This month was a time of thankfulness for our country and for those that helped establish it; we will always be grateful for our Founding Fathers and for the role that they played in making our country great.
Another great founder that we are all so thankful for is David Wilkerson. According to Merriam Webster, a founder is an originator of an institution or movement. I am grateful that God chose a man like Wilkerson to be the originator of Teen Challenge. It was God’s idea but He placed it in Wilkerson’s head and, thankfully, he was obedient to the call- the crazy, impractical, startling and even bewildering call. This was a call that could have very well led to death but God went before Wilkerson and gave him great favor…you know the rest of the story.
I am challenged today to heed to the foundational ideas that Wilkerson had when the ministry of Teen Challenge began. Wilkerson was walking in purity before God; he listened to God and obeyed and he depended on three things:
Evangelism. This is where Wilkerson started- sharing the Good News of the Gospel. He believed it was the only message that could make a difference in the lives of the gang members he was ministering to.
Prayer. It was the thing that Wilkerson depended on to hear God’s voice and to receive the strength he needed for obedience. It was also the only way that addicts and gang members were going to receive deliverance. There was no other way.
The Holy Spirit. Without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the ministry that God called Wilkerson to would have been fruitless. Wilkerson needed the Holy Spirit to go before him, to work in the lives of the hurting and to permanently change the hearts of those he was ministering to.
After almost 60 years, nothing has changed. In order to have any degree of success in what we do, we need to continue to give the powerful Gospel message, we need to be people of prayer for strength, guidance and power and we need to depend on the Holy Spirit to change the hearts of men and women.
David Wilkerson was a great man but he would have been the first to admit that he was imperfect. He would point us directly to the One who is perfect- the one who gives us all that we need to do all that He calls us to do. As we share the Good News, bathe all that we do in prayer and depend on the Holy Spirit, God will continue to make this ministry fruitful for His glory!
The Best is Yet to Come, in Christ,
Brice Maddock, COO, Teen Challenge Southeast