Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us

2002 PE Report stories

Congregations demonstrate weekly prayer yields results (December 30, 2001)

L.A. Dream Center, Angelus Temple make history, reach more with merge (December 16, 2001)

Rain, gang doesn't halt impact of newly formed congregation (December 9, 2001)

Women urged to minister hope at global gathering (November 25, 2001)

Volunteers meet needs at Pentagon cleanup (November 18, 2001)

Fear, uncertainty open window of opportunity for evangelism (November 11, 2001)

'Jump for Jesus' raises $40,000 for STL (October 21, 2001)

Widows, single mothers gain practical blessings (October 14, 2001)

Five new executive presbyters elected (September 30, 2001)

Credit card 'freedoms' tempt college students (September 16, 2001)

Fellowship, nation show ethnic makeup changes (August 26, 2001)

Congregations extend a hand, spread gospel after tropical storm (August 19, 2001)

Single-parent families find hope at camp (August 12, 2001) caught in middle of culture war (July 22, 2001)

Pentecostal World Conference looks toward future cooperation (July 13, 2001)

Crossover Community Church ministers to hip-hop culture (July 8, 2001)

Prison chaplain hooked on ministry (June 24, 2001)

National Singles team convenes, plans regional conferences (June 17, 2001)

Children's ministries take center stage (June 10, 2001)

U.S. Christians trek to Israel despite news reports of danger (May 27, 2001)

A/G ministries combat eating disorders (May 20, 2001)

Mobilizing laity leads to church growth (May 13, 2001)

Fellowship convenes conference for women (April 29, 2001)

14,547 'honored guests' attend Convoy of Hope outreach in Dallas (April 22, 2001)

Hollywood sends wrong signals on teen smoking (April 15, 2001)

Iowa community faces unique challenges (April 8, 2001)

Churches support ministries to lead youth out of lifestyle (March 25, 2001)

English lessons reach Chinese with gospel (March 18, 2001)

A/G church, police, schools partner for strong community (March 11, 2001)

Church uses 'human hunt' as evangelism tool for teens (February 25, 2001)

Ministering in the fast lane (February 18, 2001)

Abstinence education saves lives, futures (February 11, 2001)

Donated food helps Convoy of Hope extend hand around the world (January 21, 2001)

American Indian College students impact boarding school (January 14, 2001)

2000 News Digest stories

Abstinence education saves lives, futures

(February 11, 2001)

Rachel Chima, an abstinence educator and A/G layperson, is in her element. In front of her are 50 teen-agers whom she has captivated with songs, comedy and games. Now, convinced of their undivided attention, she segues into the heart of her presentation.

Rachel Chima: "When we teach teens abstinence we are telling them that they can have the best life has to offer and they can succeed."

"Your teachers invited me here because they want you to have the best [sexual relationship] possible," she proclaims, which stokes an already jittery crowd. "But you can’t have that right now because that only happens between married partners."

Silence grips the students. Chima then rattles off statistics and the consequences of premarital sex. The students hang on every word.

Across the United States, Assemblies of God leaders and laypeople such as Chima are extolling the virtues of abstinence at public schools, from the pulpit and in crisis pregnancy ministries.

"We cover everything from sexuality, character, sexually transmitted diseases, relationships and the effects of broken sexual relationships," says Chris Lerma, a Master’s Commission staff member at Glad Tidings A/G in Austin, Texas, who teaches abstinence education in public schools. "We encourage kids to save sex until marriage."

That, say experts, is a good thing. Premarital sex is not only a sin; it’s dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, 3 million American teens will contract a sexually transmitted disease this year. The sixth leading cause of death among persons 15-24 years of age, the CDC says, is due to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and more than 900,000 teens will become pregnant this year. Almost one-third of them will have an abortion.

Many educators believe teens are being shortchanged by a society bent on promoting "safer sex" and instant gratification. After eight years of teaching abstinence education in Ohio’s public schools, Chima is convinced teens not only need biblically based guidance about sex; they want it.

"Teens are looking for absolutes in their search of the truth," she says. "In talking about abstinence we are awakening dreams in them. We are showing them that abstinence is a choice for life and that by saying no to alcohol, drugs and sex they are saying yes to life."

Jacob Moyer, a youth pastor at Alamo Christian Center (Ken Jones, pastor) in Alamo, Calif., says several external forces are destroying the morals of teen-agers.

"The awesome sacredness that God intended for sex has been taken away by the media," he says. "Teens can learn anything anytime through their friends, the Internet, movies and television. Whoever reaches them first can determine whether they will abstain from sex or not."

The best and most influential teachers of sexual morals, experts say, are parents. However, many Christian parents have sidestepped the task.

"It is not easy, as parents, to talk to teens about sexual activity and behavior," says Cindi Boston, an A/G layperson and director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Springfield, Mo. "Parents always have that hesitation, but they must be responsible. It’s their God-given duty to bring their kids up to fear and love God and show them His true purpose for their lives."

Ellen Atchley, also an A/G layperson and director of Pregnancy Resource Center in Delta, Colo., agrees.

"Two factors that will curtail sexual involvement among teens before marriage are strong parental involvement in a teen’s life and a vow to remain pure by the teen-ager," she says. "In order for the teen to make and keep a vow like that the teen must have accurate information. If parents don’t accept the responsibility of providing that information, the kids are not going to fulfill their vow."

Chima says abstinence education is an avenue to show teens they are valuable in God’s eyes.

"When we teach teens abstinence we are telling them that they can have the best life has to offer and they can succeed."

— Kirk Noonan

E-mail this page to a friend.
©1999-2009 General Council of the Assemblies of God