You are on page 1of 123


Practical Steps for Making an

Impact on Your Culture

By Tim G. Echols
Copyright © 2004 by Tim G. Echols

All rights reserved. No part of this book, except brief passages for
purposes of reviews, may be reproduced in any form or by any
means without permission by the publisher.
Contact address: Tim G. Echols, P.O. Box 9, Jefferson, GA 30549.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of
the Bible.

Cover photo provided courtesy of Intercollegiate Studies Institute,

W ilmington, Delaware.

ISBN 0-9758614-1-7

Printed in the United States of America


Acknowledgments ............................................................................. i

Foreword ......................................................................................... iii

Introduction ................................................................................... vii

W here Activism Falls Short ............................................................. 1

No Such Thing as a “Junior Christian” .......................................... 7

Having the M ind of Christ Is No Passive Endeavor .................... 13

Communicating Sacred Truths in Secular Settings ...................... 21

Rewriting American History .......................................................... 27

The “Power of One” ....................................................................... 31

Courage Is Caught ......................................................................... 35

Contrary to W hat You M ay Have Heard,

It’s N ot All About You ..................................................... 41

The Importance of “Taking People W ith You” ............................ 49

You Can Be an Expert ................................................................... 55

W hy You Need to Know and Be Known by Elected Officials ..... 63

Proximity to Power is Power ......................................................... 71

Activism Begins at Home .............................................................. 77

Don’t Be Threatened by a Little Competition ............................. 85

Slow Judicial Tyranny ................................................................... 89

Help! M ore Christian Journalists Needed ................................... 95

The Preeminence of Christ ......................................................... 101

Developing Your Family Name ................................................... 105


M y thanks to my friend N ed W illiams for his fine work in

editing this book and preparing it for publication.


In 1789, America needed change. The government under

the Articles of Confederation simply was not working. M en that

were brave and wise had drafted a proposed solution— a new

Constitution of the United States, drafted in the name of “W e the


But other men—equally brave and wise, opposed the

ratification of the Constitution. Patrick Henry, George M ason,

and others wanted America to succeed but doubted that the correct

path for the future had been found in the Constitution. Although

there were concerns about taxation and excessive federal power, the

central criticism of Henry and M ason was that the lack of a Bill of

Rights would eventually cause our national government to become

an agency of tyranny.

On June 4, 1788, on the floor of the Virginia ratification

convention, a hero of the Revolutionary W ar stood as one of the


first speakers. George N icholas had fired the first shot in defense

of Virginia when the British invaded. He was a supporter of the

Constitution and rose in its defense with this observation: “An

enlightened people w ill never suffer what was established for their

security to be perverted to an act of tyranny.”

W hile Henry and M ason failed on their immediate

objective— securing amendments to the Constitution before

Virginia’s ratification, they were ultimately successful in gaining the

Bill of Rights. But their success did not detract from the truth of

Nicholas’ observation. Unless we have an enlightened citizenry,

our government will turn from a protector of liberty to a source of


The reality is that we have marched too far down the road

toward tyranny. But it is not too late for America. If we train the

next generation of leaders to believe in the principles of freedom,

our constitutional Republic is capable of securing the blessings of

liberty for us and our posterity.

Tim Echols and TeenPact have been an incredibly dynamic

force in training future leaders. At Patrick Henry College we are

blessed to have a number of his alumni as key leaders who are


being prepared for careers that will enable them to lead the nation

and shape the culture.

This book will open a door for the future of our nation by

opening the minds of many young people to both their

responsibility and their opportunity as citizen leaders. I can’t wait

to see what these young people will do to help return America to its

godly heritage.

M ike Farris
Chairman and General Counsel, HSLDA
President of Patrick Henry College
December, 2004

Ask several “men on the street” for their opinion about

politics or government and you’re bound to get some combination

of blank stares, opinions regurgitated from the typical newspaper,

and apathy— lots of apathy. It is difficult to say whether apathy is

a product of being uninformed or vice versa; nevertheless, making a

difference is the last thing on the average person’s mind. In fact,

most people would say it can’t be done, certainly not by one

person, and most certainly not by a person who has yet to reach

voting age.

I feel comfortable in assuming that because you are reading

this book, you are at least somewhat concerned about America’s

political and popular condition. Nonetheless, you may still

question your ability to help reverse the moral decline. So, can one

person really make a difference? And is it possible for one person

to m ake a difference if that person is too young to even cast a


ballot? I believe that if the principles in this book are taken to

heart, you and your family will become a significant part of the

solution to America’s woes. I believe this book will help you

become a better steward of the God-given opportunity of living in

America. M ost importantly, I believe this book will challenge you

to live a life more pleasing to God.

Each chapter concludes with a “chapter challenge” section

to spur you to make some application of the principles presented in

the text. I hope you will finish each and every challenge. If you

do, please write me so I can send you a special award.

Is the term “real citizenship” presumptuous? Perhaps. But

as I will explain in the coming pages, believers in Christ are called

to more than simply remembering to vote. As we live out Christ-

like consideration for our fellow citizens, and Christ-like respect for

the p rocedures an d p eop le in volved in the p olitical

process— attitudes which can only come from placing our hope in

Christ, we will be examples of “real” citizens.

In sum, as believers we are called to something greater than

earthly citizenship or electoral “success”— we are called to be


faithful citizens of heaven. M ay God bless you as you seek to

faithfully live out your “dual” citizenship.

Tim G. Echols
P.O. Box 9
Jefferson, GA 30549
August 2004

Where Activism Falls Short

ow many emails, newsletters and calls do you get

H from organizations wanting you to make a phone

call to some elected official somewhere? How many zillions of

times have you been asked to boycott, picket, turn-off, tune-out or

protest something? W hat would you think if I told you I believe

m ost of what you and I do in the way of political activism has very

little impact? Yikes! that would be a little discouraging.

That was my feeling as I heard Dr. James Dobson, founder

of Focus on the Family, make the following statement to a small

group of Christian public policy leaders: “Everything you all are

doing [to impact public policy] is just stopgap until God sends

revival.” The statement was sobering but true, because Dr. Dobson

was reminding us that America’s social problems are too severe and

pervasive to be solved in the power of the Flesh.


Lately, it seems that society’s drift away from God has

become an outright sprint, and the culture is growing more and

more hostile toward Christianity. Inspired by the works of Darwin

and Freud, American liberals have attacked all that Christians hold

dear and the principles which are, in m y opinion, the foundation

upon which this country w as built. Additionally, the M odernist

movement has been a poison pill inside our society, turning our

citizens against the best ideas of W estern Civilization and wreaking

havoc on families and communities. That brings us back to revival.

America’s social problems

are too severe and pervasive
to be solved in the power of
the Flesh.

Revival, as portrayed in the Bible, is a theoretical concept

to most of us. It has long been a tradition in certain southern

denominations to spend a week each year doing “revival” services.

But the revival that America needs is a massive return to God— an

awakening of sorts. Biblical revival is accompanied by repentance,


brokenness and people coming to Christ. These three “fruits”— not

clever marketing of any man or ministry, would bring about

societal change. Although there have been pockets of revival in

America, there have been none that have occurred across

denominations or nationwide . . . at least not in my lifetime. This

is the kind of revival that we all need to be praying for.

In II Chronicles 7:14, God says, “If my people, which are

called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my

face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from

heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This

verse explains why I have linked revival to prayer, because God

promises to heal our land if we, His people, do certain things. I

believe the prerequisite to revival is repentance— or a change of

heart and action concerning sin. And repentance is evidenced by

humbling ourselves and giving voice to our belief that God is the

only one who can relieve us of the judgment we deserve and the

only source of societal healing.

Prayerlessness is a sin that has dominated my life and only

God knows the price I have paid and will pay for it. Perhaps you

feel the same way. In those times when prayer has been a priority

in my life, great things have happened: Family Resource Network, the

ministry I founded in 1993, was born in private prayer; TeenPact

was conceived amidst a regular prayer meeting I participated in at

the Georgia Capitol; and at various tim es God has revealed

direction for my family through prayer. One would think that with

all of these experiences I would pray more. But no, I allow the

busyness of life to crowd out this most important of Christian

disciplines. Like any other spiritual discipline, prayer doesn’t come

naturally (with the exception of so-called “foxhole prayers”), and

we are often too busy to pray.

M y good friend Allen Parker, of the Justice Foundation, has

found a creative way to pray for revival. Every morning he hosts a

prayer “conference call” with other men across the country. I

encourage you to consider how you can make prayer, or humbly

seeking God, a central part of your life. Think of ways to make

yourself accountable to others about prayer, and develop a means

by which you can be reminded of ways God has previously blessed

you through prayer.

Certainly, this failure to pray must be the Achilles’ heel of

the Am erican church, and we cannot expect revival or radical


change in our society if we do not change our habits. I urge you to

be resolute in addressing this deficiency.

Chapter Challenge

1. Start a weekly prayer group with some friends that

meets either in person or by conference call. See to set up a free call for up

to 100 people.

2. Read Sammy Tippett’s book, The Prayer Factor

(M oody Publishers, 1988).

3. Begin journaling your prayers each day, and take

the time to w rite down prayer requests that others

share with you.

4. Plan a prayer walk. See the book Prayerwalking,

(Steve H awthorne and Graham Kendrick, Creation

House, 1993), for more information.

5. Begin to pray daily for revival, on behalf of those in

authority and for your family.


No Such Thing as a “Junior


here is something you should know about me right

T up front (or at least pretty close to the front).

believe in the spiritual capacity of young people. Do you? Not


sure? W ell, ask yourself if you think children and teens receive a

“kid’s portion” of God’s spirit when they become Christians. Years

ago, my friends at Youth W ith a M ission (“YW AM ”) persuaded

me that God can use younger Christians in powerful w ays because

He has equipped them with the same capacity to believe, trust and

obey God as any adult. Ever since that time I have been

challenging young people to trust G od for big things, even though

they may possess less life experience and may not be deemed

“competent” by the world.

Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before

ordained that we should walk in them.” Some of these good works

are for our children and teens. I remember when my oldest

daughter was only eight years old. She cam e to me quite burdened

in her heart about sharing the Gospel with a visitor to our home.

