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My son and I recently went to his high school for an athletic meeting on the school's policy on drugs and alcohol abuse. The speaker shared how he had devoted his life to playing football with the hope of being accepted by his family and friends. His greatest desire was to play football in the NFL. His story went on to include the fact that he started drinking at age 13 and by the time he was in his early twenties he was using cocaine.
After playing for the University of Alabama under coach Bear Bryant the NFL drafted him, it seemed that he finally got his heart's desire. Even though he had achieved much and made it to the NFL, he was unhappy and was still trying to prove himself to his family and friends. The only thing that the NFL actually provided was a good income so he could pay for his drug habit. The final outcome of his story happened one night when he was drunk and stoned on drugs; he blacked out while driving his car and had a wreck that ended his football career.
At this point, you might be asking what this man's story has to do with the ministry of Watchman Fellowship. The answer is simple; the enemy (Satan) is targeting our young people and like a lion, is constantly on the prowl. (1 Peter 5:8)
Youth today are not much different from when we were teenagers; they need to be accepted, loved, and wanted. These are basic needs that we all have, and we often feel unfulfilled in one or more of these areas. In order to fill these voids, our enemy has a bag of tricks and temptations bigger than we could ever imagine. He will blatantly tempt you with things that you know are harmful and wrong. More importantly, and more often, he will tempt you using deceptive means. These temptations may prey on our need to worship and serve God. This is where he uses the cults, and there are many out there constantly recruiting.
In Mark 13:5-6, Jesus is telling us to be wary. "Watch out and don't let anyone fool you! Many will come and claim to be me. They will use my name and fool many people." Jesus gave us many warnings to make us aware of self-proclaimed messiahs. They claim that they have the truth, that their church is the one true church, and/or they have a special revelation from God. Most, if not all, have some type of work requirement in order to gain salvation.
At our staff meetings we discuss the many phone calls we get requesting prayer from worried parents and grandparents. Some of their stories are of children and grandchildren who have left home for college and become involved with the International Church of Christ, or New Age teachings or some other cult that has them "serving god." They are being led to disassociate themselves from their family and friends so they can do "god's will." They are being deceived! They are easy prey for the enemy because they have not been taught how deceptive cults can be.
Unfortunately, these heartbreaking calls for help are drastically increasing in number. As I speak to youth throughout the state of Alabama, I see more and more how our youth are at risk in so many areas of their lives. Our youth directors and youth pastors do a great job but they have their hands full just dealing with the everyday problems of adolescence. On top of all the things that youth already have to deal with, they are now becoming an increasing target of the cults. This is where Watchman Fellowship has seen a need and is now expanding to fill the gap.
For more than four years now, I have been associated with Watchman Fellowship as a part-time Youth Specialist teaching youth groups on the deceptive tactics of cults. It is my desire, and the desire of Watchman Fellowship, to work with youth pastors to help educate and equip young people in evangelism, and to be more aware of the cults.
Recently, I requested that my fellow servants at Watchman Fellowship pray about my moving from part-time to full-time ministry. All of us see the need to further develop our youth education department and we ask that you prayerfully consider supporting this new endeavor to further our ministry with young people.
Remember we are at war, but we are not fighting humans, but against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. (Ephesians 6:12) Sadly, this war broadened and invades our schools and homes. The enemy is seeking not only us, but the hearts and minds of our children as well.
Freddy Edgerton volunteers with Watchman Fellowship as a Youth Specialist. You can email Freddy by clicking here.