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The Need.
lonely boy

In case you have not noticed, there is an overwhelming number of people hurting today. Hurting people are everywhere because life hurts. It hurts all of us. No one is immune from the pain of life. Then when you add in all the damaging ways that people are trying to cope with their pain, the problems escalate even further. We all turn to something to help us cope. The truth is, what you do not deal with constructively, will come out destructively, whether you ignore it, act on it, medicate it or internalize it.

Take a look at a few statistics that show how much pain exists today:

  • The current divorce rate at least 50% (it is the same for those in and out of the church).
  • 50-75% of U.S. children are growing up in a single parent home.
  • 40% of people in the U.S. will develop cancer.
  • Financial issues are rampant today, including skyrocketing bankruptcies and foreclosures.
  • Plus, consider the cost of pain from cancer, which is $100 billion annually.
  • 35 million adults in the U.S. suffer from depression (this is 16% of our population).
  • 50% of U.S. teens suffer from some emotional issue.
  • 20 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety.
  • 14 million people in the U.S. abuse alcohol and 7 million abuse drugs.
         • Other addictions include sexual, pornography and gambling.
         • Did you know that we spend more money each year in the U.S. on legalized gambling than we        do on music, movies and sports combined?
  • 33% of high school girls report being victims of physical or sexual abuse (girls 17-19 are the most victimized segment of the U.S. population).
         • 16% of high school boys make the same reports.
  • There are countless people dealing with loss, from loved ones, dreams, jobs, catastrophes,
    and rejection.
  • There are also countless people living a life without purpose and meaning.


What makes things even worse is that the trends show these numbers are all on the rise.

Did you know:

  • The suicide rate in the U.S. jumped 200% over the past decade (and did you know suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. for those ages 15-25)?
  • Following Katrina, and now continuing with our economic crisis, alcoholism and suicide rates have sky rocketed?
  • Heart attack rates have tripled since 9/11?
  • Every day in the U.S. 2,700 unwed teen girls become mothers?
  • Every day in the U.S. 500 teens begin using drugs and 1,000 begin drinking?
  • Every 10 seconds there is a report of child abuse in the U.S.?

From these statistics it is clear that there are only two conclusions that can be made. First, the rampant emotional pain in our society is going unmet entirely, or second, it is being handled ineffectively (through content, approach or outreach). We believe that both are contributing factors.

These statistics reflect very poorly on the church of Jesus Christ. Not only that, you must remember that these statistics are not numbers, they are people! They are your family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Because we have not done enough to help and equip them to handle the pain of life, they end up turning to the devil’s playground for ways to cope with their pain. The lives of the people all around us, the ones we care about, spiral downward and out of control.

And the devil loves this scenario. We are playing right into his nefarious hands. He then uses our pain and our attempts to cope with our pain to devour and destroy our lives. And he has been getting away with this destruction of lives for far too long without encountering enough (if any) resistance.

Sadly, the fact is the church has not done nearly enough (if anything) to reach out and help the hurting today. Is it a wonder that only 18% of our population attends church anymore? It is difficult to fault people for having no interest in a place that offers nothing to help them with their struggles. The unfortunate result of this indifference to the pain that exists everywhere is that the church has largely become irrelevant in our society.

These statistics and the lack of response to the pain are frightening news for our country. We need to wake up to the fact that the degree to which the devil has been using emotional pain to destroy lives has put us in danger of allowing our entire society to collapse in spiritual and emotional defeat. This is just wrong! Things must change!

All this information argues that something new must be done. Something different is needed because the status quo is simply not working. The good news is that over 80% of our population still believes in God, so the opportunity still exists to reach those who are hurting with the hope and restorative power of Jesus Christ. And that is exactly what we are doing. We are starting a revolution!



 

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