By Samantha Weiler
It began when Lily Glennon shot her hand up and answered a rhetorical question in her fourth hour Bible class. Having just shown Koney 2012, teacher, Mr. Andrew Jones, asked a single question: “If people get this excited over something pretty small, why don’t people get this excited about the Gospel?”
Glennon took it literally and asked, “Well, why?”
And in that moment, Jones realized there was not a sufficient answer. He invited students who were interested to stick around for lunch and talk about, as he put it, “finding practical ways that we can be objective and intentional about sharing the Gospel.” Instead of “jumping on the bandwagon” of the social justice-cause-of-the-month, “we actually have a purpose,” said Jones, “sharing the most essential message of history.” Glennon added, “Why should Koney (an evil man) get more publicity than something that’s been going on since the beginning of time?” These teens discussed everything from videos to posters, using what was so successful about the Koney video—the power of social media— to come up with ways that they could spread the Gospel most effectively.
One teenager in attendance was junior Kody Lindgren. He, along with a “solid group of guys” (Daniel Ronjak, Jordan Armstrong, Jon Walker and Colin Wilson) have now, nearly a month later, set up definite plans for making this “viral gospel” a reality.
“We were initially inspired by Mr. Jones with the idea for a video,” Lindgren said, “and we decided that we needed to live out our faith practically.” But, before they set to work on a video rallying other churches to their cause, Lindgren pointed out, “our starting point right now is to do God’s will.” That is their first goal: glorify God.
“Instead of the basis that we want to make a film about sharing the gospel,” Lindgren said, “we want to get footage of us sharing with people. We feel the call to spread the Gospel to our neighbors, and it would be cool if a film could come out of that.” The group will begin by “serving the broken,” namely, by beginning relationships with people in a trailer park community. The group plans to see what material needs they can meet, and once they have found ways to personally live out this conviction, “only then do we feel that God’s will would be for a film to come out of this, a film calling others to personal action.” Their second goal is to: share the Gospel in a practical way. From there, they see the video as a way they can fulfill their final goal: equip churches to share the gospel. “When we make our film,” explained Lindgren, “we want to share it with churches to inspire them to continue reaching out to the local community and helping the hurting people and spreading the gospel.”
Instead of showcasing the needs of the hurting people in their community, Lindgren explained that the film, “will primarily show a kind of model for defining what the Gospel is, how to share it lovingly and with care, not forcefully; how to tap into the local church for resources to help needs, and finally how to help contin-ue to minister to others.” The group, isn’t looking for strong support or a group of people to join them right off the bat. People can join their movement along the way, “but we want to have some skin in the project ourselves. This is something that we want to do as men of Christ,” said Lindgren.
“All from a ragtag group of teenagers, we aren’t professional evangelists and none of us have ministry degrees. We’re just guys who love God and want to love others,” said Lindgren.
“It’s not a Bible assignment, not a cool youth group idea; it’s a personal conviction that every member of our group desires to do something about,” said Lindgren.