Thinking it was not a good time for her to share her faith, I was on

the verge of suggesting that she wait. In this case though, the Holy

Spirit “checked” me. I remember her saying, “Dad, where is the

booklet about Jesus?” I told her and the next thing I knew she had

her little pink Bible out and was reading her favorite verse to the

visitor. The visitor called me the next day and confided that he

had placed his faith in Christ as explained in the booklet Emily had

given him. Two weeks later I baptized him at our church, and

learned an unforgettable lesson about doubting the spiritual

capacity of youth.

W e live in a culture that expects very little from young

people. In fact, our culture presumes that teens will be

We live in a culture that

expects very little from
young people.

disrespectful, disinterested and irresponsible. Thus, it follows that

our culture generally “under-challenges” youth. This low view of

our youth can seep into the Church with the result that our young

people can miss out on the blessings that come w ith obedience.

The task of reaching this culture for Christ is daunting, so giving

our youth a “pass” and encouraging them to just “enjoy” their teen

years amounts to squandering a valuable resource for fulfilling the

Great Commission.

In his book The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager,

Thomas Hine asserts, “Teenagers m ust be treated and educated as

the young adults they are and encouraged to participate more fully

in our social, economic, and political life.” I agree wholeheartedly;

thus, a theme verse in TeenPact is, “Let no m an despise thy youth;

but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation,

in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (I Tim, 4:12) David Alan

Black emphasizes a similar principle in his book, The M yth of

Adolescence: Raising Responsible Children in an Irresponsible Society.

(Davidson Press, 1999) Black writes,

the theory of adolescence undermines the Christian

understanding of human nature. It underscores the
modern disinclination to treat a person as
responsible for his or her actions. W hen we assert
the “fact” that teenagers are to act like
irresponsible children rather than like responsible
adults, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And
when school, church, and family treat 16-year-olds
like young children, teenagers act in ways that
justify that treatment.

In TeenPact we believe young people are really young

adults— capable of enormous impact now . . . and later. Have you

ever heard a parent say something along the lines of, “I’ll be happy

if my kid just stays off drugs, stays out of jail, and doesn’t make me

a grandparent”? I know young people make mistakes and they do


not always live up to our expectations, but don’t you think we have

set our standards too low?

I believe we need to consistently communicate to our

children that God has called them to dedicate themselves to His

service, to engage the culture, to make an impact on their

community. I know we cannot guarantee how they turn out, but I

believe we should seek God’s face about their unique calling and

the role we can play to prepare them for the future. W indy and I

prayed before each of our children was born that God might give us

some hint about how to steer them. In five of seven of those cases,

we are confident that we have received specific direction on which

we have acted and continue to act.

A couple of years ago my oldest daughter and some other

TeenPacters around the southeast brought suit against the Federal

Election Commission. Tucked away deep into the bowels of the

M cCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act was a provision which, by

prohibiting minors from making monetary contributions to

candidates in federal elections, exemplified the overbearing and

overreaching regulatory impulse of big government.


Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for

Law and Justice (“ACLJ”) contacted Em ily to ask if he could

represent her and her colleagues. After a deposition, many

interviews and a trip to the Supreme Court, Emily emerged just

about the only winner from that landmark case. I will never forget

seeing my 14 year old step in front of a bank of television cam eras

with M r. Sekulow and make a statement. Because of Emily and

her friends, minors’ constitutional right to contribute to federal

campaigns has been restored.

In TeenPact w e challenge students to dream big and believe

that God can use them to change their culture. W e ask students to

step out of their “comfort zones.” For some, that will mean doing a

better job in their own family— cooperating with parents or serving

brothers and sisters. For others, it m ay mean changing their

ambitions or taking seriously G od’s leading in their lives. W e have

seen students become effective legislative aides in their state

capitols at 15 years of age. W e have watched tireless campaign

workers who are only 14 years old. W e have seen eight-year-olds

learn how to speak in public. W e have seen young people of all

ages pour their heart out to God in prayer.


W hile all of the above are examples of the skills we teach in

TeenPact, students need to be challenged in a variety of areas and

on a variety of issues—learning to trust in Christ all along the way.

I believe that we must prepare the next generation of political,

business, and cultural leaders. Scripture admonishes the older to

train the younger, (Titus 2:3-5) and our failure to do so will have

grave consequences in our country’s future. God has important

work for the next generation of believers to do— starting today.

Chapter Challenge

1. Read Rick W arren’s The Purpose Driven Life: W hat

on Earth A m I Here For (Zondervan Publishing Co.,

2002). See also,

2. Take a spiritual gifts test and ask God to show you

more ways to use your gifts. See

for a great booklet containing a number of tests like


3. Read the stories of Daniel, Esther, and Joseph

again, and ask God to speak to you about your

future. But be careful, He might do it!


Having the Mind of Christ Is

No Passive Endeavor

hink Hard, Think W ell.” That’s the motto for

“T W orldview Academy, a ministry established by my

buddy, Randy Sims. Randy and his crew believe that students face

tremendous challenges in our world today: a popular culture that

encourages selfishness and mediocrity; an education system based

on atheistic and/or New Age assumptions; and cultural leaders

driven by a lust for power and personal gain. W ho can stand firm

against such forces? I agree with Randy that only the Christian

who courageously pursues a deeper relationship with Christ,

learning to think His thoughts and follow Him, will be able to

make a real impact.


The Apostle Paul wrote that w e, as believers, have “the

mind of Christ.” (I Cor. 2:16) So, how Christ-like is your

thinking? Or, viewed differently, how “worldly” is your thinking?

It’s kind of difficult to tell unless you can compare it to something

else, so ask yourself: how does the way I approach life or make

decisions differ from the way in which my non-Christian friends do

the same? W hat we are talking about here is the importance of

having a “biblical worldview.”

Essentially, one’s worldview

provides a basis for
understanding reality—for
understanding how and why
things are the way they are.

A “worldview” is just like it sounds; it is our perspective

on— or a way of viewing, the world around us. It would seem

logical to conclude that every person views the world around them

the same way, after all, the world is what it is. But the challenge in

life is comprehending how things became the way they are and

predicting the consequences of certain acts and events. Essentially,

one’s worldview provides the basis for understanding reality— for

understanding how and why things are the way they are.

Needless to say, a Christian has a different understanding

of reality than an atheist or even a deist. And I would contend that

a Christian worldview is the most accurate and m ost reliable view

of economics, politics, religion, education, social issues and any

other subject. As a result, I believe that every idea or plan that is

devised in conflict or without regard to a Christian worldview is

destined for abject failure or, at best, ineffectuality.

Often students and adults alike are surprised to see how

much the culture, media and secular educational institutions have

handicapped their ability to think and reason from the Bible;

nonetheless, ministries, organizations and churches are increasingly

offering intense worldview training and materials with the goal of

helping the next generation think and reason from a biblical

perspective. This is an encouraging development, but while “going

back to the Bible” for clarity may sound simple, it really isn’t.

Indeed, the American Christian culture has “blurry vision.”

Christians disagree on issues such as the proper role of government


in society, when or if abortion should be allowed, what level of

taxation is acceptable, and a myriad of others. W hile arguing a

position on these issues is beyond the scope of this text, every

Christian needs to develop the habit of going to the Bible in search

of how God would have him stand on issues of the day.

Eventually, as you spend time in God’s W ord and become

saturated with it, biblical reasoning becomes easier. I tell young

people to stock their mental warehouse with Bible verses and

biblical principles so that when issues or situations arise, their mind

can go to the warehouse and pull the appropriate truth to apply.1

Let’s consider a simple illustration of this principle. You are asked

by a sincere friend w hether you think abortion is wrong. The

popular culture insists that, when it comes to abortion, women

should be in control of their bodies and that this principle trumps

all others. How should you answer? And m ore importantly, what

biblical principle is operational?

The counsel of Scripture— both Old and New Testaments,

is that God places the baby in a woman’s body and that no

See Gary Ezzo’s treatment of this in Growing Kids God’s W ay (M icah
6:8 Publishers, 1997).

government or individual should destroy innocent human life. So

the right conclusion is that a Christian cannot support abortion.

H aving the biblical principle in his or her warehouse allows a

student to retrieve it and take the appropriate action. The same is

true on more complicated issues although considerably more

reasoning may be required.

W hile storing the principles in the “warehouse” is one

element of the process, ordering the principles and reasoning with

them is another skill altogether. George Barna, Christian author

and founder of the m arket research company Barna Group, has

stated, “Our research among people who have a biblical worldview

shows that it is a long-term process that requires a lot of purposeful

activity: teaching, prayer, conversation, accountability, and so

forth.” I agree, and that’s why I highly recommend that young

people— or any person, acquire at least a year’s worth of

argumentation and debate training. If possible, a person should

participate in a cross-examination debate league, moot court


program, or m ock trial club. 2 Even if an organization is secular, it

can teach valuable reasoning skills.

Cultivating your Christian worldview is something you can

start doing right now. M any of our country’s Founding Fathers

excelled at reasoning on public policy from the Bible. Accordingly,

I suggest a thorough study of select w ritings, speeches and sermons

from Am erica’s founding and colonial periods.3 Developing a

library of general reference materials is a good idea as well.4 If you

want a tool to help you assess how you are doing in biblical

worldview training, use an instrument like the “PEERS Test”

(Politics, Economics, Education, Religion, and Social issues Test).5

This 70-question test— which can be taken at home, will help

uncover faulty, unbiblical thinking in adults and students alike.

Consult the Bar Association of your state for m ore details about
their young lawyers programs. Also, most schools have literary
programs that include competitive debate. Homeschoolers can get
involved through .
See for their famous “red and blue books” that contain
copies of originals.
I suggest Josh M cDowell’s book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict
(N elson Reference, 1999), and David Noebel’s book, Understanding
the Times (Harvest House, 1994).
The PEERS Test is available from TeenPact (1-888-343-1776) or the
Nehemiah Institute at

Finally, I recom m end participating in one of various

intensive training programs like W orldview Academy, The Summit,

Focus on the Family Institute, Patrick Henry College Summer Camps,

and, of course, TeenPact. 6 I believe these intense programs are more

beneficial than books, because they provide an inspirational

environment. Participants in these programs are challenged by

highly-trained speakers to step out of their “comfort zones.”

Participants see their peers getting excited about cultivating the

mind of Christ and engaging the culture; and that excitement rubs

off. M ost im portantly, participants can store up biblical principles

on the shelves in the warehouse of their minds.

