Cable News Network


It was one of those moments when you just knew something big just happened.

Have you ever been with someone as they took a phone call and received some HUGE news? It is so obvious – their whole mannerisms and body language change in a flash. Thus was the case during lunch a few weeks ago when James, one of the youth pastors at our church answered THE call. CNN wanted to come to Tampa to do a story on the youth group at Grace Family Church. Big news. The buzz around church and through the youth group built for the next few weeks. The CNN crew has been hanging around Grace and the teens for the past few days attempting to capture whatever it is unique about these youths.

This past Sunday night the cameras were rolling as the youth service began. I took a seat on the second floor, up and behind the action to observe. I’m sure most in attendance would agree that the presence of the cameras and reporters influenced the service to some degree. I watched as the service went “live”. The teens were doing their best not to look at the cameras and trying to act “normal”…Teens acting normal? Hmm….

But from my lofty perch something began to boil inside of me. The praise and worship time (something so sweet and tender) was infiltrated with cameras literally inches away from some of the young faces. The more intense the worshiper, the more attention given by the cameras and crew. I can not judge the heart and sincerity of these teens. I do not doubt most of the teens worship was authentic, being similar to other youth nights. But I am certain that some picked up on the “in thing” and joined in the “worship”. All the while I am thinking – “What must God be thinking? He is a jealous God – these cameras are invading His time with the kids.” And “How dare these teens act for the camera!” I had a good mad going and then WHAM! The Holy Spirit kicked me.

He told me:

1 – I serve a sovereign God and He will use this to and for His glory.
2 – This buzz has reached and drew unchurched teens.
3 – The CNN crew heard the Gospel in possibly a new and fresh way.
4 – His Word never returns void.
5 – This one hurt – have I ever turned it up for the camera? Have I ever ministered to or prayed over someone with less than a pure heart, wanting others to think I am “spiritual”? Guilty…Please forgive me Holy Spirit…Ouch AMEN.

John 9 reads: “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love.” Maybe, just maybe, this CNN piece will reach someone somewhere. Somewhere within their World Wide Network there lives a child of God who needs to hear that his Father loves him.

Isn’t that just like our God to take a liberal news organization like CNN to spread His Good News?

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