This newsletter serves as our June AND July update. Watch for our next update after our Africa Trip July 25-August 6.
“Youth ministry in the United States…has Reach Out abandoned it?”, people ask often. Quick answer, “No!” Yet, what caused us to shift energy internationally
when such great needs exist in our country?
Global Calling…Reality…and Hunger
Calling . Until 1985 Reach Out’s ministry concentrated in the USA. After a trip to Eastern Europe, behind the Iron Curtain, my eyes opened. On a vacation soon after that trip, alone on a beach, reading two compelling books about taking Christ to the world, God spoke clearly to me… “Barry, go train youth leaders around the world.” That calling began a worldwide adventure! Within two years Reach Out's training had begun in Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, and eventually to many other countries.

Reality . Then, stark, global reality set in. Staggering statistics burdened me. 89% of this planet’s young people live in developing nations—most in Africa, India and China. Across the world, only 1 youth leader serves every 120,000 teens. In the USA. 1 youth leader serves every 600 teens—97% of youth ministry leaders worldwide. That inequity has kept Reach Out globally motivated.

Hunger . And in poor and restrictive countries, the hunger of young people to know Jesus astounds us. In Africa, with access to students in schools, we share the gospel with 80,000 students every year. About 40% respond positively to the Gospel--an exceedingly high Return on Investment!
Yet for 50 years in the United States…

 …Reach Out’s zeal for youth ministry in America has never wavered. An amazing group of faithful friends have gone on this national youth ministry journey for decades.
Decades on the Youth Ministry Journey
…Reach Out’s zeal for youth ministry in America has never wavered. An amazing group of faithful friends have gone on this national youth ministry journey for decades. Now this group of leaders has become rather sizable. Yet we still beat the same drum—against the popular, but superficial approach most churches employ--that effective youth ministry is simply doing what Jesus did…pursuing intimacy with God, prayer, training leaders, disciple-making and evangelism. We know that engaging in Jesus’ strategy will dramatically accelerate our progress in reaching this and future generations in America…and around the world.

In that context, my role has changed. I have the privilege to maximize Reach Out’s influence by mentoring/encouraging several national leaders. Investing in those relationships allows me to have influence on leaders whose ministries impact teenagers across the country. Three encouraging examples…

Campus Alliance . On the team led by Chuck Klein, the Campus Alliance provides leadership and training to reach every student in every school—67,000 of them—with the love and truth of Jesus Christ. In November our National Campus Summit will accelerate us to our goal. 
Dare2Share . Led by Greg Stier, Dare2Share challenges and trains teens to boldly share their faith. Greg and I talk often. He asks good questions that lead to robust discussions, and end in passionate prayer.

Claim Your Campus . Under Jeff Eckart's leadership, 75,000 students pray on their campuses every week during the school year through Claim Your Campus. Jeff invited me in on his vision early on—of mobilizing 1 million students at Claim Your Campus 2020 July 4 weekend in Kansas City to ignite a 'prayer, care, share' movement on their campuses. Bring a vanload of kids and join Jeff and me!
Among All Nations

Global or national, teenagers around the world need Jesus! God gave me the Psalms 67:1-2 promise years ago for Reach Out. Will you pray this promise with me that it will find fulfillment in young people in the USA and among all nations? 

May God be gracious to us, and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,
that your [God’s] ways may be known on earth,
and your saving power among all nations. Psalm 67: 1-2
In the months ahead Reach Out will stretch ourselves beyond our limits in every arena. Only by God’s grace, along with your fervent prayers and generous giving will we reach the seemingly impossible goals the Lord has given us in the USA and globally. Thank you.