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Billy Graham-Style: Teen Launches Ministry to Reach His Generation, Hundreds Choose Christ

Billy Graham-Style: Teen Launches Ministry to Reach His Generation, Hundreds Choose Christ Read Transcript

19-year-old Jordan Whitmer founded and leads a national

student movement dedicated to reaching high school students

with the gospel.

It is called How to Life, and Jordan joins us now

to tell us the story.

Jordan, thanks a lot for joining us today.

Yes, I'm so excited to be here with you all today, Heather.

Jordan, you started How to Life a few years ago when

you were in high school in Arkansas

because you wanted to reach other high school

students for Christ.

Of course, there's the church, lots of ministries

designed to reach teenagers.

What was your idea for reaching them?


Well, I'm very passionate about the next generation,

My generation of teenagers today that just so desperately needs


We live in a society that needs Jesus more and more

now than ever.

So my junior year of high school, I

and some of my friends mobilized a completely high school

student-led youth outreach event because we

felt like an event led completely by high school

students would have a great opportunity

to truly reach students with the gospel.

So we planned an event that had student-led worship, drama,

and speakers, all sharing stories about all that Jesus

had done in their life.

And at this very first event that we did in March of 2015

in northern Arkansas in my hometown,

we had over 750 students attend.

And you wouldn't believe, but there were 75 students

that night that made commitments to Christ, which we thought

was just so powerful, through a completely student-led event

to share Jesus with teenagers.

Jordan, what do you think it is about students

leading, students organizing?

I mean, how do you think that makes

a difference versus if adults plan something?

It makes a huge difference because high school students

listen to their friends more than anyone else.

And unfortunately, that's the way it is.

I wish teenagers would listen to adults more, and listen

to parents and grandparents and youth

pastors and different folks.

But in many cases, the truth is that teenagers

listen to their friends more than anyone else.

So when a high school student can be the one

to share Jesus with their friends

through a student-led event like in How to Life,

it's just so powerful to see what can take place.

And that's what we've seen take place so far

with this event, which has now become much more

than just an event, but a movement that

has been spreading all over the country of teenagers that

are wanting to reach their friends for Jesus.

How do the events actually look different

because students are leading them?

Do you think-- is it different language,

different style of music?

What is it that makes the difference?

Well, the biggest difference is

that unlike a traditional youth event, which those are great,

the type of event that this is it's

all high school students that are

on the stage at an event like this.

They're stepping up to share their stories.

And at another event you might have an adult get up

and share and speak for a little while.

But in this sort of How to Life event, what happens is

it's high school students that are on the stage.

There's no one on the stage of an event like this

over the age of 18.

It's all teenagers, high school students.

And when a high school student hears

their friends speak, it's just incredible what

God can do through that as, like I said,

high school students listen to their friends.

So something like this has just been

so powerful to see teenagers get up to share Jesus

and to see what God is able to do through willing high school

students that want to take a stand for Jesus.

It's very exciting.

And you've grown pretty fast.

You're in five states already, you've had 14 events,

and you're looking at 12 more.

How do you explain this growth in just a couple years?


You're right.

We've so far had events in five states.

And then this next year, this movement

of high school students is spreading

to a total of 12 states.

So far we've already reached over 5,000 students

face to face with the gospel through this student-led

movement, with over 450 students that have made commitments

to Christ through this growing movement.

And I would say that this growth has just

continued to come from God, who has just been mobilizing

students around the country that are passionate about this.

And through tools that are available today,

through social media apps like Instagram

and different programs, we've had

ways to continue to network teenagers

together across the country so they can hear about this

and be a part of this growing movement.

And then this next year, this will

be as far north as Illinois, as far south as Texas,

as far east as Florida, and as far west as Colorado

and these 12 states that are planning events this year

in as many as 20 communities this school year.

All right.

And Jordan, for students that want to get involved,

are you able to give them resources, some guidance?

How does it work?


There's so many ways for people to get involved with this.

And if you're a student, we'd love for you to reach out.

We're on Instagram at @howtolifemovement.

To And there's ways for you to be able to just straight up

message us if you're interested in being involved,

or if you know a teenager, connect them

with @howtolifemovement.

Or there's a website,

And either of those ways are ways that, if you're a student,

you can get involved, as well as adults.

We want you guys to continue to just to pray

and to support these teenagers in this growing movement.

And there's more ways that you can

learn how to do that on our website in different ways.

We would love to connect anywhere in the United States

or around the world.

There's people that are learning about this

and wanting to be a part of this very unique, completely

student-led high school movement to share Jesus with others.

All right.

And Jordan, just on a personal note,

it sounds like you're on a pretty fast track yourself.

You're 19 and you're a second semester

senior, is that correct?

That is correct.

I'm a second semester senior with Liberty University online.

And I've been doing online school, which

allows me to travel and for God and be

able to use me in those ways.

And it's just been an incredible experience learning and just

moving quickly through the doors that God

is continuing to open up.

And I'm just personally so encouraged and looking forward

to seeing all that God is going to continue

to do through this growing movement of teenagers.

Like I said earlier, I'm passionate about my generation

of teenagers that desperately need

Jesus, perhaps more than any other generation before.

And to see teenagers step up to make a difference, it's unique,

it's different.

It's not what most people expect.

But that's what this has been all about.

And I'm so encouraged by what God is doing and looking

forward to seeing what God is going to continue

to use the #howtolife student-led movement to do

in the years to come.

All right.

Well, Jordan, I know we all hear our fair share

of bad news in the media.

So this is really fun and awesome

to think how God is working here.

Thanks so much for your time, Jordan Whitmer.

Thank you so much.

So appreciate it today.


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