I'm tired of all the school violence and I'm sure you are too
My heart drops every time I hear about another school shooting. Twenty years ago my heart dropped when the news came about the Columbine High School massacre.
I was in a room with six youth leaders promoting Dare 2 Share's "When all hell breaks loose..." conference on spiritual warfare and evangelism. That's when the pastor of the church we were meeting at interrupted our small gathering and informed us, "All hell has broken loose at Columbine High School. You may all want to stop and pray."
Just 30 minutes across Denver all hell was breaking loose as two teen killers walked into Columbine High School and reeked unholy havoc in the cafeteria, classrooms, hallway and library. 13 lives were lost that day before the shooters turned the guns on themselves.
Last week all hell broke loose again in the Denver area as two armed teenagers entered the STEM School in Highlands Ranch (7.5 miles away from Columbine.) These two hate-filled young people injured 8 teenagers and killed one before they were finally stopped.
When school violence like this erupts so do all of the proposed solutions. Some chant "More gun control!" and others "Arm the teachers!" But neither of these solutions will ultimately work in my opinion. There are almost 400 million guns in the hands of civilians in the United States.
It's already out of control.
And arming teachers could work in some situations but backfire in others.
Yes, there are steps that could be taken on both sides of these equations. But steps and strides won't stop the plague of school violence. The root problem is much deeper than legislation could ever possibly reach.
Henry David Thoreau once said, "For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, one strikes at the root." The root of evil that triggers school violence in the hearts of broken teenagers can only be removed by the love of Jesus Christ.
I watched my violent urban family radically transformed by the good news of Jesus as a kid growing up. The root of evil that characterized many in my family was stuck by the love of Jesus and the leaves of violence withered as a result.
What is the best solution for school violence? It's mobilizing Christian young people to pray for, care for and share the Gospel with their peers at school. It's inspiring Christian teenagers to reach out to the bad, the broken, the bullied and the bullies with the message that God loved them enough to send his own Son to die for their sins...to save them from hell and hopelessness...to give them the security of a relationship with God and the significance of a worthy cause, the cause of Christ himself.
Now before you dismiss this as a simplistic solution remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16, "I am not ashamed of the. Gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes...." That word "salvation" means deliverance. It's deliverance from sin and Satan, from hate and hopelessness, from death, despair and darkness.
It's this message that eventually rescued the Roman Empire from the violence of the gladiators in the coliseum. It's this message that eventually transformed blood-thirsty vikings into passionate servants of God. Here's how Jerry Newcombe and Dr. James D. Kennedy put it, "…over time, many of the Scandinavians became true Christians, and so the Vikings stopped their terrible raids."
History is filled with example after example of how the message of Jesus transformed violent haters of men into vehement servants of God. That's what the Gospel has done in the history of the world and that's what it can do in the hallways of our schools.
What if the church mobilized youth-group attending teenagers to be change agents at their schools? There are over 300,000 churches in America and only 67,000 high schools and middle schools. Churches outnumber schools 4 to 1!
If the youth of these churches were equipped to identify the broken and hurting teenagers at their schools and to reach out to them with the hope of Jesus, we would see the power of God begin to transform our schools one changed life at a time. I'm convinced this would prevent more school violence than if all the possible political solutions were enacted.
Why? Because the Gospel is the ultimate change agent! The Gospel strikes at the root of evil. The Gospel takes hearts of stone and turns them into hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26.) The Gospel changes everything.
That's why we are doing Dare 2 Share Live on October 12th. We want to mobilize an army of teenagers to pray for, care for and share the Gospel with every teen everywhere.
We are working to mobilize teenagers in over 100 cities nationwide. Work with us.
We are striving to energize the church to mobilize youth to Gospelize their world. Strive with us.
We are praying that God will unleash a revival of Biblical proportions that will transform every teen on every campus in every way. Pray with us.
It's time to put into effect the best solution for school violence...the Good News of Jesus unleashed through a generation of Jesus-loving, people-loving, Gospel Advancing teenagers!
Now is the time!