America has a chemical relapse problem!
The Chemical relapse rate (Which is returning to a behavior one attempted to quit) for addictive drugs ranges from 50% on the low end to 90% on the high end [Adolescent Illicit Drug Use-Understanding and Addressing the Problem. (2005).] In a recent survey, 66.5% of high school seniors reported drinking alcohol and 31.5% reported using "weed" in the last 12 months. The cost of substance abuse is substantial to America. The Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is exacting over $600 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and healthcare. [National Drug Intelligence Center (2010). National Threat Assessment: The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society. Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice.]
It's time for a change!
It's time for the Church to take back the streets. AA is great, but it needs help. NA is great, but the relapse rate continues. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is great, but not most effective alone. We do not need any additional grant funded drug programs. We need the Church to reach, restore and release those in reach of its doors. If every Church will clean around its own front door, we will see a change. How? Displaying the love of God in meaningful transcendence through youth ministries of impact.
There is a system in place, including the justice system and grant funded rehab programs, committed to addressing the adult epidemic of addiction. I would encourage all clergymen to invest in programs of youth prevention/intervention. Targeting ages 0-21 is an effective and sound economic strategy through which we can position ourselves for change in the next 20 years. Ministry is costly!
If we continue to spread our limited labor and resources across all ages, the epidemic will continue to escalate. Focus, is the key to deliverance in this area of our society.
What do we offer:
First, the greatest emphasis has to be on ages 4-12. If we can build meaningful relationships with our young people at an earlier age we have the capacity to plant the promise. If we train up a child in the right way, we have the promise this child will not depart.
Secondly, we are to spare no cost in reaching our teens. If we fail to reach them prior to 19 it becomes increasingly more troublesome to plough through the layers of life to touch the core of the problem- Jesus or the lack of Jesus.
During my earlier days of ministry with Young Life, I met kids on their "turf". When I look back at the last twenty years of ministry, I often invite them to my "turf". It is important I and all other clergymen meet young people on his and her level. We are wisest to speak their language and give them the microphone to be heard. If we engage the youth, we can win the youth. If we win the youth, they will reach other youth. If the youth are won in our cities, we can win the youth in our state. If we can win the state, we can win the nation. If we can win the nation, we can win the world. It starts with wining one child at a time.
There are many problems in life. Today I took the time to mention the problems of crime and chemical addiction but there are many. The only person I know that is able to fix all the world's problems is Jesus Christ. The only person I know that can fix your personal problems is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the answer to any problem you face in life.
I am calling on people of faith to pray for the addicted and afflicted.
- Pastor Sabra
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Life Lessons on the recorded miracles of Jesus Christ taught by Pastor Sabra with free video links, printable messages and downloadable group study guides radically imparting spiritual seeds of success into your life, go to pastorsabrajohnson.com/pastor-sabra-study-guides.html
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