By Jennifer Johnson
Christ In Youth exists to “amplify Christ’s call,” challenging students to live their faith boldly. So why is this ministry making movies?
Over the last several years, CIY has made short films about the AIDS crisis in Africa, sex trafficking in Cambodia, and the need for fresh water in Zambia. Love Costs Everything featured persecuted Christians around the world, and now Becoming Sons and Daughters tackles the issue of fatherlessness in America.
“We’ve seen today’s students become a screen generation,” says Chris Jefferson, vice president of organizational advancement at CIY. “So each of these films was developed as key to our programming. CIY creates environments where the Holy Spirit can have a direct shot at kids, and one of the best methods is conveying an understanding of the heart of God and his care for those in need.”
Becoming Sons and Daughters focuses on several true stories of individuals making a difference in the lives of struggling kids. Chris Travis, pastor at Everyday Christian Church in New York City, discusses his role as a mentor and his church’s efforts to reach boys in their community; a couple in Missouri shares their experience taking a teenage brother and sister into their home; and John Sowers, president of The Mentoring Project, explains the role of the church in addressing this huge need.
In addition to viewing the documentary, students at CIY’s “MOVE” events were challenged to get involved in the issue by identifying at-risk kids and talking to their parents about next steps.
“It plays out so many ways,” Jefferson says. “A bunch of dads in our school district call themselves the ‘Muscle Men.’ They just show up before school every morning to open the doors, give the kids high fives, encourage them, and make them feel safe. It’s a small thing that could mean a lot to kids without trustworthy men to look up to.”
In addition to inspiring high school students to catalyze their families and communities on these issues, Jefferson hopes the documentaries will also be resources for churches and small groups. The full versions of the films are available at www.vimeo.com/ciy.