Lies Young Women Believe co-author, Dannah Gresh and her team recently facilitated several events near Atlanta, GA. Literally hundreds of teenagers, young girls, and adults were recipients of messages of modesty and purity taught by Dannah and other Pure Freedom speakers. I caught up with Dannah and asked her some questions about these events. I thought I’d pass it along to give you a taste of the type of ministry Dannah does and to get you talking about the way that the message of purity is being taught to your generation. Check it out.
You recently had some events in Georgia. What did you do there?
“We had a Secret Keeper Girl event for 650 plus overflow! One of our best ones yet.” (Note: Secret Keeper Girl events are held for 8-12 year old girls and their moms. A team of facilitators use high-energy activities and interactive teaching to present concepts like modesty, purity, positive peer pressure, and the power of media. Secret Keeper Girl events are held all over the country.) “The church had a full banquet for moms and daughters before hand and there was just a sweet spirit there. We did a ‘scream meter’ contest and the girls almost busted my eardrums on stage. They definitely out-screamed the moms…no scream meter needed. We followed it up with one of our signature teen events with about 400 6-12th grade students.”
Describe what your teen events are like.
“They’re crazy! We duct tape guys to the wall. We have a fashion show for the girls. It’s all about interactive, fun learning. But during every single activity, we are digging deeply into the word of God for Truth! Kids want that. They want spiritual meat! The best part, I think, is the spirit of transparency at these events. Our entire team tells our individual stories – some of incredible purity and others of healing from sexual sin. In doing so, we take off our masks of perfection and it frees the students to do that too. The result is amazing repentance. And that leads to great revival.”
What was the response at your recent teen event?
“One of the most exciting stories happened on Friday night. A mother walked up to me. She said she’d been at one of our California events several years ago. (Yes, this event was in Atlanta! The mom had moved.) At that event, her daughter felt for the first time that she could be real and take off her mask of perfection. She confided in her small group leader that she had been cutting and was contemplating suicide. Three days after our event, her mom checked her into a hospital under a suicide watch. The cause? A guy. The girl had been separated by a move from a guy and was inflicting physical pain on herself as a result. She went on to find healing and today is a vibrant believer in college and doing great. At these events the kids find a safe place. And that leads to a new beginning for them.”
Why do you think that your approach to the issue of purity has such a profound effect?
The transparency! Students crave it. They want to know that they are not alone in their struggles and temptations. I look at Peter, the Rock – he writes in one of his epistles about being ready to defend the faith. It is almost with a winsomeness…as if he’d wished he hadn’t denied his relationship with Christ. Transparency is the key to leadership. I really believe that. Otherwise, we’re just Pharisees.”
What are the needs that you and your team recognize among this generation of young women in the area of purity?
“Technology is killing today’s teens. From text messaging to the Internet, they have this un-monitored world that they live in. In Lies Young Women Believe, we write about that. The 1,000 girls we surveyed said that they were more likely to gossip, use mild to wild profanity, look at sexual things or even place mildly provocative photos of themselves online or through text messages. I think that we give some good arguments and tips for accountability inLies Young Women Believe.
What is coming up for you and the Pure Freedom team?
“We’re hitting the road for a mini-tour sponsored by Cedarville University in April. We’ll be in several cities with either a one-night power rally or our weekend event. It’s the first time we’ve toured like this, so I’m really excited. We usually do one city a month, but this will hit like six cities in a week. I’m praying for lots of revival and I hope someLies Young Women Believe readers will come out to meet us.”
I (Erin again) was at one of the very first purity events that Dannah ever facilitated. I was 15 at the time and it was at that event that I made the commitment to sexual purity that I kept until my wedding day. It wasn’t that Dannah was the first adult to address the issue of sexual purity with me. But she was the first one to talk about the topic openly and honestly. I learned that sex wasn’t a scary subject that I needed to be afraid of. I was deeply affected by the same transparency that affected the teenagers who attended the Pure Freedom event in Georgia, and other events around the country.
I have been wondering who is teaching you about sexual purity? Who is helping you to decipher the messages about sex offered by the world? Is Dannah right? Are girls your age craving transparency in this area of their lives? Where are you finding that kind of transparent guidance?
Check out Pure Freedom’s schedule at www.purefreedom.org.