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.


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

Friday, March 17, 2017

The difference a day can make

What a difference a week can make. Actually, what a difference an hour can make. After my last Sound of Music pit orchestra performance on Saturday I finally felt like I could breathe again. And then the time change. "Spring forward," they said, "it'll be fun!" They were wrong. Nevertheless, me feeling a little groggy didn't stop the Lord from working in me and through me. I noticed some very tiny,  delicate flowers on my walk home from school a couple days ago that I hadn't noticed before. The sun has been beautifully and brilliantly shining this week, and my friend group got to eat lunch outside two days in a row. How wonderful is that?
     I have loved noticing God's creation more and more as the month progresses, especially in the approaching spring spirit. I have felt His presence more and more, and though there are many ways to experience God, I think one of the most amazing ways is through His creation. Being able to watch sunsets and sunrises, hearing the birds sing in the morning and in the evenings, smell the sweetness of the morning air or the refreshing scent of fresh cut grass, taste homemade birch syrup on fluffy pancakes, and talk with the people that God has placed in my life.
     I'm continually learning from God, and I hope to keep learning and growing. We're halfway done!
Madeleine Jones

Sweet Tunes, Man

The media fast is an interesting time of year. This is only my second year doing it but both times around, it has been a period of growth and revelation. I have found that as much as I enjoy social media and tv throughout the year I have very little trouble staying off of it for the fast.

I definitely think staying away from my music has been the hardest thing. In an effort to replace my usual secular playlists, I have not only been listening to my favorite worship songs, but have also found a lot of new ones. About a week ago I played a random Christian spotify playlist while doing classwork in my last class of the day and I genuinely left school that day feeling calmer than I had in a while. I listen to a lot of music throughout the year and I have realized I don't listen to Christian music enough. There is something so powerful in listening and relating to someone else's music even when it's secular and when you bring that into christian music, when we make that connection in our faith it only makes the effect stronger. There is a reassurance that comes with listening to worship music throughout our daily lives. So much goes on in our lives it can be hard to stay focused on God or keep him in mind throughout our daily routine. At least for me the music serves as a reminder of who God is and that he's always with me even as I struggle or stress.

I hope everyone is enjoying their media fast experience. Keep up the great work! God Bless!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Half done but not half done

The media fast has gone by extremely quick...I mean it's already half done and I feel like it just started a couple of days ago. Thus far, it has been a very good couple of weeks and I haven't missed wasting away my time scrolling through my phone. Sometimes I will pause to watch television on my way back to my room but I usually remind myself to stop watching right away. Goodluck to everyone with the rest of March and hopefully past that!

Saturday, March 11, 2017


We are currently 37.02% of the way through of the media fast, (Yes, I added it up all the minutes). And it has been up and down, I have caught myself just mindlessly starting to watch TV so I have to keep reminding  myself that I am not doing that right now... but on the flipped side, I have not had the urges to watch TV, Music, it has just been when I am not thinking about it. I have been looking around a lot more at nature and stuff on the way home from school, walking, etc, and I am realy wondering how the evolution people can even believe the crap they call their beliefs. It boggles my mind. Like, everything in creation, points to a creator, but they keep on going with there evolution "stuff", it is annoying. OK, my rant is done. Thanks for your support this month and keep on praying for me,  every word of it helps.
Erik W.

[insert meaningful title here]

     Hey! Just an update on how the first, (and second) week of the media fast went for me!  I definitely have been pretty extreme in what I've considered secular media, and I also have realized how I still don't really have time for media in general, I'm so busy.  I have work, and practicing, and church, and school, and yet, before the media fast, I still had time to fit in my addictive media.  Well even though it's gone, (some of it for a much longer time than just march) I realize not only does it take up a lot of my time, I seem to get bored in the spare time I have.  Weird.  When I had spare time I would most likely listen to music and or read a book.  Well now I have my christian or instrumental music to listen to, but still, I feel like taking up all the time secular media's absence brought, and replacing it with christian media, sometimes can defeat the purpose.  I'm not saying that christian media is at all the same as secular media, but it can get in the way of things that are better.  Christian movies, christian music, and christian books are all good, but what is the point if it just becomes another distraction.  I have been reading Psalms lately, and in it are many different praises, (and a lot of complaining as well), which reveal God's beauty and wonder.  What is any of the christian media of today compared to the word of God itself, or the nature and life he created?  What I'm basically saying is we need more than just replacement.  We need to relate the movies we see to our life, and what God has planned.  We need to listen to the christian music and worship along with it, we need to read the books and still read his word.  This is something I need to work on.  A lot.  The last two weeks went very well, but this is a challenge that I am integrating into the fast, to kind of boost it's effect on me.  Good luck and good job to everybody who's made it this far!  Love in Christ.