Having the mind of Christ is no passive endeavor, and as

you seek to have God’s perspective on the issues of the day, I know

He will lead you to resources that can help you and your family.

Chapter Challenge

1. Attend a Christian worldview camp. See for more info.

See,,,, and respectively.

2. If you are in college, sign up at to

receive complimentary literature that will help you

develop your mind.

3. Begin memorizing scripture daily.

4. If you are interested in journalism , attend the

W orld M agazine Journalism Institute. S ee

Communicating Sacred Truths

in Secular Settings

nfortunately, just thinking biblically is not enough.

U Christians are ambassadors to a lost and dying

world; therefore, we must learn to com m unicate biblical truth in a

relevant, attractive manner. M y friend, David Barton, models the

importance of this concept.7 The idea is that we should know our

audience and adjust our speech accordingly . . . without

comprom ising our core values. For example, if you have the

opportunity to speak to a secular audience for a fundamentally

secular purpose (e.g., a lecture on horseback riding, babysitting, or

making a m odel car), then remove any “religious” words from your

prepared rem arks. Think through how you might communicate a

Order the tape by the same name from

given biblical principle without citing chapter and verse in the

Bible. I am not saying that you should not seek opportunities to

share your testimony, the Gospel, or even something as direct as

“The Four Spiritual Laws.” Indeed, you should always pray for

evangelistic opportunities and be ready to share on a moment’s

notice. Rather, I am thinking of opportunities you might have in

front of a civic club, in a classroom experience, in a legislative

Your ability to influence the

audience toward one or all of
your positions represents a
stewardship opportunity.

committee hearing, or even in a one-to-one meeting with an elected

official. These are situations when you need to be ready to share

your “biblical worldview” in a secular manner. This is not as easy

as it sounds.

Your ability to influence the audience toward one or all of

your positions represents a stewardship opportunity. As I

mentioned earlier, Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his

workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God


hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” If God has

given you opportunities to get in front of people, it is incumbent

upon you to take the “good works opportunity” soberly. As the

verse above reminds us, God prepares many “good works” ahead of

time specifically for you to do. Have you ever asked yourself,

“W hat if I don’t do these good works?” M aybe if we do not obey,

God will have to recruit someone else in our place.

For example, how could you communicate the devastating

impact of an abortion without saying, “God hates abortion”? If

your goal is to persuade your audience (which it usually should be),

then you must ask some questions: W here is m ost of my audience

spiritually? W hat part of the country am I in? H ow old is my

audience? W hat organizational affiliation do they have? How

familiar are they with medical technology, such as ultrasounds?

How am I being introduced? W ill I have a chance to respond to

questions? W ill I have a chance to speak to the group again? How

should I dress? . . . you get the idea.

Incidentally, Ephesians 2:10 applies to more than just

public speaking opportunities or personal appointments. There are

what may seem like tiny things God wants us to do and about

which we need to be faithful: maybe that is good works at home

that God has uniquely prepared you for; maybe something at

church or on a mission trip; possibly something as simple as a note

or call by which God wants to bless others through you.

Regardless, our objective as Christians should be to prevent use of

religious words or term s to distract from the principles we are

trying to communicate. That requires us to be intentional in how

we communicate.

Chapter Challenge

1. Begin by writing an outline of how you would

communicate the plan of salvation to a totally

secular audience without actually quoting chapter

and verse from the Bible. Hint: you can use a

biblical principle or concept, just put it into a

“speech format.”

2. Now, prepare an evangelistic presentation of only

three minutes to a “church audience.” Assume that

some in the audience are not Christians. U se only

four Bible verses in the presentation. Practice at


3. Begin compiling clever and compelling phrases that

you hear other speakers use to communicate


biblical truth to a secular audience. Remember

always to give a person credit if you use their


4. Order David Barton’s video, “Communicating

Biblical Truth to a Secular Audience” at

Rewriting American History

y any objective measure, the United States of

B America is the freest, most prosperous nation in the

history of the W orld— clearly, our country is a remarkable success

despite its faults. It should not surprise us, therefore, that

members of various schools of thought consistently clamor to take

credit on behalf of their ideological school of thought for America’s

success. And one outworking of this struggle is the Left’s

determination to obscure America’s religious heritage.

Public school textbook authors are removing any references

to our Christian heritage. Entire generations of school kids are

graduating from high school ignorant about some of the most

important facts in our American experience. Even those attending

Christian, private or homeschools often receive a minimal amount

of historical information due to tim e pressure from competing


subjects. And our ideological opposition is constantly pushing for

dominance over what is taught in our schools. Alan Sears of

Alliance Defense Fund says that if a M artian came to earth in the

21 st Century he would think there were more gays than evangelical

Christians in America.

Unfortunately, the situation is not any better in higher

education. As M ark C. Henrie of Intercollegiate Studies Institute

(“ISI”) has noted, college education in America has deteriorated

from the acquisition of a body of knowledge to merely the

“cultivation of abstract instrumental rationality— divorced from

any content and divorced from any end.” For this reason, I highly

recommend that families supplement their student’s education

with additional historical material— regardless of what textbook is

being used. The entire family can be exposed to this information

via books, videos, or even family read-aloud times. Regardless,

students need a steady diet of historically-accurate textbooks,

stories, and inspiring biographies. W here can you find this info? I

believe every home should have a “big red and blue book” sold by

the Foundation of Christian Education. 8 These reference books

contain copies of original letters, manuscripts, sermons, speeches,

and other writings that have been all but forgotten from modern

culture. ISI, our college ministry partner, specializes in texts that

promote order, liberty and justice and offers any number of books

available at

America’s history is being hijacked by atheists, multi-

culturalists, and humanists— many posing as nice people. If we are

not careful, we will find ourselves on the outside looking in.

Translation: the direction of our society is at stake. There are

people who want to see Am erica go in a different direction and

want to erase the record of America’s spiritual roots. You can

counter this by making it a habit to gain a working knowledge of

America’s Christian heritage. And be prepared to use that

knowledge in conversations, speeches, and even letters to your local

paper. W e cannot afford to forget all that God has done for us.

See w w w for how to order. Also, and supply
great historical material.

Chapter Challenge

1. Purchase a “red book” or “blue book” from and begin reading portions to your

family on a regular basis.

2. View videos produced by David Barton, of

W allB uilders, or Steven M cDowell, of The Providence


3. W rite a letter to the editor of your local paper

about some aspect of America’s Christian heritage.

4. If you attend school, cover Am erica’s spiritual

heritage in a speech or paper, or find other ways to

expose others to the truth.

5. Join ISI and receive free journals and materials at

The “Power of One”

o, now you are praying for revival, thinking hard and

S getting the word out that America was and is a

“Christian” nation. But can one person really make a difference in

such a “big” country? You probably have heard that one person

can make a difference, but maybe you doubt that it could be true

of you. M y friend Randy Hicks introduced me to the phrase “the

power of one.” It refers to the incredible change that can occur

when one person submits to God and becomes obedient to God’s

plan for his life at that moment. W e all know stories about

extraordinary men and women who, by sheer magnitude of their

gifts or stature, were able to seemingly change the course of history.

But, I want to demonstrate how it can happen on a much smaller

scale as well.

Recently, I took a Delta flight to Colorado Springs for the

taping of a guest appearance on a Focus on the Family radio

broadcast. The in-flight video feature was a variety of news,

entertainment and sports. Included in all of this was a M ariah

Carey music video that was incredibly lewd. I was concerned

because so many of our young people fly Delta around the country

as they lead TeenPact classes, and when I got back to Atlanta, I

quickly emailed a complaint to Delta via the company’s web site.

Before long, a generic response came back apologizing for

the “impression” I received, and the letter had a name at the

bottom. I wrote again asking this person to personally view the

video and confirm that the video, in fact, accurately reflected the

values of Delta Air Lines. A few days passed and this time an email

came back saying that they had forwarded my comments to their

marketing department.

In time, I received another email with the words I had

hoped to hear. The letter read, in part,

Again, let me restate that it is always a question of

judgment on what is considered acceptable content.
The video presented did meet broadcast television
editing requirements. Traditionally, we follow and
in most cases exceed broadcast television standards

when displaying content on our aircraft. However,

with the above stated, we agree that this does not
meet Delta's standards and have removed the video
in question from display onboard and are reviewing
the music video policy with our programming
service to ensure that this content is not presented
in the future.

I couldn’t believe it. Not only did Delta pull the video from all of

their airplanes, but they w ere going to make sure that “this

content” was not presented in the future.

So, three emails from my home computer resulted in

thousands and thousands of people being spared the polluting

influence of M ariah Carey doing inappropriate things in a music

video. This seems too easy, doesn’t it? Countless times I have

challenged a grocery or convenience store manager to remove or

cover inappropriate magazines. O nce, I even persuaded a tanning

salon (no, I was not a customer) to rem ove a giant poster of a

scantily-clad woman from their front window.

You can be a catalyst for this kind of change as well. But

you have to exercise courage. Learn to challenge evil and speak up

for decency. Ask God for the courage, creativity and influence to

make an impact. You never know when H e will open the door for


Chapter Challenge

1. Identify blatant forms of evil in your community

and begin to ask God to overturn them.

2. W rite a letter to the editor exposing an evil in your

community. Call your community to action.

3. Look for opportunities to speak out, and do it

often and effectively.

4. Compile a list of people who have demonstrated

the “power of one” and interview them to discover

why they do what they do.


Courage Is Caught

ourage is something that is hard to teach. You can

C read stories on it, write papers about it, and even

aspire to have it. But more often than not, you attain a courageous

spirit by catching it— that is, by being around people who already

have it. For me, it was caught from people mentoring me in my

early 30s: a pastor, named John, who alerted m e to the plight of

the unborn; a congressional candidate, named Dan, who ran for

office and addressed the issue of abortion head-on; a wom an,

named Nancy, who ran for m ayor of Atlanta and was unafraid to

challenge a corrupt system of politics.

