Ransom Relaunches Online Outreach to College Students

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has relaunched RANSOM, a web community targeting young adults. (BGEA)

What is your RANSOM worth?

The answer can be elusive or even crippling for young adults dealing with today’s real world issues.

“We all have a story to tell,” Cissie Graham Lynch, special projects producer, said. “We can hide from our issues but it’s not going to get us through it.”

RANSOM.tv, a web site community geared toward young adults, has relaunched at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association with the goal of encouraging believers with RANSOM stories and Scripture, reaching to those who are hurting.

The target audience is young adults in college and early career stages of their lives.

“It’s such an important time in your life,” says Joe Gruber, a RANSOM volunteer who ministered to people at both the Rock the Range and Rock the Lakes events the past two weekends in Denver and Milwaukee. “Statistics say that a majority of Christians fall away [from the church] after they get out of the home. There’s a desperate need.”

So what’s behind the name RANSOM?

“The Bible said Jesus 'did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many,'” says Lynch, quoting Mark 10:45 (NIV). “We’ve all been ransomed from something. We all have a story to tell. If He can stand and take all our shame, why should I be ashamed to tell my story if it can be used for His glory?”

Featured on RANSOM.tv will be music videos, articles on social/cultural topics, devotionals, spiritual help articles, music, movie and fashion reviews, short films, interviews, and user-submitted content.

“We want to build a trusting community,” Lynch says. “We have a network of contributors who will be featured weekly and monthly that people can look forward to hearing from.

“We want RANSOM to be a safe place where people won’t feel judged or pressure from the world. It’s a place where they can feel safe to ask the hard questions.”

Each month, RANSOM will have a unique theme—starting in September with "Identity"—that will deal directly with the questions hindering young adults’ ability to live in complete freedom of Christ.

“It’s our duty as Christians to answer those questions because we stand on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Lynch says.

Gruber had plenty of opportunity to answer some hard questions, staffing the RANSOM tent in both Milwaukee and Denver. In front of the tent stood a canvas where people were encouraged to write what they’ve been personally ransomed from.

Throughout both weekends, Gruber was able to share and minister to many, most memorably a teenager in Milwaukee who had been dealing drugs since age 15, but had been out of the scene for months.

“He must have smoked like six cigarettes in the 30 minutes I was talking to him,” Gruber says. “He said, ‘I’m sorry. I know I’m cussing. I need to get back on track for the Lord.’ I just encouraged him with the word that God is going to complete the work that he’s started in you.”

For Gruber, it was a microcosm of how RANSOM.tv can minister to anyone’s life.

“A lot of them are Christians that just need to be encouraged in their faith,” Gruber says. “RANSOM is another resource or tool, if you will. RANSOM.tv can reach some of these people.”

There are many ways for young people to stay connected with RANSOM. Besides RANSOM.tv, communities will be forming on RANSOM Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

“I believe this generation wants to be transparent,” Lynch says. “Jesus took our shame in front of the whole world. I’m not going to be ashamed of what he’s done in my life.”

Used with permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

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