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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

2004 Conversations

Alicia Chole: The truth about joy (12/28/03)

Cookies and Christmas: A roundtable discussion (12/21/03)

John Tesh: In pursuit of passion (12/14/03)

AGWM's L. John Bueno: Bread of life (11/23/03)

Teen Challenge's John Castellani: Christ breaks addictions (11/16/03)

Christian humorist Justin Fennell: Justifiably funny (10/19/03)

Representative Marilyn Musgrave: The role of Christians in government (10/12/03)

Dennis Gaylor: Fifty more campuses (9/28/03)

Kathy Troccoli: A message of hope (9/21/03)

Kristy Starling: Dreams come true (9/14/03)

CeCe Winans Love: Of Gospel and Grammies (8/31/03)

Gary Heavin: Faith and fitness (8/24/03)

Gracia Burnham: Grace in the jungle (8/17/03)

Seattle Mariner John Olerud: Hope when your health fails (8/10/03)

Chris Maxwell: Pastor recovering from memory loss (7/27/03)

Wayne Warner: Today’s Pentecostal Evangel: a historical view (7/20/03)

Paul Drost: Every church a parent or a partner (7/13/03)

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger: What can be learned from history? (6/29/03)

Ron Drye: Ministering to the whole person (6/22/03)

Matt McPherson: Doing business by the Golden Rule (6/15/03)

The difference (6/8/03)

Fory VandenEinde: Fulfilling the Great Commission (5/25/03)

Tom Greene: The church's new generation (5/18/03)

Lisa Whelchel: Former sitcom star now an advocate for moms (5/11/03)

Tony Lamarque: Warden speaks about unconditional love (4/27/03)

Ann Graham Lotz: Just give her more of Jesus (4/20/03)

Lee Strobel: The case for Christ (4/13/03)

Randall K. Barton: Extravagant stewardship (3/30/03)

Bishop Gilbert Patterson: Bringing people together under Christ (3/23/03)

Pat Boone: A unique celebrity speaks out (3/16/03)

St. Clair Mitchell: God in Washington, D.C. (3/9/03)

Kay Gross: Ministry by women, ministry to women (2/23/03)

Thomas E. Trask: A historic General Council (2/16/03)

Denise Jones: Girls of Grace (2/9/03)

Doug Greengard: Beyond the NFL (1/26/03)

Three pro-life advocates call the church to action (1/19/03)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: The gospel in uniform (1/12/03)

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations


The church’s new generation

Tom Greene is director of Assemblies of God National Youth Ministries. He travels across the United States, rallying support for youth ministries such as Speed the Light, Fine Arts and Ambassadors in Mission (AIM). He spoke recently with Isaac Olivarez, staff writer.

PE: What attributes do youth bring to the local church?

GREENE: There’s a vibrancy that youth bring through their enthusiasm and energy. Especially in the church today, young people bring a new dynamic to praise and worship; they seem to be more ready to enter into worship than they ever have been. Through the raising of hands and singing, there’s a burst of enthusiasm that seems to be brought to the entire church when young people are involved.

PE: What challenges do teens face when they come to know Christ?

GREENE: It’s a challenge to share their faith with the friends they’ve been running with. They have immediate decisions to make about whether those friendships are going to be able to continue, because they’re going to face some opposition from those friends as to this new way of life they’re following. Sometimes new young believers face the challenge of how well they are received in the local church. Though things may change immediately in their heart, there may not be an immediate change in their appearance or even in some of their personal choices. The way the church responds to them and their newfound faith is a great determining factor in their continuing in their faith.

PE: If I were a teen with tattoos and earrings, would Christ still want me to follow Him?

GREENE: Absolutely. Christ has never turned anyone down. Scripture admonishes us to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12). In times past, we’ve often used that to justify our lifestyle. But if we’re not careful, we fail to follow through on the remainder of that Scripture, which says, “with fear and trembling.” In dealing with a young believer, it’s not a matter of what I’m looking for as a leader or parent or anything else; it’s a matter of helping the young person understand how to work out the right relationship with God in light of His Word. Young people who mark themselves with their dress, tattoos and piercings are usually crying out for more attention and more genuine love than teens that don’t do those things. It’s a statement of “Please notice I’m alive, and if you’ll just care about me you might be surprised how I’ll respond to that.”

PE: Is it a sin to struggle or to be tempted?

GREENE: No. Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15). But the key phrase after that is “yet [He was] without sin.” So when we’re challenged to be like Him, we can overcome that sin. Temptation in no way is sin; it’s the yielding to that temptation that is sin. That’s one thing we need to be careful that we teach this generation. If temptation were a sin, we would be in trouble because there’s temptation all around teens today.

PE: What’s the best way for teens to engage others in conversations about faith?

GREENE: Genuinely seek out another person’s thoughts. In the world we live in today — with the reality of war, cultural breakdown, the struggles of the American home and all that our young people are facing — this is a serious time. Teenagers are facing those times. Being a genuine friend will include the great times of fun and light-hearted conversation, but will develop a relationship that says, “I’m there when you need me.” Young people need to be available as genuine friends, not just as “Christian” friends.

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