schools are clearly at the highest risk of being seized by the government, no child is completely protected—especially those families living in liberal blue states. Churches can significantly address this threat by sharing PJI’s free resource, “12 Steps to Protect Your Children from CPS,” which can be found HERE.

 

4.     Outreach Outside the Box: While many parents are rescuing their children from public schools, many still remain. Parents in such circumstances should be informed to use state-specific Opt-out forms to provide partial protection for their children. More importantly, churches can lead students and adults to effectively and legally engage in public school evangelism outreach. Youth pastors, adults, and students can be empowered by reading our free book, “Reclaim Your School!”. The book will also connect your church to supporting outreach ministries, like Decision Point, which PJI has helped sponsor rallies and outreach weeks on high school campuses across the nation.

 

Whatever your church decides to do, remember this: our students across America are under unprecedented attack that will impact our nation for generations to come.  Let’s arm and equip our churches and families to rise to this challenge - for such a time as this!


Brad Dacus is the Founder and President of Pacific Justice Institute

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As always, we are standing with you and are praying for each of you and yours! 

-Joan, Brad, Chad and Kielle  

Your Church Finds Its Voice Leadership Coalition


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