The Christian Post
August 30, 2010
Evangelist Franklin Graham concluded his month long Rock the
River evangelistic tour on Saturday, August 28, 2010, with more
than 8,000 youths in Western Canada.
The Edmonton event saw 332 decisions for Christ. "There's
nothing more refreshing and amazing as you're sitting on stage
after you play your set and see kids come down," said Jason Dunn,
lead vocalist of the Christian pop/punk band Hawk Nelson. "They're
coming to the front and they're giving their lives to Christ.
That's an amazing thing. It'll never get old. I get chills just
thinking about it."
Hawk Nelson was one of six bands that drew thousands of young
people to Telus Field. Many more watched the summer concert and
evangelistic event through live Web streaming.
Though Edmonton is a relatively churched area, local youth
pastors believe many Christian youths have been left
"We are so blessed in North America to have these types of
events, but you also can look on the Facebook pages of some of
these churched kids and see that they are often the most vulgar and
cynical," said Randy Young, a youth pastor, according to the Billy
Graham Evangelistic Association. "We have seen a lot of depression
and suicide attempts among the younger folks here - even the
Christian students. They are dealing with a lot of issues, and they
are looking for hope."
Though youths have been taught at church and at home and are
able to quote Scripture, Young wants them to come to a place where
they will not regurgitate information, but rather tell their
friends what makes them different.
"Then, I want to see the other young believers catch on, get
excited about the Gospel and be spiritually contagious," he said,
according to the BGEA.
Dunn of Hawk Nelson, whose latest album is titled Live Life
Loud, expressed a similar hope for today's young people.
"I think our message right now as a band is that true religion
or true faith in Christ … it's all black or white; there's no
hanging out on the fence; you're either serving Jesus or you're not
serving Jesus, so stop playing in the middle," the vocalist
Graham, son of the famed evangelist Billy Graham, believes many
youths know nothing about God, given how secular society has
Thus, he feels a greater sense of urgency to reach young
"This is about reaching out to a generation that doesn't know
God," Graham said, according to the BGEA. "[I]f we don't reach
them, we'll lose them."
Edmonton was the third stop in the Rock the River Tour West.
Graham and a host of Christian bands, including Skillet, Starfield
and Flyleaf, spread the Gospel message in Fraser Valley and Calgary
earlier this month.
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