I cannot overstate the importance of courage and of seeing

it firsthand. As courage takes root in your life, you are not afraid

to take a stand for your convictions or to risk losing important

positions as a result. There is no better example of this to me than


my friend Judge Roy M oore— the former Chief Justice of the

Alabama Supreme Court. Four years before he was removed from

office, I saw his courage and was drawn to it. His courage was

borne out in personal conversations with him on several occasions:

this m an was on a mission for God. He was determined to “force

the hand” of the Supreme Court of the United States and give

them the opportunity to make the right decision regarding the

public display of the Ten Commandments. 9 T herefore, he set a

course for making that happen: first, getting elected to the position

of Chief Justice w here he would have control over the Alabama

Supreme Court building; next, placing a display in the building that

opposing groups could not resist suing to remove; and finally,

resolving not to back down, no matter the cost.

Judge M oore’s courageous spirit is like that of Esther in the

Bible. He was born “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:13) In the

face of losing his position as Chief Justice, he refused to back down,

temper or water down his statements regarding his motivation for

Unfortunately, on October 31, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court
decided not to grant certiorari to Judge M oore and his case was dead
in the water. Nevertheless, he accomplished his goal by giving the
High Court a chance to make the right decision.

taking a stand. Regardless of whether one agrees with what Judge

M oore did, none can argue that he lacked courage. Those closest

to Judge M oore, through all of this, have gained courage

themselves. And the hundreds of TeenPacters, w ho m et Judge

M oore and interacted w ith him, had an opportunity to see this

man’s faith being lived out in one of the greatest displays of

courage in our day.

Recklessness can be confused with courage, but to discern

whether an act is courageous or reckless requires close examination.

Throwing away a judicial career may seem reckless, unless you

understand Judge M oore’s calling. Judge M oore was called to bring

the Ten Commandments issue to the forefront of national debate

God reserves the right to

allocate His kingdom
resources however he pleases
to accomplish a “calling” he
has placed on our hearts.
and urge America’s governmental institutions to acknowledge God.

He simply used his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama

Supreme Court to make that happen. In our way of thinking that


may seem wasteful or wrong, but God reserves the right to allocate

His kingdom resources however he pleases to accomplish a “calling”

He has placed on your heart.

I saw this happen on another occasion. Earlier in this

chapter, I mentioned a congressional candidate named Dan who

ran controversial ads on television in his 1992 campaign. Here

again was a man called by God to use a position— this time as a

candidate for U.S. Congress, to confront our culture with God’s

truth. D an Becker was neither an officeholder nor a candidate

when he learned that federal election law required owners of

television stations to air political ads unedited— regardless. So,

D an decided to run for office, make commercials that depicted the

truth about abortion, and run them on television. Dan used the

campaign as a way to widely publicize the devastation of abortion.

Up to this point, TV stations had been able to refuse, edit, or

otherwise discriminate against “pro-life” commercials. Under these

circumstances, however, federal campaign law did not allow them

to edit even for a second. They were not happy campers. We

were, though, and D an Becker (with me as his campaign manager)

ran graphic pictures of the horrific consequences of abortion to the


disbelief of a previously-indifferent Atlanta citizenry. People were

stunned that someone would do this. W ell-wishers said to Dan

that he was throwing away a great opportunity to be elected. Even

“certified” pro-life groups thought we had gone too far. H owever,

Dan felt called to play a prophetic role in his sphere of influence,

and we may never know in this life the extent to which God used

Dan’s actions to prick men’s consciences.

W hen God burdens men like Dan Becker or Judge M oore

with a mission, they are compelled to carry it out. Both m en have

had death threats on their lives and the lives of their families. Both

men have been criticized by prominent Christians and political

leaders. And for those of us who have had the opportunity to see

their courage up close and personal, our lives are changed forever.

I personally have caught the “courageous spirit of Esther”

that I have seen in Judge M oore and Dan Becker. It helps me

move forward and stay on course. It causes me to live with a

seeming reckless abandon in an effort to fulfill God’s call on my life

at any given time. I highly recommend that students be exposed to

those with great courage. Having an opportunity to listen to, talk


with, and w ork w ith courageous folk will do more than any lecture

on the subject.

Chapter Challenge

1. Ask God to build courage into your life by giving

you the opportunity to work closely with a person

of great courage.

2. Read and/or have your children read books from

the G . A. Henty series (available from Vision


3. Read W itnessing W ithout Fear (Bill Bright, Here’s

Life Publishers, 1987); and Foxe’s Book of M artyrs,

(John Foxe, W hitaker House Publishers, 1981).

4. M ake a list of the three things you most fear doing

in your life. Pray about the list and call on God for

the courage you will need to accomplish these


Contrary to What You May

Have Heard,

It’s Not All About You

inning the culture war is a mammoth task that

W will require strategic partnerships, shared

resources, and a servant’s spirit. Unfortunately, Christians have

had a hard time accepting this truth. For most of my adult life, I

had a hard time with this truth as well; however, in my late

thirties, I began to form partnerships and develop alliances. I tried

to serve other ministry leaders as often as possible. The older I get,

the more convinced I am that we need to make serving and blessing

others a top priority in our lives. After all, Jesus Christ cam e to

serve, right? If His overarching motive was to serve, ours should be

as well.

Regardless of your age, you have people in your life that

you can serve— even if it is only immediate family members. W hen

I was 16 years old, I was presented with a Rotary Club “Student of

the Year” award by Truett Cathy, the founder and CEO of Chick-

fil-a, Inc. After the presentation was over, M r. Cathy asked me to

come by his office just down the street. There, he presented me

with a tape recorder, a set of Zig Ziglar See You at the Top tapes, a

set of Charles Stanley Supernatural Success tapes and a check for

$50. He asked me to listen to the tapes and promised they would

If Jesus’ overarching motive

was to serve, ours should be
as well.
help make me a successful person. I did listen to the tapes and I

still remember hearing Zig Ziglar say, “You can get everything you

want in life if you w ill just help enough other people get what they

want.” W hile that is not biblical advice per se, it is generally true.

Unfortunately, I waited a long time before I actually began to apply

Zig’s advice—a very long time. Too bad for me. Because once I

adopted this as a life principle, I saw a drastic change in my

relationships. Let me explain.

I am talking about pro-actively looking for ways to bless

others, serve others, and make the projects and activities of their

lives successful. If it is within your power to help them, you

probably should. I am not talking about losing your focus, getting

ultra-distracted or meddling. You must be able to genuinely

help— not just get in the way.

In 2001, my family experienced a crisis when my wife,

W indy, fell ill. The illness resulted in W indy needing a year of

semi-bed-rest and extraordinary care from our family. Needless to

say, these increased demands on my time had the potential to bring

my vocational ministry to a standstill. Fortunately for me, four

young employees surfaced to give me aid: Curtis W hatley, his

sister Jenny, Cindy Cha, and my personal assistant for that year,

Gabe Bratcher.

A certain degree of willingness would be expected from

them because they were on the payroll; nevertheless, they served

tirelessly and well beyond the call of duty. I could not ask too

much of them, it seemed. Nothing prompted a complaint or


grumble. They anticipated my needs and the ministry’s. W e had a

record year, despite my family’s difficulty. This effort on their part

demonstrated their character. Their confidence grew, and together

we moved our ministry forward during a year in which the ministry

could have “gone south.” I will always be grateful for their help

during that difficult time.

Likew ise, I try to work toward the success of others.

Offering to share my mailing list, my money, my advice or even my

employees proves to people that I care about them, their

organization, and their mission. For example, I actually promote

other fine organizations to the greater TeenPact fam ily. N o one has

influenced me more than our friends at Focus on the Family in this

regard. Dr. Dobson and his staff promote the success of thousands

of organizations and ministry leaders. And God has blessed them

for it.

In TeenPact, w e hire “guest directors” from other ministries

who need revenue in their “off-season” to provide for their families.

W e offer as many scholarships as we possibly can. W e try not to

negotiate ourselves into the bad graces of vendors, and we pay our

bills. W hen I can, I actually promote others in public or over the


airwaves: through my talks, in print, and in radio appearances.

People often find out that I have mentioned them or their ministry,

and they really appreciate it. If I have an opportunity to host or

serve someone, I strive to do an excellent job with the aim of

making him or her more successful. M aybe a friend just needs an

introduction to someone important, a referral, a meal, or simply

Whenever possible, I look for

ways to make a colleague’s
life’s work easier, more
successful and more reflective
of Christ.

being walked to his car. W henever possible, I look for ways to

make his or her life’s work easier, more successful and more

reflective of Christ.

For m any reading this book, you can start applying this

principle at home with your family. Ask yourself, “How can I make

m y siblings more successful?” “How can I make my parents’ lives

easier?” “How can I build my family’s name and reputation?”

(See Proverbs 22:1)


You may feel inadequate, right now, to do some of the

things I have suggested. But, over time your relational assets will

grow. Build a file of business cards from people you meet. Get in

the habit of asking people how you can help them or even how you

can pray for them. Begin to anticipate the needs of those around

you and do things without being asked. Start giving your money

(regardless of the amount) to the legitimate needs you see around

you. Help whomever you can to succeed and G od w ill bless your


Chapter Challenge

1. M ake a list of needs of the people closest to you.

Think through the things you can do for them that

might assist them. Pay close attention to any

feedback they give, and adjust your help


2. Ask your parents or your children for a list of three

things you could do to make their lives easier. (Be

careful to prevent the frustration of unmet

expectations; it is better to under-promise and over-


3. Begin to notice small things you can quickly do to

make the lives of others easier: returning a


shopping cart that has been left in a parking lot;

giving an apple or bottle of water to a panhandler

you might pass on the street or at the end of an

exit ramp; picking up after yourself or others at

home without being asked; publicly praising other

people, etc. There are thousands of these things

you can do without spending any money or more

than a minimal amount of time. It is a mindset

and a lifestyle.

4. H int: be careful. Avoid flattery! Learn the

difference between meaningful praise and deceitful

flattery. This subject merits further study.1 0

See Gary Smalley’s book, The Five Love Languages (M oody
Publishers, 1996), concerning meaningful praise.

The Importance of “Taking

People With You”

y convictions about the importance of mentoring

M really began to develop my freshman year of

college when the president of the Baptist Student Union offered to

“disciple” me along with another friend. I knew there were 12

disciples who followed Jesus, and I could sing the little song about

it, but that was the extent of my knowledge of “discipleship.”

Foolishly, I turned down the offer and it was not until years later

that I benefitted from a discipling relationship courtesy of my good

friend, Dave H ill, of the Christian Business M en’s Committee

(“CBM C”) of Atlanta. Through CBM C’s weekly meetings,

Scripture memory and prayer times, God prepared me for the


national ministry I founded and now oversee. Dave Hill and the

men of the Atlanta CBM C chapter took me with them on

evangelistic appointments, prayer breakfast meetings, and even

retreats in order to build into me certain character qualities. I am

forever grateful.

