DALLAS -- While the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has long been airing national broadcasts of Billy Graham missions, for the first time the organization has announced it will air the high-energy, music-driven "Concert for the NeXt Generation," this one originating from Texas Stadium on Oct. 19, 2002. The thirty-minute program will air around the country on Friday, Dec. 27, largely on the youth-oriented WB network. Specific times and stations are listed on the BGEA youth Web site, www.passageway.org.
Dubbed "Inside Out," the program from the Metroplex Mission concert features music by Jars of Clay, dcTalk, and Kirk Franklin, followed by a message from Billy Graham. Mr. Graham believes it is vital to reach younger generations with the message of God's love and forgiveness, and he appreciates the musicians' role in this cutting-edge evangelistic event. He has often said they are similar to the translators he uses when speaking in other countries -- that they help to interpret the Gospel message into the language understood by the audience.
While the teens are drawn by the popular Christian musical groups, they have great respect for Mr. Graham, and respond to his simple presentation of the Gospel message. He speaks of his own teen years and young adulthood, and is seen as the wise, grandfatherly figure on whom they can depend for a straight answer.
As with all BGEA telecasts, counselors will be available online or via telephone for viewers wishing to make a decision as a result of the broadcast. Teens can respond at www.passageway.org, where they can also request a free CD with a video presentation by Christian musicians on "Steps to Peace," as well as the entire Bible in PDF format.
The Saturday evening "Concert for the NeXt Generation," at which the evangelist delivers a message targeted to young people, have been held at every Billy Graham mission since Cleveland in 1994. More than 1,190,000 students have attended these meetings, of which 92,000 have made faith commitments to Christ as a result. Most of these youth emphases have set stadium attendance records, including the one at Texas Stadium, with an attendance of 82,000.
The Metroplex Mission with Billy Graham, held Oct. 17-20 at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, saw audiences averaging nearly 60,000 each evening, of which more than 11,000 responded to the evangelist's invitation to make a commitment to Christ during the four-day event. Average audiences of 47,000 attended the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Billy Graham Mission in Cincinnati, June 27-30, 2002 -- including 50,000 for Saturday evening's concert -- and more than 2,400 made decisions for Christ each evening.