Passing on the culture: Presence & Relationship

At our recent ELP Summit Dustin and Janel Nance shared how we, as the bridge generation, pass on a culture of presence and relationship. “We have to look at the past to remember that we are a part of a legacy.” David Wilkerson built a good foundation for TC by going to those boys, partnering with churches, fundraising, recruiting and training specialists and providing a home of hope for those boys. Teen Challenge has to be about Lamb Chop evangelism; real meat and substance; teaching our

I was working hard and wearing the ELP DNA shirt and gave Timmy a huge! thought you’d want to see me passing on DNA to our future leaders!

I was working hard and wearing the ELP DNA shirt and gave Timmy a hug! Thought you’d want to see me passing on DNA to our future leaders! ~ Dustin Nance

students to nurture a real love for Christ and a love for others. At ELC, Dustin and Janel creates a culture of relationship and living life with students. The decision to live in community meant they would live a transparent life before the students knowing the students would grow and they themselves would grow. “At the core of raising up sons and daughters is love. We love our students and we like them. They are our spiritual sons and daughters and they know that we love them even when it gets messy. We allow people to see the imperfect person we are, who love and who say “yes” to Jesus, and we teach them to hear the voice of God for themselves and to say “yes.” We want to raise up sons and daughters who are dependent on the Lord not dependent on us. Raising sons and daughters is not setting up policies for every infraction, it’s living life with people. The devil is not scared of dry bones (people following rules); he’s scared when there is life in them (people led by the spirit).

Characteristics of our Pioneer

Some of the characteristics of our pioneers are:

  1. They recognized that they were not owners but stewards of the vision. Prayer was all they had. Frank Reynolds said one of his greatest fears was that “we would think we know how to do it.” Because we don’t know how to do it, we are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. He is the only one who can draw people to Christ.
  2. They did not put in human mechanisms to fix a spiritual problem. Jesus is the Program. What makes Teen Challenge different from other programs? It is the Jesus Factor. Jesus is the only one who can fill the deep void that our students feel. “We use God’s mighty weapons to capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ” 2 Cor 10:5 (TLB).
  3. Stop screaming from the bleachers and get in the game. David Wilkerson
    photo 5 (1)

    Claude Mooneyhan (GTC) and Dustin Nance working with emerging leaders to build a section of the bridge at our Summit.

    started the first Teen Challenge in New York, Mike and Kay Zello did evangelism on the streets, Frank Reynolds started The Farm in Rehrersburg, Dave Batty developed the first curriculum. They all had skin in the game and they went to work. They were exemplary leaders who modeled servant leadership and raised up sons and daughters.

  4. Don’t lose the vision of reaching others. David never lost the vision to go and save those boys.  Keep in mind the vision ahead “to put hope within reach of every addict” and work hard at it. Ministry is a heavy load and we as the bridge generation have a responsibility to be strong, to be a people of integrity and to believe God for the miracles.

Excerpts from ELP Summit 2015 “The Bridge, Passing on the Culture: Presence & Relationship” by Dustin & Janel Nance.

 

Bridge Builders – Withstanding the Currents

Teen Challenge’s chances of dissolving and drifting from our mission is only to the degree that we hold fast to God and His Word.  If we forsake our commitment to Christ, and demote the Bible to just another book among many, our chances for straying will be great. The issues discussed here may not seem to be a huge threat right now, but that is because the cultural currents that can cause us to drift are subtle and take place over time, not quickly. But, when bridges collapse, casualties are extremely high. When floatingI-35W-rescue-Minneapolis-20070801 in the ocean, you never know how far you’ve drifted until you look up! We do not fight currents alone. God is fighting for us. We are not called to force others to believe what we believe. We are not called to be theological police to the World, and to try and even change the world through natural means. We are called to serve and obey God, and HE will open the doors of influence for us when He sees fit. We aren’t going to make every senator and government official a Christian and get them to implement Christian laws. Satan knows this. Win Souls not arguments! Help people think rightly but know that no one has ever been argued into the kingdom! Endurance will be key in withstanding the currents! There are 2 types of Currents: External and Internal. External currents from the world, when they infiltrate through the gates of the church, create an internal current that only leaders committed to true sound teaching can endure. The best way to withstand the current is to grow.

