July 20, 2011
I love adventure. I’m a Carolina girl spending my summer as an intern in California, I dream of moving to Europe after I graduate, and my career possibilities seem endless. Most would say that I’m just young and naive about the real world, but I prefer using my mom’s saying that the world is “my oyster.” I’m not alone in this “oyster” mindset. My generation is full of big dreamers and adventurers; we are visionaries. This could be attributed to pop culture or political changes, but I think that the truth behind the vision is technology.
My generation has grown up with the entire world at our fingertips through emerging technology. Social media, search engines, and smart phones have equipped us to become world-changers. This technology not only allows, but obligates, twenty-somethings to dream big. New technology and the Internet are practically coded into our DNA. So what are we supposed to do with it?
In order to harness our potential, I believe that we need the help of older generations. In the book of Acts, Barnabus encourages Paul and helps him to develop his ministry. Barnabus enabled Paul to make an impact in the world for Christ by his example. Barnabus and Paul traveled together, taught together, and lived out God’s purpose for their lives. My generation needs people like Barnabus; people to guide the way and share their journey. We have a lot of dreams, but in order to bring them to fruition we need enablers. We need teachers and mentors to show us the way.
If you look at your community, you will see the potential that these young adults hold. My generation will soon become the world’s leaders, and you have the opportunity to make an impact. Connect with them through new technologies and embrace the shift that they are creating in society. The way people interact is being revolutionized through social media, and it is important that we know how it works. Allow my generation to show you the future, and then share some of your wisdom in exchange. If you are an online missionary with younger disciples, then don’t underestimate the power that your e-mail encouragement holds. Become a Barnabus and enable the younger generation to make a difference in the world for Christ using the tools they have been given. Encourage them to develop their vision and encourage them to utilize technology to pursue it. Embrace the dreams of the dreamers. Embrace the incredible knowledge they hold. Embrace your opportunity to enable the world changers.
~Amber Marshall (SVSP Intern 2011)
July 11, 2011
Today, this is popular:
It’s not profound, it isn’t meaningful— it’s not even that clever. And yet, it still explodes on the internet. It has hundreds of thousands of views, clogs our news feeds, and it easily comes up in conversation.
This is just one example of the power of social media, and more specifically youth through social media. They are the ones who have the influence. They make random and pointless videos, pictures, and words go viral in a matter of hours—FOR NO REASON. They start the trends.
So what would happen if instead of watching Nigel Thornberry remixes, tweeting about double rainbows, and changing profile pictures to celebrity lookalikes, the youth started buzzing about…Jesus? What if we gave them a reason to stop taking that quiz to figure out which Disney princess they are, and instead spread the message of God’s love for everyone? Can you imagine what would happen if THAT caught on?
First, there would be the phenomenon that is the message of love. Over 1.5 million people have watched Rebecca Black’s music video “Friday.” The song includes lyrics like this one: “Fun, fun, think about fun, you know what it is.” If they were to be infused and inspired by the gospel, they could be listening to, and sharing lines like this instead: “God loves you, and wants to be close to you.” Now that would be a trend with lasting power.
So here’s the challenge: let’s see how fast God’s love can catch on! Let’s saturate the young people with Jesus’ love so they can spread it in exponential ways. It’s like when you have a cold, and you sneeze on a communal bowl of mints. There’s almost no limit to how far those germs can spread. Just in this case, Jesus is the only infectious REMEDY.
~Annie Josey (SVSP Intern, 2011)
June 13, 2011
When the church was born (Acts 2), God poured out His Spirit on a group of unqualified, unequipped men who would later turn the entire world upside down with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. In this moment of uncertainty, the first Christ followers in History, cried out for God to meet them in the midst of their weakness and confusion, and on the day of Pentecost, God answered their prayer with the might of His Spirit.
In their time of greatest need, God took the little they had to offer and multiplied it above and beyond what they could have asked or hoped for. In this moment of weakness, God supernaturally moved through them in power to begin what we call the great commission. Now, two thousand years later, God has poured out His Spirit yet again on the day of Pentecost during our moment of uncertainty and weakness.
We had made plans to reach 1,000,000 people with the Gospel On Sunday, June 12th. This is done through blitzing the Internet with ads containing a simple Gospel presentation designed to meet people in their moment of need.
As the market grows, advertisement is becoming more and more expensive. On Friday, June 9, 2011, we were in the midst of a moment of uncertainty. While we believed God for 1,000,000 opportunities to share the gospel on Pentecost Sunday, we thought we lacked the funds to support it. In fact, we believed we would be limited to reaching about one third of that number.
Despite the dismaying odds, we pressed on by faith, and, on Sunday, God miraculously provided. Not only were we able to meet the original goal to reach 1 million, but also we managed to set a new record in GMO history by reaching 1,917,885 people with the Gospel. Out of these, 185,000 individuals indicated decisions for Christ. In a single day, almost 200 thousand individuals, whom we know of, were welcomed into the kingdom of heaven.
This is a miracle of epic proportions. Praise God for taking the little we have and using unqualified, unequipped people to turn the world upside down. Praise God that His Dominion reaches not only the natural, but the virtual as well. Praise God that His Spirit is not limited to our physical reach and that He is actively reaching individuals through their computer screens.
Please continue to pray for each individual that receives Christ through one of our websites. We are not called to simply reach the entire world, but we are commissioned to make disciples of all nations. Pray that God would strengthen the online missionaries as they take time to love and disciple each person that responds. Out of the millions of contacts we make, each person is an individual with specific needs and a specific destiny. God knows each one intimately and is willing to leave the many for the one. Our ministry should not be defined by large numbers but by our ability to make true disciples of Christ and mature sons and daughters of God.
Thank you for your prayers and support!