USA (MNN) — It's not every day a ministry gets featured in Times Square on New Year's Eve where millions of people gather to watch the ball drop live or on TV.
In November, The Doug & Jon Show was approached by CBS, the network that owns a giant jumbo-tron screen in Times Square of downtown New York City. CBS was set to air a 15-second clip for a video game during their regular programming, but decided it was too violent to play during the holidays.
Instead, CBS approached The Doug & Jon Show to make a 15-minute clip in two days to be aired for weeks.
"This video has been running since before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, all the way through Christmas shoppers, and will be running all the way through the New Year's Eve celebration when the ball drops," says Doug Hutchcraft, son of Ron Hutchcraft and the "Doug" of The Doug & Jon Show.
"Our bottom line is being in the public square, because that's where Jesus was. We want to be where people are who need Jesus," adds Hutchcraft.
They've certainly been able to do that in Times Square. But The Doug & Jon Show also has a large web and social media presence–they have nearly 90,000 Facebook fans, and millions of viewers have come to their Web site. Since the show can be accessed anywhere with internet, The Doug & Jon Show has actually attracted viewers from 85 different countries over the last few years.
The teen outreach is mainly a series of videos and blogs. The Doug & Jon Show uses humor in most video posts, but it has several ways for site visitors to go deeper and engage in spiritual discussions.
Over the past year, the ministry has watched thousands of young people explore Christ and surrender their lives to Him. The Times Square video has generated even more interest, and the ministry could not be more excited for the year to come.
"In February 2012, we're launching an interactive live event," says Hutchcraft. The live event will be 30 minutes of humor, videos and goofiness, followed by 30 minutes of "going deeper" where teens will actually be able to interact via Facebook, Twitter and other social media directly with Doug, Jon and the rest of the crew about issues they have at home, with faith, with friends and more.
2011 has brought a wave of new opportunities, but Hutchcraft says interactive live events in 2012 could be the pinnacle of ministry for the show. The biggest need now is for prayer that God would prepare the hearts of teens, send workers into the field, and provide wisdom for the show's crew.
Adds Hutchcraft, "There are millions and millions of young people waiting to hear the Gospel. They don't know that that's what they're waiting for, but when they hear it, it resonates with them. The harvest is huge."