The Area Youth Ministries youth rally, held throughout last week since Wednesday had a turnout of approximately 500 young South Dakotans who received an opportunity to hear the inspirational words of advice from John McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry.
During a youth counselor meeting held Wednesday before the start of the one program, McKee reminded all the leaders what they were here to do with the youth participants.
The main goal of the program was “to share the gospel and give their peers an invitation to meet God,” asserted McKee.
“So many people pursue the temporary pleasures,” he said. “When I ask them do you want to know the truth, pleasure often wins over truth.”
He called the misconception of happiness found in temporary things “the lie” and said the temporary “often wins what we know is best for use in the long run.
During his talks, the band “Fireproof”, who has opened for such bands as Newsboys and Delirious?, also joined McKee to invite the youth to a different culture in Christ.
The youth speaker, who is the author of Reaching Unchurched Kids, also traveled to South Dakota State University.
McKee brought up topics that may be ambiguous in the lives of college students. Although not as many showed up as he had hoped, those who did were able to think about the issue of wise decision making in terms of sex. He posed two questions: “Should I wait?” or “Can I wait?” and “Is it worth waiting for marriage?” he said.
McKee says he bases the direction of his messages according to the word of God.
“I try to bring them a relevant message that hits them where they are at with the truth for God’s word.”
At the four public schools, Hitchcock, Iroquois, Wolsey and Willow Lake, McKee later visited, he again encouraged the youth about making the right choice.
Three of the best choices, he said, were:
1. Don’t let anyone get you down.
2. Don’t get stuck in a standstill.
3. Don’t waste your potential.
At James Valley Christian and Sunshine Bible Academy, he taught them how to represent Christ in their everyday lives.
He has been traveling for two years on as a youth speaker for The Source for Youth Ministry, averaging seven days a week on the road. The trip in Huron, South Dakota will take him around 11 days.
Father of three, the youth speaker does everything fueled by his compassion for children.
“Everywhere I look I see empty kids seeking fulfillment for empty solutions,” he said. “I remember seeing pregnant kids, gang-banging, kids giving up and dropping out of school,” he said describing his experience in his youth. “It broke my heart.”
However, regardless of the situation, McKee is determined to shine the light. Some people say they are a hopeless generation, but McKee insisted that “there is hope and I want to bring them that hope.”