The president of the largest U.S. evangelical body opened up a U.S-focused annual mission conference by emphasizing that youth ministry is the most important factor in changing the culture.
"The youth pastors are some of the most important leaders in the city," said the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), on Tuesday, according to a Mission America Coalition (MAC) report.
"We are not going to let this generation go to Hell," Haggard told nearly 150 church, ministry, and lay leaders from across the country. "We are not going to let MTV be more dominant in this generation than the Church. We are not going to turn away from this generation…we are going to do something decisive in order to make a difference."
Haggard spoke on the first night of the annual Mission America Coalition that concludes Thursday in St Louis. The three-day conference entitled, "Cultural Shift: Have we Passed the Tipping Point?" strategizing how to bring about a cultural shift in America.
"Our cultural is gone the wrong way and much of it is focused on spiritual darkness," MAC chairman/CEO Paul Cedar told The Christian Post late last month, ahead of the conference. "But our goal and prayer is to help bring spiritual light to cities and communities across the nation."
During his speech, Haggard pointed to increasing secularism in the culture and noted that the changes made in our culture will not last if the generation of youth does not know Christ.
"It doesn’t matter if we protect the definition of marriage in this generation if the next generation doesn’t have a clue what marriage means," he said.
The NAE president affirmed the need for the Church to work together.
"If we do it on our knees…we can see this generation saved," Haggard affirmed.
Mission America Coalition is a network of American churches, ministries, denominations, and Christian leaders with the goal to work together to spread the Gospel through prayer, evangelism, and revival. Since its inception, leaders from 81 denominations, over 350 ministries and dozens of ministry networks have been involved in the coalition. MAC serves as the evangelism partner of NAE and Haggard has been involved in MAC since its beginning.
Other MAC conference speakers include Daniel de Leon of Hispanic Association of Bilingual/Bicultural Ministries, Paul Cedar of Mission America Coalition, John Nichols of Lazarus Foundation, Lon Allison of Billy Graham Center, and Dave Olson of American Church Research Project.