Of course, the idea of

mentoring is not a new one.
Jesus selected a small group of
disciples and spent untold
hours with them.
After I went into full-time Christian ministry, others

stepped up to mentor me in the Faith. M artin M organ, M ark

M cGoldrick, and Kevin Young of Campus Crusade for Christ’s high

school ministry, Student Venture, spent countless hours training me

by exam ple and formal instruction. After I struck out in ministry

on my own, my dear friends John F. Rowell and Dr. Ron Crews did

more of the same. Tagging along with these men, watching them

work, and having them speak into my life has had more impact on

me than any other experience in my life (with the exception of

receiving Christ as my personal Savior).

Of course, the idea of mentoring is not a new one. Jesus

selected a small group of disciples and spent untold hours with

them. And despite having Christ’s ultimate example of how we

should operate in personal m inistry, the busyness of life, the pride

of the Flesh, emotional insecurities— among other issues, deter us

from following Christ’s mentoring model.

Second Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things that thou hast

heard of m e among many witnesses, the same commit thou to

faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” As a result of

my experiences with personal discipleship, I have adopted this

same commitment to II Timothy 2:2 in relating to my own

children, employees, and staffers. Our ministry is built on this

apprenticeship or disciple-making model. W e try to bring people

along— giving them greater and greater opportunities as faithfulness

is demonstrated. W e stress humility, teachability and respect.

Assuming a mentor is trustworthy and worthy of

emulation, this type of training is unquestionably superior to “book

knowledge.” Along those same lines, I highly recommend that due


diligence be performed on a potential mentor’s character and

background before a young person is released into his or her

tutelage. W e live in a perverted world.

But mentoring does not have to be a long-term or rigorous

commitment. Numerous apprenticeship opportunities require a

lower level of commitment. For example, m ost state legislators hire

students to serve as their aides or assistants. This seasonal position

usually lasts only as long as the legislature is in session;

nevertheless, these relatively brief experiences give the student

intensive interaction with elected and non-elected government

officials. Similarly, congressional campaigns usually have the

money to hire students that last 90-120 days of an election. These

positions can also put the student in regular contact with the


Your church might be a good place to look as well.

Internships with a youth or college pastor are usually available in

the summer. There are sometimes even opportunities for extended

mission trips that put you under the direction of a missionary.

Probably the m ost convenient, and most important,

mentoring opportunity is that of parent to child. I frequently take


one of my own children or a friend with me on ministry trips or

even while running errands. Conversations during these times can

be very fruitful and life-changing. But more importantly, extended

time together makes it possible for me to teach and train formally

and informally about the need to develop a biblical worldview.

Too often, as humans we believe we can invent a novel or easier

means of accomplishing a given objective, but much of

effectiveness is sim ply making ourselves available and faithfully

committing to execute a simple plan of attack. M ake time for

mentoring relationships in your life and God will bless your efforts.

Chapter Challenge

1. P ra y about a sk in g so m e o n e in your

comm unity— even one of your parents or

grandparents, to mentor you. (Going through a

chapter of a book together each week can be fun

and challenging).

2. Read The Lost Art of Disciple M aking (Leroy Eims,

Zondervan Publishing Company, 1978).

3. M aybe you need to be someone else’s mentor.

Consider challenging a younger person in the faith

to meet with you on a weekly basis.


You Can Be an Expert

y family loves the G.A. Henty adventure books

M that my friend, Doug Phillips, sells through Vision

Forum. W e own practically the whole set. A common “device” in

the books is a H enty lead character acquiring an expertise in some

skill. M aybe the skill is in language, marksmanship, oratory, or

intellect. An additional quality found in most of Henty’s lead

characters is faithfulness, even in the little things. I don’t think

these two qualities are unrelated.

One reason we like these books, I think, is because we

vicariously enjoy someone who is proficient at a skill. I think we

enjoy imagining ourselves as someone who rises to the occasion or

creatively uses a skill to meet a challenge. But I also like the books

because they contain a lesson for all of us: we are wise to become

experts in one or two areas, and such expertise comes from being

faithful in small things.

Developing a “niche” skill can make you extremely valuable

to employers, political campaigns, your church, and even your own

family. For example, I think virtually every student these days

should become an expert in using computer programs for

spreadsheets, databases, word processing and em ail. If you are

really ambitious, tackle desktop publishing or graphic design

software. W e live in the digital age of personal computing, and you

We are wise to become experts

in one or two areas, and such
expertise comes from being
faithful in small things.
will consign yourself to mediocrity if you are not comfortable with

using these productivity tools.

The ability to speak in public is next on my list of “must

have” skills. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of learning

to communicate your faith, beliefs, and values in a one-to-one or

group setting. The Apostle Peter wrote in I Peter 3:15 to “. . . be


ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a

reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear . . . .”

There are a variety of excellent ways to develop this skill: joining a

cross-examination debate team, participating in a Toastmasters

group, or competing in a m oot court program like the TeenPact

Judicial Program ( are some examples. Programs

like this force you to practice, which, in truth, is the only way to

get better. W ith public speaking, it is easy to assume that we can

never gain expertise simply because it doesn’t feel natural, but the

reality is that even the most accomplished speakers get butterflies

in their stomach at the thought of addressing a crowd of people.

But I have seen hundreds of students dramatically improve their

speaking abilities through participating in these types of programs.

After computers and public speaking, pick something that

really interests you and take that interest to the next level: try to

master it. This interest might be raising horses, breeding dogs,

learning foreign languages, waxing cars, studying stars, teaching

swimm ing, playing an instrument, drawing cartoons, painting

pictures, photographing weddings, arranging flowers, mowing

lawns, editing books, or building furniture. The list is never


ending, but the key is to become highly skilled at something. This

pursuit of expertise will pay great dividends for you down the road.

I remember a friend of mine who started, as a youngster,

collecting half-dollar coins that were minted 1964 or before. He

would ride his skateboard from bank to bank on “bank row” in

Atlanta buying all their half-dollar coins each morning. He would

keep the coins with high silver content and sell the others back at

face value. He had to rent a safe deposit box to hold them

eventually, and his interest in coins led to an interest in rare coins.

Now, he is so good that people pay him to appraise their coin

collections for insurance purposes.

I consistently counsel students to seek God’s will and His

calling on their lives. Specifically, I suggest that they ask God to

direct them in the preparation that they need. By doing this, they

will be ready for those “good works” that God has prepared ahead

of time for them to walk in. (Eph. 2:10) So, if God is leading a

person to the mission field, that person should be busy mastering

language and cross-cultural skills. M aybe that person should

consider doing without luxuries and other “American” things to

“buffet” their body and mind. (I Cor. 9:27) Learning to share the

Gospel with foreigners, who are in America, would be a good idea

as well.1 1

On the other hand, God might be calling a young person

into law. Such a student m ight consider serving as a legislative aide

or working in a law office during the summ er. Regardless, I highly

recommend that students pursue an apprenticeship opportunity in

a field of interest. Being mentored, learning about an “interest”

firsthand, and moving beyond “book knowledge” accelerates your

acquisition of expertise.

Being mentored, learning

about an “interest” firsthand,
and moving beyond “book
knowledge” accelerates your
acquisition of expertise.
On the subject of apprenticing, it is the educational model

at the center of all TeenPact programs. Our staffers mentor our

interns who then mentor our student staff. The entire experience

I recommend the ministry of International Students, Inc., for learning
to share with international students who are in the U.S. See for more info.

for our students puts them in the middle of the action at their state

capitol during a legislative session. W hat they see, the people they

meet, and the spontaneous opportunities that occur on capitol

grounds bring to life the lawmaking process more than any

textbook ever could. For m e, inspiring students to be involved for

a lifetime is my ultimate goal. That involvement is made even

more effective by having your skills honed, so that you bring a

degree of excellence to every project you are involved in.

I cannot close this chapter without emphasizing the

importance of growing in the Faith. Too many of us are still

“infants” in regard to the things of God. (See I Cor. 3:1-3). Relying

simply on Sunday school lessons to prepare you for the spiritual

battles that loom ahead will leave you too vulnerable and

unprepared. You must discipline yourself to do more. Let me

suggest a few things: first, ask someone— maybe a pastor or parent,

to disciple you by taking you through a Bible study or Christian


Second, learn how to inductively study the Bible.

Especially helpful would be learning to use a Bible study computer

tool like Online Bibleâ or BibleSoftâ. W ith this type of program,


you can double-click on a word and the software pulls up the Greek

or Hebrew equivalent with the original definitions. Learn to study

entire books of the Bible and not just small portions, so you can get

the full context.

Next, consider going to a Bible college for a year before you

attend a secular college (if that is your intent). Getting “grounded”

in God’s W ord should be a priority for all Christians— especially in

your teens.

Finally, learn to share your faith. Completing a course like

Evangelism Explosion, MasterLife or a similar training program will

equip you for a lifetime. As believers, our first or fundamental area

of “expertise” should be our Christian faith.

Chapter Challenge

1. M aster a com puter Bible study program or use

tools like

2. Buy a G.A. Henty book from and note the expertise

developed by the hero.

3. Pray about having someone meet with you on a

weekly basis to help you further develop your

targeted skills.

4. Begin an inductive, verse-by-verse study of the

book of Acts.

Why You Need to Know and

Be Known by Elected Officials

f you ran into your state representative on the street,

I would you know him or her? M ore importantly, for the

purposes of this chapter, would he or she know you? W e conduct

our TeenPact Four-day State Capitol classes because we want young

people to see that legislators are just, well, regular folks. W e want

them to meet and converse with their elected officials. Ideally, we

want an ongoing relationship to begin.

First, I want to emphasize that all legislators deserve some

degree of respect and honor simply by virtue of the position they

hold. Even if you totally disagree with an official’s political views,

you are wise to build a relationship w ith them, pray for them, and

speak kindly to them. W hy? Because the Bible commands us to


pray for those in authority, (I Timothy 2:1-2), and lifting up those

in positions of authority, even our political enemies, shows our

Christ-like love for them.