External Current

Post-modernism

Post-modernism says that truth is relative; what is true for me may not be true for you. We don’t fight a neutral enemy. We see today people killing Christians and Christians are targeted to conform. Postmodernism is seen anywhere where Christianity is subjectively judged and made to look ignorant and close-minded. As if no one who is intelligent would be a Christian.  The Satan-influenced world is on the offensive, not the neutral, make no mistake. Christian organizations like us have been and will continue to be intentionally targeted to conform, but we must not (Matt 10:16). This scripture will be key to navigating in our culture. We must ask for wisdom and bathe our leaders in prayer for the wisdom of God to guide them. Post-modernism says the human race is beyond the archaic age of Christianity but Paul encourages the Church against the post-modernism of the day “for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:18-20.

“We are facing a very real crisis of critical thought among today’s youth. Our secular culture increasingly favors a growing multiculturalism that affirms a uniform tolerance of all worldviews while simultaneously opposing a firm commitment to any one belief. Many young people believe that all religions are basically the same. Consequently, many young men and women cannot articulate their own faith.” ~ RZIM

Withstanding the current of post-modernism will take the absolute truth of Jesus Christ. Be careful of watching too much news which is designed to strike fear in the hearts of the believer. Is our stance on what the news say or what the Word says? We, Christians, know how the story ends. If you are consumed with the news you will end up going by Fox news and not the Good News. Guard your heart. The Gospel is the answer to the world and the Church; strength and grace to the Church and hope to the world.

Cheap Relationships due to hyper-socialization

We are managing and multi-tasking at a level of relationships we weren’t supposed to social-media-keeps-youngmanage. We were not created to manage these relationships with so many people. The current of cheap relationships that is facing us will make it very difficult to bestow the DNA of TC on Gen-next because of the technological age. Hyper-socialization will create cheap relationships. Weak relationships create weak conduits for influence. We must have stronger relationships. Time and effort is the only ways to create and sustain relationships. We live in a culture of short cut where we want everything fast and convenient. Teen Challenge must be a conduit of quality discipleship through quality relationships. If all we have is microwave-relationships and poor social skills we have microwave discipleship. The younger generation must humble ourselves to receive from the older generation. Discipline yourself to do face to face communication. Call instead of text, meet someone instead of texting.

Internal Current

Hyper-sensitivity

Our society have become excessively sensitive and as Christians we don’t want to offend people. From this hyper-sensitivity, sometimes we can pervert Christ into something that isn’t Christ to try and make Him “relevant”.  If we are afraid to tell people they are in sin then we give them a wrong impression of Jesus. Are we giving people Good News or just news? Hyper-sensitivity makes it difficult for evangelism to happen. We need to preach what the Word says not just the fluffy parts to make people feel good. Keep your eyes on Christ when you are made to look like an idiot and irrelevant as a Christian. Don’t change Jesus around to look good for everyone else.

Biblical Compromise

We compromise the truth of God’s Word because we want to be politically correct. We accept standards that are lower than what our Father desires. One sure way to be stronger and move forward is in the depths of God’s Word. How we minister God’s Word in mentoring, PSNC, GSNC – we must be experts on how people’s beliefs effect their behavior. Why do so many of our graduates relapse? They stop listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They lack understanding of spiritual authority; trying to do things in their own strength – operate in the flesh in a way that they can’t hear from anyone around them. If we do things as God wants us to, we’ll have God’s blessings in our lives. As Teen Challenge staff and students we must grow stronger in integrity; be people of the heart and of the head. If we are to withstand this current we must grow stronger in biblical integrity and sound theology 1John1:1-3. The gospel has been handed to us, and we must hand it down to our students in boldness and the Spirit’s power!

