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To reach cities for Christ, begin with teens: Strack
--By Tony Imms
    ATLANTA, June 16 -- Reaching the cities for Christ must in large part be focused on America's teenagers, Jay Strack told messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 16 in Atlanta.
    Strack, president of the Jay Strack Evangelistic Association and Millennium Chorus, Inc., in Orlando, Fla., spoke in the Wednesday morning interpretation of the convention's theme, "His Tears -- Our Task!"
    Strack described today's youth as "a tribe apart," a culture that must be reached.
    He noted that 88 percent of persons between the ages of 12 and 19 attend no religious service of any kind.
    "The church is not on the radar screen of this generation," Strack said. "If we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep having what we're having. And what we're having is not working."
    Strack cited the "crumbling of homes," the "coldness of churches," the "corruptness of culture" and the "crisis in classrooms" as reasons for the problems facing teenagers today. More metal detectors are now installed in schools than in airports, prisons and courthouses, he said.
    Strack said churches don't reach out to teenagers because "we don't like the way they look, we don't like the way they dress, we don't like the music they listen to." As a result, "It appears we don't care."
    Strack urged messengers to return to their churches with the message that "enough is enough. We have to quit playing church and playing games and making people in our churches happy."

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