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About this series
The Lost Generation
How to Share Jesus with Your Kids and Grandkids
Are you concerned about the next generation? How troubled are you – as a parent or grandparent – about what your kids watch on social media or learn in their classrooms? If you’re thinking - what can we do? – then don’t miss this broadcast. Chip discusses this vital topic with the Senior Vice President of Discipleship at Living on the Edge, Kitty Allen. They unpack some intentional ways we’re reaching this lost generation with the truth of God’s Word. And also explain how you can make a difference in your communities, churches, and families.More from this series
CHIP: Well, thanks so much, Dave. You know, many of you think we are a radio ministry, which, that’s how we started twenty-five-plus years ago. And some of you only know that we are on an app or a streaming platform. And we are thrilled that we get to be the, a teacher of God’s Word and God’s Word never returns void, so we know that’s a critical and important thing that we do each and every day. But, you know, Jesus taught and then after He taught He gathered some disciples in groups and then He empowered them. And they literally turned the world upside down. And right now I think many of us feel like the world has been turned upside down, but in a negative way. What is happening with the next generation, the violence in our communities, the lack of morality, the breakdown of families. I could go on and on and on. And here’s what I would say.
Over the last few years especially, God has just literally tapped us on the shoulder, maybe stronger, really tapped us on the chest and said, “I want you to enter into a new era of ministry and address the most pressing problems in the world today.” Not that you solve them all, but you can be a catalyst.
And the Lord has said to us, “You have to address the issues with the next generation. The issues of truth, the issue of gender identity. You have to help parents and grandparents and pastors begin to understand how to take the truth of God’s Word and apply that in a world that is very difficult.” And then that led us to a ministry to pastors that we have always had but not even remotely what we are doing today.
And then, finally, to the number one issue, literally, in all the world according to Lausanne is the discipleship, helping people grow deeper and stronger when a world becomes more and more hostile to the gospel. And so with that in view, we are going to change. I’m not going to teach, per se, but we want to share and teach. And I have invited a very special guest, because as a result of those things I just shared, we have reorganized our ministry and we have aligned it around those three things. And with me is our senior vice president of discipleship, Kitty Allen. I’ll let Kitty tell you a little bit about herself, but I just have to say I am absolutely thrilled with the competency that she has and how God has led her in life and ministry to sort of head up this side of the ministry to take people deeper and especially to reach the next generation. So, Kitty, welcome to the program.
KITTY: Thank you, Chip. It’s great to be here with you today and I’m so excited to be able to share together with our listeners all that God is doing in and through the ministry in this season. Areas that I am so passionate about as a mom of four adult children and two grandchildren and just really passionate about the power of discipleship when we are committed to be all in. That is what we are about. And it’s such a joy to be a part of the ministry. I’ve been a part of Living on the Edge for over ten years, actually, first came in by way of a discipleship ministry that you created called Primemovers. And then I became a ministry partner. And then as God has opened these doors of opportunity, this former marketplace leader has found her calling in ministry. So it’s just a real joy to be here and, gosh, today Chip, we get to brag on God and share with our listeners all that God is doing in this season.
CHIP: Well, let’s jump right in, because I am just so concerned. I have two granddaughters graduating from college right now. I have two or three middle school kids that are grandchildren. And what I can tell you right now is thirty percent of all middle school girls are struggling with their identity. We have an epidemic of depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies among our young people. And so, when we think about the next generation, what are we at Living on the Edge doing to begin to address that to help parents, grandparents, and pastors say, “Okay, where do we go from here?”
KITTY: Absolutely, Chip. Well, I’m really excited about one of the new initiatives that we are starting this year, actually. It’s a partnership with a ministry called Steiger International and with their leader, Aaron Pierce, Steiger is an incredible ministry that is serving in multiple countries around the globe to reach the disaffected youth culture, young people who would never in a million years walk in to the doors of a church, but who are lost. And so, they take their staff members and literally go out into the harvest and have these spiritual conversations in a very winsome way, bringing love and not hate and just the power of this partnership as it is unfolding, we are so excited.
