[callout]Today I’m excited to share a blog from my ministry colleague and friend, Mary Margaret Gibson. I’m using it to announce a strategic partnership between EvanTell (www.evantell.org) and Celebrate Kids, Inc. It’s not about us – nothing is! It’s about the thousands of young people we’ll positively affect. Many thousands. For God’s glory. It’s going to be great fun!

Mary Margaret is the Ministry Director for Save the Mother, Save Her Child pregnancy resource centers (https://savethemothersaveherchild.org), a community ministry of EvanTell’s. This means, among other things, that staff has been specially trained to effectively share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with clients.

Have you ever had the opportunity to merge two of your passions? Have you  been privileged to partner with people who get what you do and make it better? Have you seen God take something you know is true and apply it in new ways? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then you know something about the depth of my joy and gratitude.

As Mary Margaret begins to explain here, and we’ll continue on Wednesday and next week, we know many young people who need their Core Needs for security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence met in healthy ways. Many are relying on unhealthy people and counterfeit things. They’re hurt. Lonely. Hesitant to trust again. They’re using sex and friends to meet needs only God is designed to permanently meet. Engaging their heart doesn’t come naturally for many of them.

All of us at Celebrate Kids are looking forward to our partnership and influencing thousands of Millennials. We’re eager to help them even more effectively minister Jesus’ hope to young people in crisis. By presenting the Gospel in light of  people’s unmet needs, they will see that God is relevant. They will believe they need to trust Christ as their Savior. When they do, they’ll make healthier decisions for them and their baby.

To understand more, please keep reading. Thank you![/callout]

ck100-1Authentic Life: Making the Heart Connection

September 26, 2016

By Mary Margaret Gibson

“The way to a millennial’s heart is through our ears,” said Casey Fisk, describing the impact of Spotify— the music streaming service that has a worldwide user base of over 60 million people, predominantly millennials (ages 18-34) [i]

Fisk’s comment is great news for those of us hoping to introduce a person to the love, mercy, and grace of the gospel! It’s still just as the Bible says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).

And yet, as we searched for the way to make a heart connection with Millennial folks, we encountered something we did not expect: a heart connection deficit.

Pew Research reveals that Millennials would both benefit and suffer from their hyper connected lives.[ii] In a survey on the future of the internet a “notable number expressed concerns that trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information.”

Barry Chudakov, a research fellow studying Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, said, “The cognitive challenge children and youth will face is integrity, the state of being whole and undivided.”[iii]

Thinking about all these concepts, EvanTell set out to communicate God’s love and power – the gospel – to the Millennial generation. We built our approach on these principles:

  • There can be a real “heart connection” between people and the God of the Bible regardless of cultural impediments – this truth is supported throughout the Scripture. This connection is the crucial element of hope in every generation.  Spiritual information is heart and mind information. In Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller’s book, “Parenting is Heart Work,” the beginning of the book considers the 750 times the Bible uses the word, “heart.” [iv]
  • Only authentic, transparent communication can reach the heart of a person, especially in an era where there is more unfiltered information from more sources than any time in history.
  • Personal interest and information is essential for Millennial folks, especially those who are in difficult circumstances. We decided to focus our attention first on how we communicate the gospel and discipleship through our Save the Mother, Save her Child (SMSC) ministry. Each week, thousands of people facing unexpected pregnancy visit one of the 700 U.S. and 30 international SMSC-trained centers.

For further help and advice, we went to our partner Dr. Kathy Koch (author of Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness). Her expertise with millennials and research on “Core Needs” has helped us better explain a person’s relationship with God in relevant terms.

And, two years ago, EvanTell and Dr. Koch formed a long-term partnership to create what is now called, “Authentic Life: Our Needs, God’s Answers” (Authentic Life). Authentic Life unpacks how to have a relationship with the God of the Bible – the gospel – in the context of core needs and daily life!

Together, Dr. Koch and EvanTell have created a way for each member of the Millennial generation to know God’s desire to help them satisfy their Core Needs of security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence.

They will be able to understand how to have the joyful relief of knowing that God loves them and is engaged in their lives! We want them to know they can receive God’s gifts of forgiveness and eternal life while they have His help to live each day! In short, they can have a heart connection with God.

You can read more about Authentic Life here. Contact EvanTell to learn more about how our Save the Mother, Save her Child pregnancy centers will be trained to share Authentic Life.

Watch for post #2 in this series, “Who Cares What I Need?” by Dr. Kathy Koch.

[i] Fisk, Casey, “The Way to a Millennial’s Heart is Through Our Ears,” Boogie, Blog post, http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/2015-04-24/way-millennials-heart-through-our-ears.

[ii] Anderson, Janna and Lee Rainie, “Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyper connected lives.” February 19, 2012.  And more research at http://www.pewinternet.org/

[iii] Ibid., printed page 3.  Barry Chudakov blogs at http://metalifestream.com/wordpress/ .

[iv] Turansky, Dr. Scott and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. https://www.biblicalparenting.org/heartwork/index.asp