Is the Holy Spirit calling you to go on a mission trip to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
This does not have to be across oceans, it may be to our own youth and to people right in our own midst.
Even reaching out with the Gospel to another Mission Field in the Power of the Holy Spirit – Youth Subcultures.
Being Present in Youth Subcultures with the Love of Jesus Christ
A 13 min. video Interview with my son Stephen Bradford Long on why we must reach out to youth subcultures. If Christians do not, others who are evil will!
On June 8 – 12, 2010 I went on a mission trip that was truly cross cultural! I accompanied my son, Stephen, and his girl friend, Erin, to the Ichthus music festival that took place in Wilmore, Kentucky (just outside of Lexington). This was an amazing experience! There were thousands of young people gathered there from all across the United States.
This is one of the largest and oldest youth festivals in the mainline Christian world. I lost track of how many United Methodist Youth Group vans I saw. There was a tent metropolis covering the rolling hills.
There were large tents set up with various ministries. There were “Need Prayer?” tents where ministry went on constantly. There were many worship venues with very loud music. The whole event was profoundly Christ centered. The bands would stop amid the songs and give testimonies. There were also altar calls given, inviting the young people to follow Jesus Christ.
Stephen was invited as a speaker in the Grave Robbers Tent, that was focused on Goths and other way-off-the-main-stream youth cultures. I was honestly appalled at the Goth appearance, with their morbid black costumes, tattoos and multiple piercings. But, the Goth Tent was filled with the presence of God. And this was no new age spirituality but Christ-centered orthodox biblical faith.
They call themselves “Grave Robbers” because they are called to, in the power of the Holy Spirit, go and take the love, grace and abundant life of Jesus Christ into the dark,dead places of the youth culture. I was impressed by the adults, most of whom were about my age in their 40s and 50s who are dressing up in Goth costumes in order to reach out in the name of Jesus to these young people. Many were experiencing inner healing, deliverance ministry and coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
In the photo to the left, Stephen Long,(left) is pictured with the Christian rock band members “Dark Valentine.” They all looked awful to me! But they were on fire for Jesus Christ.
This is truly a mission field, right in the midst of our western culture in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom! I asked Stephen why the Church should take these youth sub-cultures seriously. He said, “If we as Christians do not enter into them with the good news of Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life and the only way of salvation, then others like Marilyn Manson will! And these others will be evil!”
I was personally overwhelmed by the need for equipping Christians who are willing to put on the Goth appearance or whatever it takes to cross over into this youth subculture as witnesses to Jesus Christ. The leaders themselves affirmed the need for more equipping in healing and deliverance ministry as well as doing listening evangelism. While this will take more discernment before I am convinced it is from the Lord, this certainly seems like a “Macedonian call” coming from not just leaders of the Christian Goth movement, but also my own son Stephen who has grown up with PRMI, and sees how our equipping of cooperating with the Holy Spirit is desperately needed by those in this movement.
So I ask you to pray that PRMI will be given guidance as to how we are called to respond to this call within our mandate which is fulfilling Acts 1:8. How may we be called to take part in equipping those who are called into these subcultures to bring the reality of Jesus Christ.
Upward Challenge!! PRMI’s Present Outreach to Youth
As we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit of how to respond to the Macedonian call of youth subcultures, we need to uphold, affirm and expand the already vital and amazingly effective youth ministry that PRMI is already doing. This is Upward Challenge. This is offered at the Community of the Cross in North Carolina, USA (July 19-24 2010) and now has expanded to the United Kingdom (August 9-14 2010).
There is still room at the Community of the CrossUpward Challenge! Call the office at 828-669-7373 if you would like to take part.
For more information on Upward Challenge in the UK, and to get a feel for what happens at a typical Upward Challenge, click HERE.
We are really excited about what Jesus will be doing at these events.
St. Paul often asked his intercessors to pray for doors to open. For example, “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. (Colossians 4:3 NIV) We need you to join us in praying for open doors for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then when they do open the guidance and the means to go through them!