An evangelistic association targets the young and happenin’.

By June 28, 2004

USA (MNN)–The normal ‘crusade’ model is not getting the message of the Gospel to the 18-to-24 year old male crowd successfully.

That’s a given–there’s a simple response. Change everything.
Luis Palau Evangelistic Association’s
Kevin Palau says a growing interest in music and extreme sports motivated the Festival creation, as well as the release of their DVD, ‘Livin’ It’. “If you were a missionary trying to present the Good News in another culture, everyone would understand that you would need to learn and understand the people you were working with. Really that’s all we’re saying here is one way to reach a certain type of young person is to get into their world.”

The DVD features a raft of skateboarders and BMX cyclists who mix extreme sports with a Christian message. Director, actor Stephen Baldwin, 37, a born-again Christian answers the ‘why’ behind their move. “Because we’re usually doing that cheesy Christian thing. We’re dorks; we’ve got to change this.”

Subtlety aside, the DVD has exceeded all expectations, with sales between 75 to 100-thousand all around the world. However, it’s not about the numbers. And, Palau says it’s [the DVD launch and Festival] more than a marketing shift. What they’re doing is offering a lifestyle shift. “No one is talking about watering down or changing the clear message about Jesus Christ in order to make it more palatable for people, so that’s not what we’re talking about. What we are talking about is couching it in a way or putting it in terms that are more understandable to a younger audience.”

Palau says other mission organizations have been ordering the DVD’s by the case to give them away at other teen events, and, more often than not, at skate parks around the world. As a result, many are responding to the Gospel. For details: http://www.palau.org, and http://www.livinitthemovie.com.

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