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Dees: Youthful Passion
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Last week in Atlanta, 60,000 college students met to worship God and to fight slavery. Yes, I said slavery. Right now 27 million people across the world are enslaved. These include men and women in eastern Europe who have been forced into labor, young girls who have been kidnapped in Africa, and women who are a part of the prostitution industry in downtown Atlanta. The Georgia Dome was filled last week with college students who are serious about the gospel, and serious about putting an end to this injustice. These students gave more than $3 million to put an end to human trafficking. This gathering was led by Passion, a ministry designed to bring a spiritual awakening to the college campuses of the nation and the world. Last year they launched the "End It" campaign to put an end to a very real slavery that exists all over the world.

I speak to Christians all the time who are concerned with this generation of young Americans and there is great reason to be concerned, but there is also a great reason to rejoice. When I was in college, the big thing going on around New Years in Atlanta was a Widespread Panic concert, today the big thing is a 60,000 person worship service. I believe that this generation will be willing to face the persecution that is sure to come from a godless world in order to really make a difference for Christ and to make his name great in all the earth. I saw evidence of that last week and I believe that I will see more in the days, months and years to come.

My prayer for you, the readers of this column, is that you would encourage a passion and love for Christ among the youth in our community and in the United States. Rather than looking down on a young man or young lady because they like a different kind of music than you do, or dress differently than you do, encourage them in their pursuit of Christ. What this generation needs are the prayers, support, and love of older Christians. So I want to challenge you, how can you be a part of raising up the next generation of church leaders? How can you present the gospel in a compelling way to this generation? How can you show them what the life of a disciple really looks like? I pray that you will consider these questions and engage the younger generations for the glory of Christ in all the earth.

Jason Dees is a grateful follower of Jesus Christ, the husband of Paige and the father of Emery Anna. He is also the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington.