Resurrection of A Generation

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This is Maddy. She’s 16 and lives in Derby with her mum and brother Ben, who’s 17 and out of control. She sees dad once a month but always comes away with an ache in her stomach - an emptiness that isn’t getting met.

Maddy has a boyfriend, 18 year old Jack. She worships him and in return he works huge influence over her, but not in a healthy way. She’s in the middle of GCSE's but hasn’t a clue what to do when she leaves school. Jack says she should come live with him.

That’s just a fraction of the challenges facing Maddy as she tries to make sense of the world she’s growing up in. Picture her in school and the barrage of influences that shape her heart and mind everyday. According to recent statistics, in Maddy’s classroom of 30 students:

  • 61% of her friends feel that adults are out of touch with their relationships.
  • 46% believe that sexting, sending naked pictures of themselves, is part of everyday teenage life.
  • 39% of male friends watch pornography regularly, and 77% of female friends think pornography puts pressure on them to look a certain way.
  • Half of Maddy’s classroom say they are not 100% heterosexual.
  • In addition, 43% of Maddy's friends experience bullying at least once a week.
  • 25% of female friends have been physically abused.
  • 50% of male friends have suffered emotional abuse.
  • 20% self-harm on a regular basis.
  • And 41% of Maddy’s classroom believe religion is more often the cause of evil in the world.

And that’s just a snapshot!

Maddy isn’t a real person. But she could easily be. We’ve created her to help you visualise the scale of the very real challenges facing the 5 million teenagers in our nation.

Over decades in the UK, we have relaxed our Biblical morals, proclaimed as good that which is sin, and passed laws contrary to God’s word. And today the children are bearing the consequences. What future do they have?

Well, at Cross Rhythms, in the face of such a desperate picture we believe in a future of Redemption! Rescue! And Resurrection! And this Biblical example inspires us:

King Ahab rebelled against God - worse than any king before him - and caused the nation to sin badly. During his reign, a man called Hiel also rebelled against God and rebuilt the ruins of Jericho.

The consequence? As Joshua had warned centuries before, Hiel “laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son and set up the gates at the cost of his youngest.” Hiel indulged his sin of rebellion and reaped the loss of his own sons!

But God is a God of redemption, rescue and resurrection! So He raised up Elijah to reveal His redemptive love and power!

Sending Elijah to a widow in Sidon - the very place where Ahab’s wife Jezebel came from - the ‘land of the enemy’ - in that land, one day another son died...the widow’s. Distraught, and echoing Hiel, the widow declared to Elijah “Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

Suddenly, the God of redemption steps in! He rouses himself within Elijah, who takes the widow’s son and raises him back to life!

This passage speaks to me today about God’s purpose for a teenage generation! God does not want to see the children destroyed by the sins of their fathers. And He is looking for those who would be sent by Him today into the “land of the enemy” to bring forth the resurrection of a generation!

At Cross Rhythms we are saying “Yes!” to God, and are going after this teenage generation! And I’m asking if you would join us? ‘Maddy’s world’ could be your daughter’s or son’s, your grandchild’s, the youth in your church, or your street...We need to take on the challenge of finding them and speaking life to them. To introduce them to Father so they might know their identity in Him and find their true purpose and destiny.

So today, it is my joy to introduce to you a brand new arm of the Cross Rhythms ministry - we call it xRhythms! And it will change the diet of what a youth generation is consuming through media! To offer them the antidote to what is making them sick.

But we won’t do it through the normal, traditional methods. We need a very new approach. Today’s teenagers are rejecting old media very, very quickly. Books wont work; not FM or DAB radio; not even TV! In ten years 60% of 10-14 year olds have stopped listening to FM radio.

Where have they gone? They are living in a world that many parents know little about and it’s not a safe place! Research shows that today’s 15-16 year olds now spend just 2 hours a day watching normal TV, but a staggering 5 hours a day online! xRhythms has to be a new voice speaking to ’Maddy’s generation’ in the online world. One that they can relate to.

xRhythms is a brand new online Visual Radio station complete with it’s own dedicated website, YouTube channel, and specialist use of social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, all aimed solely at the 13’s-20’s.

xRhythms will partner and help empower other youth ministries - specialists in the issues that face Maddy and her generation.

And through our media training centre, we will release and support Media Missionaries to reach their generation as a new breed of presenters, video bloggers, journos, social media experts and digital outreach team.

Today, I am sharing with you a crucial and pioneering new vision. To deliver this effectively, we WILL need tens of thousands of pounds in the next few years and we WILL need many, many more partners to join with us. Starting today, Cross Rhythms must expand to fulfil this call. So on behalf of the 5 million teenagers in our land, please would you partner me in this vision, with your best gift, today?