The first thing that we are doing in partnership with Aaron is publishing his first book. The working title is Spiritual Conversations for the Non-Religious. We’ll probably end up with a different title, because that’s a mouthful, but really, really excited to get this tool into the hands of parents and grandparents, pastors, young folks in the marketplace to help them know how they can come into a conversation and draw someone closer to Jesus through that invitation. So, that’s the first thing that we are doing. And I’m really, really excited about that emerging partnership. Chip, maybe you could share a little bit about how you got connected with Aaron.
CHIP: Absolutely. About eighteen or twenty years ago, Aaron was a late teen, early twenty-something. And he started listening to Living on the Edge. He grew up in Amsterdam in the Red Light district; his father was a missionary. And he tells the story of walking at five years old and his dad saying, “Now, don’t step on these needles here and there.” And they were reaching out to, I mean, the prostitutes. The just the people that are far, far from God that were really hurting. And out of that grew this commitment to go to people. And so, they did live dramas, they do bands, outdoor concerts in a hundred cities around the world. And then form teams where they really listen to the hurts and the pains. And when you see how families have broken down and disenfranchised and the worldview that young people have had, and I watched over the last twenty years Aaron and the team literally have, I would call it the spiritual secret sauce of breaking down the barriers, communicating in a way where people that are completely closed to God or think the Bible and Jesus is irrelevant, getting in their wavelength, building a relationship, and then communicating at various levels and stages very intentionally in a way that has seen thousands of young people come to Christ and not just come to Christ, find hope in Jesus and then become missionaries to their own.
And so, we are really excited about partnering with Aaron for what that does around the world, but as I got to add a little bit into this book, I can tell you as a parent, as a grandparent I am learning from Aaron where the world is, how they think, and how to actually communicate in ways that are non-threatening that gets inside the soul of young people. And I just know, Kitty, with all my heart I am talking to parents and grandparents. Everywhere I go it’s, you know, “My daughter went away to college and now she has changed her gender identity,” or, “My nephew just came out as gay. What is going on? They went to Christian schools, we grew up in the church, people, I can’t go anywhere in any room and not ask, “How are your kids or grandkids doing?” and I get this look of, you know, deer in the headlights. Where do we go from here? And I want to tell them, “There are many excellent ministries but hope is on the way through Living on the Edge.”
KITTY: That’s exactly right, Chip. And the fun thing for me to anticipate is how God is going to use this partnership over the coming years with Aaron and with Steiger. It’s starting with a book this fall, but that’s not where it ends. The big thing that we are working on is a church-based course kind of like Alpha, but the reverse of Alpha where we are going to train pastors and teachers and parents and grandparents and young people who are disciples of Christ to go out into the harvest and to be able to have tools and great conversation starters all at their fingertips to be able to have those conversations with the young people who are disaffected.
Many as you shared, who were raised in the Church and have turned their back on the Church, but also some that have never even heard the name of Jesus. And so, for such a time as this, we really believe God is going to use this partnership in a dynamic way and I’m just so blessed to be able to work with you and with Aaron to get this course started, which we will roll out next year. And in fact, Chip, we already have two significantly influential churches that have signed up to pilot test this for us. And so, the need is there and the hunger is there for us to make a meaningful difference to reach the next generation for Christ.
CHIP: Well, Kitty, you know, that’s sort of addressing the difficulty, the challenge, the breaking of the barriers. But the fact of the matter is is there are lots of young people that love God, that are passionate for Jesus, that are making a difference. I happen to be mentoring about eight young pastors right now that are either in their thirties or early forties and it’s so exciting, you know, some of you are, you know, you get in your own little world and you read, you know, the paper or see the news and you can get so discouraged. I really want you to know that God is moving in very powerful ways right here in America. And one of the key things we want to do is mobilize them. And we have a new resource that is very, very exciting, it’s actually geared toward Millennials, that you actually have pioneered on our team, Kitty. And, you know, we live in a world where people want to know their Enneagram, right? I’m a Two! I’m a Nine! I’m a Seven! And they love to do personal assessments. And would you tell us a little bit about the new resource called The Real You that really is geared to motivate the next generation to discover: This is who I am in Christ, these are my spiritual gifts, this is how I think and operate and sort of what the vision is for that in terms of helping the next generation reach the next generation.