Religion (external and internal)

Become a passionate lover and worshipper of God. Do not lose your love and passion for Jesus. Keep it fresh. Spend time with Him in prayer. In the journey is where we thrive. Many times we retreat from our passion and intimacy when placed in leadership position. DO NOT LOSE YOUR PASSION AND EXCITEMENT FOR JESUS! Many times our graduates and leaders look at Christians whose love for Jesus has been replaced by religion; lists of do’s and don’ts. Satan would love nothing more than that you would exchange your true desire to know God and to seek Him (which is harder), and do the easier way – to try and be good. Try and do more good things than you do bad things. This is religion to a ‘T.’ We live in a passive culture where we stand out if we are passionate about something. Never lose your intimacy; becoming a spiritual oasis to others takes a thriving relationship with Jesus. The fear of God and Hope will be key in our witness 1 Peter 3:15. When we have a true love and hope in Christ, people will see it, they will rub up against it, and know something is different. We are the only true carriers of hope in the world.

Conclusion

As Christians and leaders, be vigilant to guard your heart against the effects of the cultural currents that we face! The enemy (world, flesh, devil) will try to take out your heart. If we drop like flies one-by-one, we cannot be united as a whole and withstand the cultural currents we face!

 

Excerpts from ELP Summit 2015 presented by Dan Williams – ELP Rep (Middle GA)

TC DNA

At our recent ELP Summit we looked at each of the “strands” of “TC DNA” -where you see the DNA in our heritage, and how TC Gen Next must be carriers of this DNA into our future. But actually we can’t claim this DNA as exclusively ours. Study any move of God throughout history and you’ll see evidence of this DNA. It probably started with prayer, the Gospel was proclaimed, the work of the Spirit was evident, etc. You might have noticed there is an intentional order to the “DNA sequencing”… So this means two things 1) it’s best that we not attempt any “genetic engineering” with our DNA, and 2) so that Teen Challenge might remain a move of God, He is zealous to make it impossible for us to forget our DNA.Emerging Leaders Program 2013 Summit

The book of Deuteronomy is a great example of God making it impossible to forget something. The book itself is a repeat of what you can read in the first 4 books of the Bible. As you read through it several phrases are repeated over and over again, up to 40 times! Phrases such as “don’t forget”, “remember”, “keep” and “be careful” or “take care”. For instance, “don’t forget that you were slaves in Egypt”, “remember what the Lord did for you in the wilderness”, “keep all the words of this law”, “be careful to obey”… You can imagine people in the crowd listening to Moses that day thinking that he had finally gone senile and couldn’t remember that he had already said something…37 times. But if you think of the context of that day, no one was taking notes on their iPad or getting the mp3 downloads after the message, so repetition was the key to remembering.

We don’t have those constraints today, but while the Israelites weren’t bombarded by multiple media sources competing for their attention, the problem for us is on the other end of the spectrum: we’re surrounded by a lot of noise. Not only that, the challenge for TC Gen Next is that the spirit of anti-Christ is an increasingly formidable force in the earth bringing deception and distraction with it. This is why the Emerging Leaders Program must be as intentional, and repetitive, as Moses in cultivating the TC DNA in our leadership culture. So let us know when you feel like the ELP has become senile, that means our communication is starting to come through! So ELP’ers, don’t forget how the Lord led David Wilkerson and our TC pioneers these last 55 years, and take care to keep the DNA alive in your leadership and in your center!

DNA Descriptors – Click here to see the 7 DNA Strands

ELP Summit 2013!

Emerging Leaders Program 2013 Summit

It’s that time of year again for our  ELP Summit! Our theme for the summit this year is “The DNA of Leadership.” We will be focusing on preserving the amazing heritage that our ministry has as well as ensuring that our future continues to carry the organization forward with the original DNA that we began with. We are trusting God to do some amazing things at the summit this year!

Dates: April 25-27

 

Check out our ELP Summit page for more information about the event!