At JesusCares.com, hurting teens and young adults from across the globe find comfort, guidance, and the answers they desperately seek. An initiative of Groundwire, JesusCares.com follows and expands the remarkably effective model that has touched millions of young viewers and listeners since 2006. Using a multi-pronged strategy, Groundwire leverages media and technology to meet the age 15-25 demographic exactly where they are — viewing, listening, texting, or chatting — and to invite them to voice their questions and struggles so they can find answers in the message of the Gospel. Young people listening to popular radio broadcasts or viewing favorite shows on networks like CW, MTV, VH1, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming, and Comedy Central are interrupted by direct advertising spots that catch their attention, resonating with where they are today.
The JesusCares.com initiative includes targeted, authentic, and well-produced commercials that grab the attention of young viewers and listeners by the millions. As they respond to the broadcast messages, they are invited to visit the JesusCares.com website where they can chat with a live spiritual coach available day and night, as well as find a collection of resources such as podcasts by Groundwire’s founder and executive director, Sean Dunn, and daily devotionals.
“Statistics indicate that 86% of teens believe in God, but most don’t believe He is loving. Even fewer believe they are lovable. What if this generation truly understood and responded to God’s offer of hope, truth, and purpose?” Dunn asks.
Since 2006, Groundwire has interacted with broken and searching youth on thousands of live chats. Students are drawn to the honest dialogue about spiritual issues, often receiving Christ as their Savior as a result of the coaches’ ministry. Coaches then do their best to connect visitors to local churches and resources where they can continue to grow in their faith. JesusCares.com looks to grow Groundwire’s reach in contemporary culture.
“Today’s younger generation hungers for a real and personal relationship with the Living God. And that really transcends culture. Unfortunately, a common misconception many older Christians have about young people is that they only desire interaction with others who are young like them and are products of the same culture,” Dunn says. “The truth is that this group is desperately in need of intergenerational connection. They crave it. The Jesus Cares initiative has already shown us that, when we make ourselves available to listen and respond, young people cling to that, and they are willing—even eager—to share their burdens and receive the Good News we offer.”
Hundreds of volunteers from around the world form a team that offers coaching 24 hours a day, and that number must increase alongside launches of the ministry in new locations. JesusCares.com is seeking coaches of all ages and backgrounds to be available when young seekers respond to the TV and radio ads—coaches like Sue. A resident of Northern California, Sue spends her days caring for her husband, who has Parkinson’s Disease, and her mother, who suffers from dementia. Neither can be left alone, so she spends only three hours a week away from the house. Sue is in her mid-60’s. Essentially, she is homebound, yet, since she began coaching through JesusCares.com in June of 2014, she has led 66 young people to Christ.
One of those new believers is Lori, an 18-year-old who lives in the United Kingdom. When Lori reached out to JesusCares.com, she was struggling with a history of self-harm (cutting) and contemplating suicide. “I came on here as a last resort,” Lori shared after receiving Christ during her chat with Sue. “I have 168 tablets I was going to take to end my life. Now I’m going to flush them down the toilet.”
JesusCares.com is rapidly expanding, having arrived in Colorado Springs and Chicago during the first and second quarters of 2015. The initiative will launch in South Bend, Indiana around the first of June, and fundraising efforts are underway to support upcoming launches in Dallas, Tampa, and Denver in October.
To bring JesusCares to your community or to sign up as a coach, go to www.JesusCares.com.
Audio interview with Sean Dunn available for download and broadcast.