KITTY: Absolutely, Chip, I’d be happy to. So, The Real You is a free online digital resource that we have been creating for the last several years. It’s what we finally call our on-mission resource offering that, yes, it’s a discipleship resource, but on-mission living out one’s Ephesians 2:10 calling is part of discipleship. And so, we feel that there has been a gap in that. People don’t know how God has uniquely gifted them and created them. They don’t know where to plug in to find meaningful service. And so, for that reason we created this. As I said, it’s a free online resource. We rolled it out to our Living on the Edge family last fall and over twenty thousand people have engaged with The Real You. The testimonies we have, Chip, that people have written in, literally, thousands of testimonies of, “Wow, this, is exactly who I am and now I know what to do with the gifts and passions and skillsets that God has invested in me.”
So, we are really excited. This resource really is for everyone but we are gearing it in our promotion starting this fall to reach the next generation, to use this to mobilize them to be able to find their place of meaningful service, whether it’s in their church or in their community or beyond. Perhaps in the marketplace. And so, we are really excited to see how God is going to use this. It has been a long time coming and we are delighted to release it. And, again, it’s a free resource so if our listeners are interested to check it out, you can go on therealyou.org website and please share this with your friends and family and colleagues. We really want everyone to be able to be a part of this. And, Chip, if I could, I’d love to share a couple of testimonies from among the thousands that we have received from our audience who have engaged with The Real You resource. It just really has touched my heart after all the hard work we have put into creating this resource to see how God is using it. So, here’s the first one.
“The Real You resource really helped me to refocus my life. I love the suggestions for how to serve based on the gifts God has given me. As far as the assessment goes, wow, you nailed my personality. This assessment is so thorough and accurate and is helping me to know how to use all that God has invested in me for His glory and the benefit of His kingdom. I am so amazed you offer it free of charge. I will be telling everyone about it. Thank you, Chip.”
CHIP: Oh, that’s great.
KITTY: And then one more. “I appreciate The Real You because it helped me to focus my attention on where I can serve best and feel like I really fit in the body of Christ. In fact, I have only been a believer for twenty months and I’m still feeling a little bit lost and trying to gain my sea legs. The Real You assessment has given me the confidence I need to volunteer in my church to bring some of my God-given talents to my community and help my pastor. Thank you for your continued efforts to help Christians live like Christians.”
So, Chip, I hope you’re as encouraged as I am by those kinds of testimonies and especially as we think about unleashing the next generation to go deeper in discipleship, to reach their own and to serve in the needs of their community, we really see God is using this already.
And so, let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about pastors, what we are doing to help pastors. I was reminded, Chip, when we were in, gosh, it was back in September, we hosted the Ripple Summit at the Cove, which was an amazing gathering of disciple-makers who are passionate about discipleship. And it was the first time we have ever done that, so it was really cool to see the response. So, we had marketplace disciplers, we had pastors from all over the world who joined us, we had people who were committed to discipleship within the local church body.
So, and we learned from one another, we shared stories and we shared, “Hey, this is what is working for me,” it was just such a fruitful time. But I remember keenly God touching my soul deeply, Chip. I had a conversation with Father Mutie who is an Orthodox priest from Africa who joined us. And he was a striking figure with a very long, dark robe and…he and I had a conversation one afternoon and we, he just shared just his passion and his broken heart over how in his nation of Kenya they are losing the next generation for Christ.
Economically, things are challenging so both mother and father have to go to work and they send their children to a secular boarding school and they don’t have influence in their children’s lives. And he teared up when he was sharing that with me. And I said, “Father Mutie, we have those same problems and challenges here to reach the next generation.”
And so, that, Chip, is when I realized that not only is discipleship an issue for all over the world, but reaching the next generation for Christ. And so, can you share with our listeners, why are you so passionate about pastors and what are we specifically doing to help them around the world?
CHIP: Well, to do that, Kitty, I would say, you know, you can always find lots of what I call rotten fruit and you can address one after another after another or another or you can go to the root of the problem and go upstream and say, “What is the cause?” And, you know, what we have found over the last forty years is a lack of discipleship. I can confess, you know, with fellow pastors somehow we got the idea that success in ministry was how many people showed up on a weekend service, but the maturity of believers, we were counting how many people showed up instead of what kind of people were leaving as moms and dads and workers and neighbors.
