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Frontliners youth participation doubles for second summer
--By Doy Cave
  ATLANTA, June 15--For the second year in a row, the Frontliners evangelistic program for youth is reporting twice as many teens involved than the year before.
    And each new participant represents more individuals who will hear the gospel of Christ.
    Frontliners, a ministry of the Florida-based Kelly Green Evangelistic Association, now in its seventh year of operation, will see 2,700 teenagers canvass the streets of cities throughout the country over the next seven weeks -- more than doubling last year's participation of 1,200. The ministry is supported and promoted through the North American Mission Board.
    Green, founder and leader of the program, said, at its present rate of growth participation should reach 5,000 by the summer of 2000, and he hopes it will reach 15,000 within the next five years. Those 15,000 teenagers would represent roughly 750,000 people who hear the gospel as a result.
    About 600 Frontliners were on hand during Crossover Metro Atlanta in Centennial Olympic Park, June 12. Throughout the day teenagers shared the gospel and surveyed families and individuals.
    "Since Friday, over 100 people have given their lives to Christ and these teenagers have shared the gospel with about 4,000 people," he said. "That's how we stop Littleton, that's how we stop Paducah, that's how we stop Conyers -- with these young people."
    During the June 15-16 Southern Baptist Convention, the teenagers -- hosted by two Atlanta area churches -- are going door to door equipped with witnessing training and prospect surveys.
    "By the end of this week, these young people will have close to 30,000 contacts, and by contacts I mean people who are surveyed, witnessed to or have gotten tracts," Green said.
    "These youth locate families who are unchurched," said Liz Hunt, Frontliners coordinator. "When we leave here, the church has a stack of prospects that they will follow up on."
    Green said the response from churches has been overwhelming. Frontliners already has invitations from 13 churches for next summer.
    Monday night, after only one day of work in the neighborhoods surrounding Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker, Ga., and Peachtree Corners Baptist Church in Norcross, 61 people had professed faith in Christ and 951 people had heard the gospel. At a praise, worship and testimony time after Monday's door-to-door evangelism stint, teenagers "recharged their battery" to go out on Tuesday and do it again.
    Teens comforted each other after a long day and encouraged one another not to lose heart if they didn't see the immediate results of their work.
    "If you don't lead someone to the Lord, you have planted a seed in their life," said a Frontliners participant named Heather from Arkansas.
    She said her group was initially frustrated because they visited eight houses where people were reluctant to accept Christ. Finally, after standing in one yard and praying, she and her two partners, Andy and Jennifer, led a 14-year old girl to Christ.
    "It was so awesome," she said.
    Brad Hughes, a student from Rehoboth Baptist Church, Tucker, Ga., said this was the first time he had ever spent a day witnessing to people. He said after one particular experience he saw how only God is responsible for salvation.
    Hughes' group was walking through a neighborhood and saw a young man mowing the lawn. The group stopped and asked if he'd like to know Jesus, and the man simply replied, "Yes, yes I would."
    "After we prayed the prayer with him, he said he felt like someone was going to share with him today," Hughes said. He didn't live there, he added. He just happened to be cutting that lawn that day.
    Hugh Kirby, youth minister at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga., said this is the second year he has brought a group of middle-school students to Frontliners and will continue to participate.
    "What I love about Frontliners is that it teaches the gospel in a fun and relevant way," he said, "and it gives kids the confidence to boldly share their faith."
    Green and Hunt say the program is a complete summer missions experience for teens. When they leave, the two say they will take much with them.
    "This is one of the few places where kids come and train for evangelism and in the same afternoon go and put it into practice," Hunt said.
    "I think they leave here with passion, with focus, and I think they leave understanding what the priority of the Great Commission is first and foremost," Green said.

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