In addition, speaking kindly and treating elected officials

with respect is not just a TeenPact distinctive, it is how the Bible

teaches us to treat all persons. Though it might please our Flesh or

“seem” right to treat certain politicians with disdain due to their

personal or political faults, our hope must be in God and in the

truth of His word. And practically speaking, angry Christians at

Speaking kindly and treating

elected officials with respect is
not just a TeenPact
distinctive, it is how the Bible
teaches us to treat all persons.
Our hope must be in God and
in the truth of His word.

the Capitol usually do not accomplish much (though anger and/or

passion has its proper biblical role).


That leads me to my second point: building a relationship

with even your most bitter legislative enemy might pay off some

day. Let me explain. The former governor of Georgia was pro-

abortion, pro-gay agenda, and fairly hostile to traditional family

values. However, I began a friendship with him when he was a

state house member. He was articulate, humorous and rather

likeable. He was elected Governor of Georgia, and we continued to

talk with him, honor him , and introduce our students to him. He

even dropped in one night and spoke at a TeenPact banquet.

During his administration, our Board of Regents for the

state university system had developed a hostile admissions policy

for homeschool students: specifically, the Board required that each

homeschool applicant take seven— yes, seven, SAT2 subject tests

and score at an “Ivy-League” level. This hurdle was unfair and

discriminating, but homeschoolers did not have the political muscle

in the Democrat-controlled House and Senate to change it via

legislation. So, I (along with others, I am sure) asked the Governor

to use his political influence to correct the inequity. H e did! Even

up until his defeat in the next election, he continued to be a friend

of TeenPact. Unfortunately, m any Christians have a hard time


working with people on anything if the person is not in “lockstep”

with them on everything. This probably hurts us more than we

know. W e need to learn to build relationships with people and it

may surprise us how often they will be willing to work with us.

As scripture explains in I Chronicles 29:11-12, “This realm

is [God’s] kingdom” and H e can turn the heart of the King (or

President or Governor or Legislator). In 1994, the U.S. Congress

was considering an omnibus education bill. Unfortunately, there

was an amendment passed in committee which required anyone

teaching their own child to be certified in every subject they taught.

Yikes! This bill, as amended, w ould have placed an enormous and

unnecessary burden on families who chose to homeschool their

children, with possible ramifications for private schools. So, I

quickly organized a lobbying trip of 45 people. One of the

congressional offices we visited was that of notoriously liberal

Representative Cynthia M cKinney, an African-American Democrat

from metro Atlanta. Rep. M cKinney was overtly hostile to

anything that resembled a Conservative public policy position.

I will never forget going into her office accompanied by two

African-American students from her district who were armed with a


scrapbook, of all things. This scrapbook contained photos,

mementos, and sample schoolwork from African-American

homeschoolers. I decided to have the two young women do all the

talking. After a five-minute appointment turned into a 30-minute

Unfortunately, some
Christians have a hard time
working with a person on
anything if the person is not
in “lock-step” with them on

pow-wow, we emerged from the meeting as tears trickled down

Rep. M cKinney’s cheek. She hugged the students and said

goodbye, and promised to vote against the anti-homeschooling

amendment. And she did. Am azing! This congresswoman had

never met a black homeschooler and was completely unsympathetic

to homeschooler’s concerns. However, with simple initiative and

gentle persuasion, a friend was made on that issue.

As real citizens we must realize that elected officials are just

people like you and me. M ost legislators serve for little pay at

some sacrifice financially. These part-time public servants usually

have a full-time job, not to m ention a family, back home in their

district and comm uting between their competing duties is rarely

feasible. If you will treat them the way you want to be treated,

take time to get to know them and their staff, and maybe volunteer

in some capacity in their district office, you might be surprised at

what you can accomplish. And as I tell my children, it is hard to win

a person to Christ if you cannot even carry on a conversation with him.

In closing, I have to give you a word of caution. Some

Christian activists in your state have more of an “attack dog”

mentality and will dismiss this approach as too diplomatic or soft.

Hopefully, they w ill learn from your example and eventual success.

M ay God bless you as you honor Him in your future relationships

with people in “high places.”

Chapter Challenge

1. Do a survey of a few Christian activists you know,

and ask them for the “top five” potential enemies

of Christian causes in your state legislature. Then,

start praying for these officials and look for ways to

cultivate relationships with them.


2. Order an “adopt-a-leader” kit from the National

Day of Prayer task force. Begin praying for those in

authority on your list.

3. Invite your state representative or state senator to

your home to meet your family. Hint: this works

better during an election cycle.

4. Bonus: do #1 again and include unelected

potential “political adversaries.” Begin praying for

them as well.

Proximity to Power

is Power

ne of the best ways to learn about leadership is to

O be near “real” leaders. “N ear,” in this context

means close enough for regular interaction with them . This may

surprise you, but in our culture, those closest to the “powerful”

actually wield almost as much power as the person whom they

serve. Consequently, one of the things we try to teach young

people in TeenPact is that simply being close to those in power can

give you a surprising degree of influence. Christians need more

influence— not less, and too often, we in the Christian com m unity

not only are denied a “place at the table,” but we are not even “in

the house,” so to speak.


David, Joseph, and Nehemiah of old are illustrative of this

principle. By occupying a position of service to those in authority,

they exerted considerable influence that subsequently impacted

families of their day.

If you ever go to W ashington, and walk through the House

Office Buildings, you will see “twenty-somethings” running

congressional offices. These aides, staffers, and interns make up

the layers that separate mem bers of Congress from those seeking to

influence them. These young people are the gatekeepers.

W e encourage graduates of our state capitol program to

consider becoming a staffer for a representative or senator in their

hom e state’s legislature. I have walked in offices at some state

capitols and seen a former TeenPact student sitting at the

representative’s desk, answering his phone, responding to his

constituents and deciding who gets an appointment and who does

not. TeenPact graduates have had the opportunity to research and

draft amendments to bills that subsequently get voted into law. In

one instance, a TeenPact student’s mock bill was taken up by a


sitting state senator and adopted into law.1 2 Hundreds of TeenPact

students have received national attention for their work in a

successful campaign, and as students get close to those in power,

they gain influence. W hen used properly, the influence can pave

the way for biblical and traditional family values to be reflected in

public policy.

One bit of caution is in order, however. Lord Acton, a

British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth

centuries, is famous for stating, “Power tends to corrupt; and

absolute power corrupts absolutely.” 1 3 As a person begins to lust

for power and influence, he or she will be tempted to make

detrimental compromises.

W ashington is awash with “intern” stories of young people

who sacrificed their integrity to climb the ladder. And, there are

those in authority who will take advantage of young people and

their desire to gain influence. One should exercise extreme caution

Chris Cottrell from Arizona had his bill hiking the bail rates of
certain criminal offenses taken up by Senator Dean M artin and then
signed into law by the Governor of Arizona after passing the Senate
and House.
For more on Lord Acton and his writings, visit

the closer you get to power. Carefully research the person or

persons you plan to work for to make sure they have a good nam e

and reputation. Have accountability partners who can keep an eye

on you and ask tough questions. Find a like-minded Christian near

your job location and encourage each other when possible. The

tide of moral compromise begins to pull some out to sea. Be

willing to walk away if inappropriate situations arise.

In the sense that proximity to power is power, we need

right-th inking people— young and old, near law m akers,

policymakers and their staffs, to ensure that our priorities are

addressed and our ideas are considered.

Chapter Challenge

1. Review the stories of Nehemiah, D aniel, and

Joseph, taking note of the influence they had as a

result of their proximity to power.

2. Ask around about Christian legislators at your state

capitol who might allow you to intern (N ote: pay

is, at best, limited to a small stipend).

3. Become a regular volunteer at your local

congressman’s district office.


4. Select a candidate with character and volunteer

regularly in his or her campaign.


Activism Begins at Home

t has been said that politics is “showbiz” for ugly

I people. And most people can appreciate the allure of

holding a prestigious office or having a vast amount of

governmental resources at your disposal. W hile some of you

reading this book are champing at the bit to obtain one of these

important jobs, others of you are intimidated by the aura that

surrounds such people or positions. But it is crucial that any

person who aspires to have a great influence in our culture

understand that the best place to get involved is in your local


This principle is one reason I start training students at their

own state capitol instead of the daunting city of W ashington, D.C.

Not only does this discourage them from overlooking the

opportunities that are more “local,” but when students go to their


state capitol, and meet state legislators, government becomes m ore

familiar and less intimidating. This effect is amplified when a

student is involved with a city council or county commission.

The problem with starting your “civics” education in

W ashington is that Capitol Hill is so complex (I still get lost in the

basements of those buildings myself). You rarely see your own

member of Congress and you leave the city feeling like you have to

be a millionaire to get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

or the U.S. Senate. On the other hand, going to one’s state capitol

for four to five days leaves students feeling like they “own the

place.” And the reality is, we do kind of own it, don’t we?

M y goal at TeenPact is for students to leave a capitol class

saying something like, “M y dad (or mom ) could be a state

representative!” I want students to see that such positions are

attainable. I want students to leave the capitol at the end of the

week believing that Christians not only need to be in many of these

positions, but can reasonably aspire, plan, and work to attain them

in God’s time.

Another aspect of this principle is plain ol’ supply and

demand. Students who get involved with local cam paigns for

“lower” offices can be assigned significant roles. I have seen young

people given the opportunity to run campaigns for state house and

mayoral races. The experience gained gives these students a

lifetime of ambition to influence government. Indeed, one of the

first few interns in our program, Stacie Stone, actually ran for the

State House in Georgia at only 21 years of age.

M any Christians are frustrated that our culture’s mores are

moving away from biblical standards. W e go to the polls to vote

and have to choose between the “lesser of two evils.” This should

not be so. To see more immediate impact, get involved on a local

level. W hen we moved to Norcross, Georgia, just after leaving the

staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, our little town of 5,000 people

had a five-member city council, a mayor and a $10 million budget.

A council seat came open and I helped persuade a friend to run.

This fine Christian man did not exactly fit your small-southern-

town profile of a councilm an. H e was a recent immigrant with a

non-native-sounding name; he was a hairdresser by trade and had

been a drug dealer prior to becoming a Christian. I offered to be

his campaign manager, and the fun began.