And so, I had a chance to meet with the president of Lausanne here just about a month ago and they have done exhaustive studies around the world and basically said, “Pastors are under resourced, pastors are hurting.” I interviewed one pastor that told me he had four friends that he knew personally that committed suicide during the pandemic.
And so, we have pastors in crisis and if you have a shepherd that is hurting, it produces anemic sheep. And so, if we are going to help the next generation, we have got to help pastors get healthy, we’ve got to give them training, we need to encourage them, they have to have safe places to be with one another. And so, during the pandemic at a level like never before, we did.
And it’s a bit of a long story that I won’t go into the fullness of it now, but what I can tell our listeners is we doubled down, we found ourselves training during the pandemic, about sixty thousand pastors in multiple countries, which has now mushroomed with doors opening all around the world including the United States where pastors have said, “You know something? You got us together, you gathered us together, you gave us a resource.” It’s called The A.R.T. of Survival, translated in twenty-seven languages. We have teams working all throughout the world. And when they came together in those small groups during that one-day conference, they cried, they prayed, they confessed. And the thing we heard over and over, Kitty, is, “I’m not going to quit now.”
And so, as a result of that, we are following up with what we call The High Impact Church, helping pastors grow churches where lost people come to Christ, found people actually mature, and the Church, far from thinking it’s how many people come to the services, the Church actually meets the deepest needs in the community. And that is actually happening as we speak. It’s at the bedrock of reaching the next generation because discipleship is at the heart of Living on the Edge is helping Christians live like Christians. But it’s going to require a lot of hard work and we need your help. So, Kitty, share a little bit about the journey and sort of where you’re headed and what you need.
KITTY: I’d be happy to, Chip, thank you for that. As I reflect back over the last few years, you said it so well recently, Chip, that we are experiencing God’s unexplainable favor in this season in the ministry. And we are seeing explosive growth, not only in the United States but in so many countries around the world as you mentioned to bring these discipleship resources to support pastors.
And so, as a result, we have so much growth that has happened we are running over capacity as an organization. And so, I’m really grateful that you and some of our amazing board members realized, “You know what? We need to hit pause and structure the organization to build capacity to meet these needs that God is clearly bringing to us.”
And so, that’s what we have done. And we announced the new structure in January and so, we are about, you know, a little bit of the way in and it has been a really fun transition. Some of us are in some new roles including me where I get to build a team that is all about creating discipleship tools and resources and programs to be able to fill that need that we have not only in the Church but also reaching next gen and helping pastors.
And so, I oversee the broadcast team and the publishing team. We have got all kinds of great resources in the works right now. And also the digital resources that we give away for free such as Daily Discipleship with Chip and The Real You. And we have got more resources that are in development. But guess what, that means we need people and that means we need investment from our faithful listeners just to be able to help us to say, “Yes, Lord. We are willing. We are all in to meet the need of discipleship at Living on the Edge.”
And so, we are trusting Him to bring the talented, gifted, godly people to the ministry and also to bring the financial resources and the opportunities. Our global team alone is growing so fast, Chip, and they are running hard to meet these needs all around the world. And so, when we say yes to God, He says yes to us. And so, we are trusting Him for the financial resources and the gifted and talented people to be able to run hard and meet these needs.
CHIP: Well, thanks, Kitty. Thanks for being with us today and to the Living on the Edge family, let me just pause and say we need your prayers and so pray for the right staff to come exactly at the right time. Pray specifically for our financial needs. If you’re a now-and-then giver, I would ask you to really pray about becoming a monthly giver. If you’re someone that has a passion for the next generation and you want to see these kind of resources help you and pastors and others and the next gen reach the next gen, let me just encourage you to pray and say, “Lord, do You want me to do anything financially for Living on the Edge?” And if He whispers yes then ask Him how much. And then you do whatever He shows you to do.
And what I know is we will have all we need to do all that God wants us to do. But I wanted to bring you up to date and have you begin to think about how do we all make a difference? We live in a world that has become so overwhelmingly consumer-oriented we can worry and be anxious and look inward. But, “Give and it will be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over back into your lap.” And when I say, “Give,” give to your neighbors, give to your kids, give to helping your community get better, give and participate in your church, be an outwardly focused passionate follower of Jesus who is loving and holy and God is working and He will work and we invite you to do it with us. Thanks so much.