What is a 30-Day Secular Media Fast?

What if the noise of godless media is drowning out the voice of God? Not all media is bad... but maybe the distraction away from God is making harder to hear and see God at work.

This is a journey of a group of high school students who have committed to take 30 days to focus on God through God-centered media. This includes TV, movies, books, magazines, smart phone apps, and many social media outlets.

Here, you can follow their stories, their lives, and their challenges. Feel free to leave comments and encouragement.

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Relate
Respond

Thursday, April 6, 2017

15 Years!

For the past 15 years, we have challenged students to step up and meet the ultimate test... can you take 30 days, avoid media that is not focused on God, and spend that extra time working on your relationships with others and with God.

I can honestly say that every year, I am so proud of how we have High School students who not only take the challenge, but inspire others along the way. Over the past 15 years, we have averaged over 20 students per year who step up. Add to the the 3-5 families who join in. We still have former students who participate in the fast each year!

We have written over 200 daily-devotionals... we have utilized book studies, prayer practices, and Bible study methods. About 10 years ago, we started this blog page to keep track of past experiences. Each year we challenge adults to not only sponsor students, but also to join in the fast... and every year I hear from 2 or 3 adults who are sponsors that join in with the students.

We do use this opportunity to raise money for our mission trips and over the last 15 years we have raised over $9000 per year to send kids onto mission trips to grow in their leadership skills, grow in the their faith, and learn how to share the Gospel with other people. We have no idea how many people have heard and seen the Gospel through these trips, but I know it has always impacted the students who go.

God is good! I have seen how He uses this simple expression of fasting from something that nudges us away from Him and I've seen how it impacts our students every year. For the first time in 15 years, I took this month to just observe, listen, and see how God is moving in our kids. It was not easy avoiding commenting on each blog post because I saw God working in so many ways (I am going back through now and commenting... haha). The Holy Spirit was definitely moving in their hearts!

I work within a culture that can only measure success on numbers. We say that we don't but the reality is that every time I talk to someone from another church, I get the same question: "How many kids are in your youth group?" I wonder if Jesus ever had a question like that? "How many kids in your group, Jesus?" "Well, it's been 3 years, we have 12 leaders, still... half of them are under 18... and then we have a few who show up from time to time," Jesus. 

What inspires me every year is not how many High School students who do the fast... it's how those that step up to the challenge are changed by focusing on God for 30 days... and this year, I love what God has done through our kids. Stories of taking stands for faith in class, having Gospel-centered conversations with friends, being asked to pray for sports teams, inviting friends to youth group, serving in children's ministry, sharing spontaneous devotionals for radio stations' Facebook pages... it has been an amazing month! It has been an amazing 15 years! There is something amazing that happens when the Gospel is elevated and centralized in our lives.

As we close out this year's fast, I want to give this final challenge... What are you doing to make Christ known? What are you committing to in order to grow in your faith? How is your faith nudging you to grow closer to God and others? Maybe... just maybe... a 30 day Media Fast will help you answer those questions, too!

Great job everyone! I'm incredibly honored and proud to be a small part of your spiritual journey. I can't wait to see what God does next in your lives!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Afterwards

     What a month it has been. The Media Fast has been complete for going on two days now, but I still feel like I'm in it. I so thoroughly enjoyed the early morning reminders that I am loved by a Wonderful Creator through the sunrises I saw and the songs on KLOVE I heard. I enjoyed having the only notifications on my phone be the daily Bible verse and when people posted on the blog. I enjoyed interacting with my friends face to face, talking and laughing and experiencing things with them that I didn't have to worry about posting on social media later to make me look "cool". Sure, there were moments of wishing I could listen to a certain secular song or watch a secular TV show (because as entertaining as Veggie Tales in the House is, it gets a little old after a while) but those moments were few and fleeting. I really enjoyed being able to do the Media Fast with my whole family because we got to experience the fast together and (I think and hope) that we grew together from it.
     I enjoyed all these things very much, but just because the Fast is over doesn't mean I can't keep enjoying them. I did go on social media on Saturday but I wasn't super interested in what was going on and I realized that I really didn't want to be on it because it didn't bring any more happiness or satisfaction into my life. I also listened to secular music for a while, which was more enjoyable, but I heard some songs whose lyrics I hadn't really paid attention to... until now. When I heard them I realized that a lot of them were sending negative messages and that "positive, encouraging KLOVE" is very true. So, I think I'll keep fasting, or at least limit my media usage and sensor the things that I'm putting into my head.
Thanks to all of you who did the Fast, thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors, and thank You, God, for giving us this amazing opportunity to see You more.
We did it!
Madeleine Jones

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"something catchy"

I thought I should write something catchy for this title. So I did.  The media fast is coming to a close and there are only 4 days left.  The end of this fast obviously will bring some people relief, and others more stress.  With me, I am going to miss it.  It is really important for us to have things like this in our lives that bring a challenge that can help us grow.  The biggest thing on my mind this year at the end of this media fast is quae est altera.  What is next?  We have spent so much time doing this fast, (or so little time not doing media) that it would seem pointless if there wasn't an impact.  Did you talk to anyone about this, or did you hide it.  Try talking to someone about your challenge and experience! Was there any change in your personal life that could help you for the better, whether that be cementing further you connection with the LORD or influencing other people's lives to direct them towards Christ?  What I'm saying is not to leave this fast behind in the "old memories" box or "things I tried once".  Make sure to take it with you, into your future, and let it change your view of the world.  Hopefully by now, you have noticed how much of an effect that the secular message the world gives through media can control you.  This is going to continue through your life after this fast, but hopefully, you'll recognize it and tell the difference between the enticing, (yet often seemingly normal and harmless), sinful message of the world, and the evidence of God's love and his word in our lives.  It's the same concept of the summer camp we go to, that you have to bring your experience and knowledge back with you.  I encourage everyone who's done the media fast this year to think of what's next.  What will be different about you or your everyday life?  And not everyone will have something different about their life, I'm not saying you have to.  At least think of what impact this fast had on your life and relationship with God, and what you can take out of it.  Good luck to everyone, almost done!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Nous allons finir bien!

     Sorry I haven't posted yet,(I still say procrastination is an art, not a bad habit),and it (the fast) is now more than halfway over!  I have still not had an extremely large amount of free time to allow for personal devotion, but I still have had more time than usual.  I can't really say anything profoundly amazing has happened due to the fast that I am not used to, and I hope that isn't taken as a sign of uncommittedness (yes that's a word it's in the dictionary).  I have some struggle with not becoming too involved with music and media in public situations, such as not singing a secular song, and just ignoring it instead, or looking away from TV's or people's phones.  Even some things in class that aren't necessary to my success can be ignored such as the movie in English we're watching, "Brave New World".  It is being shown in the class, but it isn't part of an assignment, it's just for fun.  Not being required for school, I shouldn't watch it.  Other than the public music thing, everything is going great.  I have also received some very nice and encouraging letters from my sponsors throughout the fast, and I am glad to know that they are with through it.  I hope that the fast is doing well for everyone, and I will continue my prayer for all of you, as I hope you will all do for me.

     Bon chance, Nous allons finir bien!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Where did it go?

I'm wondering where the time went, it literally seemed like last week or so when I started the fast and now it has been 18 days. Personally it has been smooth sailing, it helps having so much stuff going on that you dont have time for for all the media stuff. It also has been interesting the religious debates and discussions I have gotten into when I bring up i'm on a media fast, it defiantly is a fuel for conversation. Anyway, keep on praying for me and the rest of the fast-i-ans, we still dont know what God has in store for us