W e bought a voting list from our county registrar, analyzed

it, and then mailed personal, handwritten notes to everyone who

had voted in the last three elections. Surprisingly, that turned out

to be only around 700 people. Yes, 700! I discovered that most

people were apathetic, uninvolved and uninformed. W e won that

election with just over 250 votes, defeating a candidate who had

previously served six terms on the council. M y friend wound up

serving two terms, and God used the experience to teach us many

things. M y family and friends learned about tax rates, zoning laws,

mosquito eradication and constituent services as we rallied around

“our” councilman. And I concluded from the experience that God

was leading me to launch TeenPact.

Your local church is perhaps the most local community you

belong to. If you are like me, you attend church with people you

would consider pretty conscientious. I think it would really

surprise you how many people in your church do not vote. You

would likely be even more surprised to see how many of them

aren’t even registered to vote. Apathy has crept into the pews today

and many Christians have succumbed to the lie that they are not

needed in the “culture war.” That is one reason we are losing the

culture war.

Aside from your immediate family, your local church is the

first community you should begin to influence toward real

citizenship. Generally, all that is needed is a little initiative and a

servant’s heart. M y friend, Nancy Schaefer, began what she called

a “Family Concerns Committee” in her church because she was

concerned about what was happening in the culture w ar and the

impact on the family. Through that vehicle, she kept church

members and staff informed of im portant legislative goings-on in

her state, the U.S. Capitol, and even the United Nations. Nancy’s

committee idea grew, and other churches followed suit. Through

her encouragement, many churches have mobilized their members

toward real citizenship. Nancy has since been elected to the

Georgia State Senate.

M aybe you could exercise leadership to begin something

like a Family Concerns committee in your church. These

committees usually m eet once a month, have a short program and

cost very little to operate. Another great idea is to conduct a voter

registration drive in your church. Young people can help staff a


table and you will likely have 10% to 20% of your congregation

register. Through this initiative you make it easy for them to be a

better citizen.

Some have had success at asking their pastors to mention a

particular public policy issue at significant times during the year.

For example, many churches observe a “Sanctity of Life” Sunday in

January around the anniversary of Roe v. W ade. 1 4 You could also

feature something on “Christian Action” around the time of an

election or near the Fourth of July.

Sometimes, a pastor will be hesitant to speak out on

political issues—especially during the Sunday morning service.

Although some pastors’ concerns are based on a misunderstanding

of the law and although there are resources to give clarity to the

issue, it is best not to pressure your church leadership. 1 5 You can

offer to play a role of keeping members informed of important

issues affecting the Body of Christ at large. M aybe you can make

Roe v. W ade is the infamous 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that
effectively legalized abortion in all 50 states. The decision was
announced by the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973.
The Alliance Defense Fund ( and American
Center for Law and Justice ( are examples of helpful resources on
this point.

announcements in Sunday school classes, set up an information

table, or even produce a church-wide newsletter. M y church owns

a radio station, so I volunteered to do daily reports on the station

during the legislative session for their local newscast. It is only 45

seconds of air time, but it is a simple way I can keep believers

informed about issues before the state and federal legislatures.

I am always on the lookout for potential political

candidates in my church as w ell. M aybe you have someone who

would make a good mayor, city councilman or state officeholder.

Challenge them to run and offer to be on their team.

Getting involved in campaigns and politics on a local level

is the first overt step to making an impact on your culture. I hope

you will begin today!

Chapter Challenge

1. Go to your city council or county comm ission

meeting. Afterwards, go up and introduce yourself

to each of the elected officials.

2. Participate in a program like TeenPact, City on a

Hill, Student Statesmanship Institute or a similar

local Christian program on government.


3. Sign up to work in the campaign of a good

candidate for a local, state, or federal office.

Volunteer on a regular basis for best results. The

Student Project program, which I conduct separately

from TeenPact, is also a great experience. (See

4. Call your county registrar and ask for details about

conducting a voter registration drive at your


5. Start a Family Concerns Comm ittee, Right-to-Life

chapter or similar group at your church after

conferring with your church staff.


Don’t Be Threatened by a

Little Competition

s you are developing into a leader and fine-tuning

A your own ministry, you may be discouraged by

“competing” organizations or even individuals who seem

threatened by your success. I am constantly amazed at how

territorial we are as Christians. The idea of a little competition

scares some people to the point where they can be downright ugly.

Being a fan of free-market economic theory, I am

convinced that competition can bring out the best in us and can

help us to more efficiently allocate scarce resources in the face of an

immense challenge. W e need more churches and more ministries

carrying the standard for real citizenship. W e need more people


sharing the Gospel and more like-minded people running for

elected office. Though our Flesh wants to have a monopoly on

whatever we are doing, practically speaking that inclination is

usually counterproductive.

Economics aside, most believers would acknowledge that

we are called to regard others as more important than ourselves,

(Phil. 2:3-5) and to concern ourselves more with God’s glory and

purposes than with our own. So, while we may not need to be

convinced that we should do things “God’s way,” we often need to

be reminded of that fact.

While Christians may not

need to be convinced that we
should do things “God’s
way,” we often need to be
reminded of that fact.

In TeenPact, we had a ministry in California that would

write and call us once a year asking us not to bring our program to

their state. “You are not needed,” they would say, “You might

jeopardize our legislative agenda by bringing those kids into the


Capitol.” Because I am convinced of the need to be a team player

and really want to be a blessing to Christians in states where we

work, we have not entered that state yet. W e keep asking God to

provide clear leadership and give us “favor” by opening all doors

necessary for expansion.

A frank discussion of turf wars in the Body of Christ is

necessary because I believe that each of us can play a peacemaking

role and take the lead in creating more of a “team environment” for

our work. The ability to “compete” in a friendly manner is a

crucial character trait and is not limited to “pee wee” sports. W hen

we see other Christians as a threat to us, it often stirs up the Flesh

and results in disunity within the Body. Obviously, such conflict is

not attractive to those outside the Church.

I highly recommend the Peacemaker series from Ken Sande

at Peacemakers M inistries. 1 6 One high-ranking official in the George

W . Bush administration employs the principles put forth by M r.

Sande. This official has told me, on more than one occasion, that

m uch of his day-to-day activity involves helping people work out


their differences. If a student learns these principles and begins to

apply them now, he or she will be better-equipped for God’s future

use. At first it may only be within families and peers, but as they

(and we) are faithful, God will expand our influence and our ability

to bring peace amidst conflict. After all, Jesus said, “Blessed are the

peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

(M atthew 5:9)

Chapter Challenge

1. Examine your life for broken or damaged

relationships and ask God to show you any

necessary action steps.

2. Read Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker: A Biblical

Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict (Baker Books,


3. Have a frank discussion with your pastor about

“turf wars” in the Body of Christ, and ask your

pastor what you can do to promote unity within

your church.

Slow Judicial Tyranny

hen is the last time you read about a Federal

W judge being impeached? Never? That’s w hat I

thought. And while it is possible and has occurred in the past, it is

a very infrequent event.1 7 Because its members are literally

appointed for life, the Federal judiciary is the least responsive and

least accountable sector of government. Of course, the non-

democratic character of the Federal judiciary would be less

significant if more judges acknowledged their constitutionally-

prescribed role of interpreting legislative intent rather than

legislating from the bench. Unfortunately, without ethical restraint

on the part of judges, and without the feasibility of impeachment,

One modern example is the impeachment of Federal District Judge
Alcee L. Hastings in 1988, who, in an ironic turn of events, was
elected in 1993 by the citizens of M iami to serve in the U.S. House
of Representatives.

the best plan to m ake sure that good people end up on the Federal

bench is to make sure there is a pool of qualified prospects from

which an adm inistration can choose when making judicial

nominations.1 8

It is crucial to make the

judiciary a long-term priority
and to encourage a figurative
judicial “farm team.”

As we adopt such a plan, we must realize that the judicial

branch, more than any of the three branches of our government, is

least conducive to meteoric rises to the top. W hy is that so?

Probably because there are certain professional prerequisites to

being a judge, while any person may conceivably serve in the other

branches as long as they meet basic age and residence

requirements. But regardless of the causes, it is crucial to make the

Incidentally, there also must be enough U.S. Senators willing to
confirm those nominees, and that is one reason you often see so much
energy, time and money invested in senate elections.

judiciary a long-term priority and to encourage a figurative judicial

“farm team.”

The vast majority of lower court and non-federal judges are

elected— this includes trial court judges and appellate court judges.

These judicial candidates are attorneys, most of whom have never

before run for elected office. And while judicial elections are

characteristically non-partisan, the candidates most definitely

approach the job w ith political views, philosophical convictions,

and character strengths or weaknesses. You might not think the

office of local trial judge is that important, but such offices provide

important experience: experience that might put a person in better

standing for advancement within the judiciary of your state or

position him or her for an appointm ent to the Federal bench. In

addition, such jobs can even help them acquire “name recognition”

for future political races. 1 9

Aside from the professional prerequisites mentioned above,

judicial politics is similar to legislative politics— both usually are

For a scholarly treatment of the judicial process, see David Barton’s,
Original Intent: The Courts, The Constitution and Religion (W allbuilder
Press, 3 rd ed., 2004), available at

stair-step in progression. A simple formula for judicial politics is as

follows: good lawyering + politics = a judgeship. M aybe you

know of a good attorney who might make a good judge. To qualify

as a candidate, such a person simply must have several years of

practicing law, pay a qualifying fee, and then, of course, be willing

to campaign for the seat. The same principles that apply to other

campaigns apply here: develop your message, identify your voters,

and get them out to vote on Election Day. 2 0 And because these

people need help to get elected; you can participate as a campaign

manager, as one of many committed volunteers or as a financial


Unfortunately, most people cast their vote for a judge with

little or no interest or information on the matter. Christian

conservatives need to be proactive in our efforts to move good

lawyers into judicial politics. Only then w ill w e begin to see

judicial tyranny recede.

The Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia offers some of the
best campaign schools I know of. Find out more about them at

Chapter Challenge

1. Think of five Christian attorneys you know, and

ask them for their opinion of the current state of

the judiciary. If you don’t know any Christian

attorneys, ask your pastor for some names.

2. Go to and look at current cases being

handled by Jay Sekulow and the other attorneys at

the ACLJ.

3. Call your local county voter registration office and

ask when the next judicial elections will take place.

4. Go to and find out about

TeenPact Judicial’s Summer camps.


