This year marks the 60thanniversary of Teen Challenge. Wow. Six decades of men and women following the calling in their hearts to launch life-changing, Christ-centered programs around the world!
There’s a lot to reflect on:
- Hundreds-of-thousands of men, women, boys, and girls have graduated from our programs with transformed lives
- Countless families have been restored and have seen hope return
- Millions of hours have been invested by staff, board members, volunteers—and leaders like you
- Millions of dollars have been spent on buying or building facilities
- Thousands of graduates have become staff, pastors, evangelists or missionaries
- And, finally, think of how many people are in heaven today because of Teen Challenge. How many will more be there when we join them?
Hallelujah! I could go on and on about the many blessings from our 60-year history. But today, I want to focus on the core program that has made such a difference in the lives of everyone who entered our doors.
As you may know, last year our office surveyed Teen Challenge center around the world. The survey uncovered the fact that although each center has unique regional and cultural aspects to their work, their area common set of program elements in virtually every Teen Challenge program worldwide.
Teen Challenge’s core program is a long-term, faith-based residential program focused on recovery, reintegration and building a stronger relationship with God.
Most Teen Challenge programs offer the best practices that have proven to contribute to sobriety and to living free from addiction:
- Long-term duration—at least 12 months
- An individualized, cognitive behavioral approach to care
- Spiritual development
- Promotion of healthy life practices
- Strong community support
Our core program is something to be proud of—it has stood the test of time and has proven effective in every culture of the world. And, when you think of the sixty years that have passed and our growth to 1,400 residential centers in 110 nations of the world, this kind of organizational fidelity is amazing!
Our global network is one of the largest, if not the largest, addiction care provider in the world. Together, we house 20,000 men, women, boys and girls who desperately need freedom from addiction, and we bring the light of the Gospel to some of the darkest communities on earth.
As you and I see every day, addicts that enter our centers have a real chance of living drug-free for the rest of their lives. And we know that this transformation comes from the power of Christ.He is the vital part of the entire process of change.
I encourage you in our 60th anniversary year to stay true to our principles. Stay the course on implementing our core program. As a worldwide family, let’s hold our heads high and be proud of what we represent.
Our efforts to put hope within reach of every addict are in obedience to His command to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...” (Matthew 28:19 NKJV). I like the way The Message says it: “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life...Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
He has been with us, is with us right now, and will be with us as we continue!
You are an amazing group of leaders, staff, and volunteers, offering your lives in service of the Lord to care for the hurting.Thank you for your faithfulness and daily service. Thank you for staying true to the life-changing core program of Teen Challenge.
Jerry Nance, PhD
Global Teen Challenge