Help! More Christian

Journalists Needed

used to relentlessly criticize and complain about the

I M edia. That is until I started my ow n tiny, semi-

weekly capitol newspaper in Georgia. And while we only operated

that paper during one legislative session (I have also served as a

capitol reporter for two different Christian radio stations), I began

to appreciate the challenges of producing a publication of any size:

keeping good help, meeting deadlines, and managing the ongoing

costs, to name a few. W hile I agree that journalists have an ethical

obligation to be honest in their reporting, I have concluded that if

you are hiring the reporters, paying the rent and buying the

proverbial ink, then you have the right to determine the point of

view from which you report the news. Unfortunately, the “Big

Three” Networks try to pretend they are unbiased.

Another turning point in my attitude about the M edia was

the result of a talk by M ike Farris, of the H ome School Legal Defense

Association (“H SLDA”), to a TeenPact National Convention. In his

speech, Farris described the importance of viewing writers,

reporters, and editors as individuals. W hile campaigning to

become Lt. Governor of Virginia, M ike reaped the benefits of “fair

and balanced” reporting of his campaign, but it wasn’t because the

journalists covering his campaign were ideologically different than

journalists anywhere else in the country. Rather, it was primarily

because M ike took the time to extend common courtesies to the

journalists covering his campaign. Indeed, even when dealing with

members of the M edia, we are not exempt from demonstrating a

Christ-like attitude and proper respect.

In light of these principles, I believe we need to complain

less about the M edia and concentrate more on getting Christian

conservatives to become reporters, photographers, and even owners

of media outlets. Nevertheless, I’m very concerned about the lack

of Christian young people even aspiring to enter the field of


journalism. How can we really expect to see a more “Christian-

friendly” media when we have little or no stream of talented young

people heading that way? A pro-traditional-values media will not

just happen. W e must encourage more of our young people to

pursue journalism as a career.

Further, if we are constantly criticizing or complaining

about the M edia, our children and others around us are likely to

A “fair and balanced” media

will not just happen. We
must encourage more of our
young people to pursue
journalism as a career.
assume that we view the field of journalism to be sordid or

unsuitable for a Christian. Incidentally, this is exactly what has

happened regarding the field of politics in general. Believers view

politics as “dirty,” full of compromise and incompatible with the

Christian life. In actuality, journalism is a much safer field in that

regard. H ow often do you see a reporter attacked for his personal

views? How many times have you seen a media personality


dragged through the mud? Not too often; but it happens all the

time in politics.

Not unlike Academia, the field of journalism is largely

hostile territory for Christian conservatives. Accordingly, w e must

make sure young journalists are ready for the opposition they will

face. I highly recommend that students with a journalistic bent

attend the W orld Journalism Institute or the TeenPact M edia Training

camp in Colorado Springs. 2 1 These programs are two examples of

conservative training programs for budding Christian journalists.

M edia professionals like Cal Thomas, Pat Robertson, and

Janet Parshall are too rare. And publications like W orld M agazine

are even rarer. If we are going to change mainstream media, we

must send some of our best and brightest into the newspaper

rooms, radio booths and TV studios around the country.

See for the latest schedule of classes. Our friends
at W orld Magazine founded this program. Find out about the TeenPact
M edia Course at

Chapter Challenge

1. W rite a letter to the editor of your local paper

about an issue that concerns you. Keep it short

and to the point. Better yet, write your letter

specifically addressing an article, op/ed or letter

recently printed in the paper.

2. Call your local Christian radio station and ask to

volunteer in some capacity so that you can learn

more about broadcasting.

3. Subscribe to W orld M agazine (see to learn more about a

Christian perspective in the news.

4. Consider attending the W orld Journalism Institute,

TeenPact M edia Training, or the Focus on the Family

Institute (see

5. Read W hy You Can’t Stay Silent (Tyndale House

Publishers, 2002) written by Tom M innery who is

an ex-journalist and current vice-president of Public

Policy at Focus on the Family. Pray about letting

your voice be heard in some capacity.


The Preeminence of Christ

s Christians, our loyalty to Christ should trump

A everything, including loyalty to our country and even

loyalty to our family. Therefore, knowing and honoring Christ

should go to the top of our priority list as Christians and should

permeate our every decision. This is the concept of “Lordship.”

Jesus is not our genie or cosmic Santa. W e serve Him, not the

other way around, and we too often selectively apply this principle.

But guess what! Jesus wants all of us. If you are uncomfortable

with this concept, you might want to look into another religion.

Biblically, there is no other option.

One of the snares awaiting politically-active Christians is

the temptation to assign more loyalty to a political party than to

Jesus and His precepts. Party politics can become a religion unto

itself. Indeed, political parties covet your time, talents and

treasures. That said, I should tell you that at press time I am very

involved in the Republican Party, and there are areas where my

faith and party loyalty come into conflict. The bottom line is that

I am politically active to promote a biblical worldview in political

campaigns, legislative chambers and on battlefields of the culture

war. Any party involvement or other affiliation that I have must

help to further that agenda in the long term. Note that I said “long


There are instances where I support a measure that is at

least arguably “neutral.” That support, however, usually procures

for me greater leverage in lobbying on behalf of issues that I have

strong convictions about. Therefore, strategically supporting

certain neutral issues can benefit your core objectives. For

example, maybe you decide to support creation of a bike path in

your community. In m ost instances, this is not a “biblical issue”;

however, your vocal support of this arguably amoral initiative could

allow you to be part of a coalition w ith certain individuals (e.g.,

environmentalist-types) with whom you may disagree on many

issues. Such a collaboration can give you influence and favor which

could come into play later on as other issues of deeper concern to

you are considered (e.g., H om eschool or private education issues).

This kind of strategic thinking is too rare in the Christian political

community. Sometimes our people are so passionate, so narrowly

focused or so “black and white” on issues, that we are unable to see

the value in coalition building. As a result, we often lose important

legislative battles or guarantee that traditional family values will be

shut out of the discussion. W e can change that with common-

sense resolve to look for ways to work with others.

Speaking of black and white, let me say a word about the

importance of racial coalitions in the Christian com m unity. Too

often, black Christians and white Christians are pitted against one

another in political battles. For people who plan on spending

eternity together, this should not be the case. As fellow Christians,

we should make an extraordinary effort to understand the issues

important to our respective communities, and when possible, show

up to support one another. For example, blacks and whites came

together in 2004 on the traditional marriage issue wielding

influence beyond that of any single political party. Imagine the


impact men and women of faith will have when we exhibit this

kind of cooperation on other areas of importance to Christians.

Chapter Challenge

1. Think of an issue that might be considered

“biblically neutral” in your state and ponder what

coalitions might be built by your involvement.

2. Check out the party platforms of the Republican,

Democratic and Constitutional Parties at their

respective national websites. See w hich of the

parties best reflects your biblical convictions.

3. Consider m aking a contribution to a political party

or candidate to show your support.

4. Read Garland Hunt's book, "The M andate: A Call

to Biblical Unity," available through TeenPact by

calling 1-888-343-1776.

Developing Your Family Name

y purpose in writing this book was to inspire

M others, particularly young people, to aspire to real

citizenship. One byproduct of such a pursuit is that you, and

perhaps your family, will be a pillar in your “city” or community.

But how can you help ensure that this pursuit doesn’t begin and

end with you? I believe it is by seeking to cultivate a “good” family


M y longtime mentor, Truett Cathy, signs his books with

Proverbs 22:1: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great

riches . . . .” M r. Cathy invented (as he likes to say) the chicken

sandwich and is probably the most generous person I have ever


known.2 2 As a result of years of Truett Cathy’s faithfulness to

Christ and stellar success in the business world, the Cathy name is

now synonymous with generosity, integrity and quality in the State

of Georgia and beyond.

Have you ever thought about your family name and what it

means to others? M aybe it is tainted by the actions of a relative up

the family tree. Regardless, you have an opportunity to change

that. You can prayerfully seek wisdom from God on what you

want your name to stand for.

Joseph Kennedy distinguished his family name as well as

anyone in America. Granted, his family name is now synonymous

with liberalism and personal tragedy, but Joe Kennedy undoubtedly

imparted to his nine children, his grandchildren and even his great

grandchildren a vision for their family. They have ascended to the

heights in American government propelled by Joe Kennedy’s vision,

and he built the family into a dynasty of sorts. It wasn’t always

that way. The Kennedy family bond was forged when it was

unpopular to be Catholic in Boston— they encouraged each other

Buy his book at any Chick-fil-a store or by calling 404-765-8000.
Ask for an autographed copy.

and were committed to see those with the Kennedy name persevere

and succeed. They worked to establish a legacy for their name, and

now they guard it tenaciously.

I challenge you to do the same. Talk to your parents,

grandparents and other relatives on both sides of your family to

find out exceptional character qualities in som e of your

descendants. Look for patterns, traits, achievements and blessings

from God which are manifested in your family history. Also,

consider qualities you would hope w ill be synonymous with your

family name. M aybe God will use you or your offspring to

continue or even initiate godly qualities.

I am grateful for the heritage passed to m e on both sides of

my family. M y dad, granddad, and great granddad were all

entrepreneurs. Their encouragement and mentoring of me

throughout m y childhood and teen years produced in me a

capability to try new things, overcome obstacles and compete

tirelessly. On my mom’s side, I gained the “Tum lin” fun-loving

attitude that is so prominent at family gatherings. M y grandpa

Tumlin is a man of integrity and character and always encouraged

me to stake the “moral high ground” in word and deed.


M y challenge to you is to discover or develop a family

mission statement. Seek God for the purpose H e has for your

family. Then, set your sights to accomplish that purpose. It will

require planning, preparing, and continuing to seek God for

refinem ent, insight, and help; but it will help determine whether or

not you leave a legacy of real citizenship. God bless your efforts!

Chapter Challenge

1. Look around your church and community and note

families of great influence or integrity. Set up a

meeting with a member of the fam ily and inquire

about their family nam e and any influence they

have had to make their name what it is today. I

think you’ll be surprised that it is no accident.

2. Interview your own relatives to discover the same

about your family.

3. Read a book on dynastic families like the Bush

family, Kennedy family or John Adams family.

Note things they did to develop their family names.

4. Seek God about how He wants you to develop your

family name. At the same time, consider if there

are aspects of your fam ily’s history that need to

change. Record all this in a journal.

To order more copies of the book, contact TeenPact

at 1-888-343-1776, or visit us on-line at