"The Cost of Dicipleship"

This is my first year doing the media fast and I admit that it is not all that easy.  It had helped that I decided to delete some of my media before and never return to it, but I still struggle to keep myself completely away from non-christian music.  From the dentist, to the store, to just hearing familiar songs from other cars on the highway, all of which remind me of what I am committing myself to. I usually carry my earphones everywhere around, using music as my escape, but alas, they broke just a week and a half before March 1st. These little complications got me thinking, must I give up everything?? Must I really avoid every little thing, no matter how small?? Do I really have to avoid the 15 second advertisements on YouTube or mute my phone whenever an ad pops up on Pandora? Well, later that night I found my answer in the the book of Luke.  In chapter 14, verses 25-33. Jesus is speaking to a crowd and tells them that he who wants to follow Him, must give up everything he owns.  So those, little ads that come up about a new make-up brand product, or the small trailer clips advertising an upcoming movie, must go too. Despite the fact that they only last about 15 seconds, they get you thinking and wishing the fast is over soon. They get you thinking why you even decided to sign up. So, I guess I can say that I have learned how important it is to follow Jesus completely.

-Lianna R

Friday, March 10, 2017


A third of the way through the month, and I have realized two things. One: While my whole world seems to have slowed down due to the fact I have no idea what is happening in the world right now, everyone else's world has stayed the same speed. While avoiding news articles and news media, it has become more clear to me how much we rely on that to know what is going on in the community as well as in other countries. My second epiphany is this: There are tons of Christian movies on Netflix, and yet most all of the ones I have watched have not been good, they have not done any justice to the awesome power that God is. And though my playlist of Christian songs is 71 songs long, I have already gotten tired of those 71 songs. I do feel that it has gotten easier to fill my time with things like homework, studying, and cleaning around the house instead of having the urge to sit down and watch TV. I look forward to the rest of the month to see how I progress in my journey with God.
-Samantha Ross

The calm within the storm

Well, we're over a week into the media fast, and I'd like to say that I've seen God in a bunch of ways and had more time to spend with Him because I've been fasting, but that's not the case. I do think I've been substantially more relaxed without the influence of social media and the not-so-positive-and-encouraging lyrics of secular music. I think I've also been more attentive to the pervasiveness of social media and secular TV, music, and movies in the lives of those around me and how unnecessary a lot of that stuff is to my being "in the know". There are some things that people make references to that I don't know about and therefore make me "out of the know", but I don't really mind that.
     While I very much appreciate these things, I still feel like I haven't doing as much as I could be doing. Like, I've used being swamped with homework and pit orchestra as an excuse to put off a lot of things, including (unfortunately) keeping up with my Bible reading and devotional time. Which is unnerving for me because I feel like I can usually stay on top of things, especially during the Media Fast.
     I think that's the point that God is trying to make to me (I could be totally wrong, and I don't want to misinterpret Him). I may think that I've got it all together, but I really don't. I recently did a mini fast from social media, and after the fast I used it sparingly, so I didn't feel like I was giving a whole lot up in that area, which then may have made me a little cocky when it came time to give up the rest of my media. I thought, "Wow, I'm so cool for already being off social media. I've got it all together. This Fast is gonna be a breeze!" News flash: I don't have it all together, and God has been gently reminding me of that, but He has also been reminding me that He's with me all the way.
     So, I approach the next week of the Fast with my eyes fixed upon heaven and my hopes and fears and shortcomings and successes placed on Jesus' name. Happy fasting! God made you special, and He loves you very much!
Madeleine Jones

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 1 Done

    The first week of the social media fast has gone by very smoothly and quickly. I am surprised but pleased with how little I have missed using my phone, watching Netflix, etc. This weekend was more difficult than the week had been because I have so much free time on my hands without school and golf taking up most of my day. But, I was able to read through some of Psalms, hangout with friends, see family, and watch a couple movies with all the time on my hands. I also got to go on a walk one day and admire Gods Creation around me which was very peaceful and enjoyable!
    I struggled mostly with not watching T.V. because it is always on whether at my house or a friends, but I was able to plug in my headphones and either listen to music or different passages from the Bible, so it wasn't too bad. Overall, the first week went very well and I'm looking forward to what the next couple of weeks have in store for me.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Here we go

The media fast this year kinda crept up on me, because I was helping out with the middle school Winter Camp, but now it is here I am kinda excited. I remember how much I grew last year and to top that off, Matt gave us a devotion book to be doing during the fast. I was looking through it and it is a different style of devotion than I have ever done and I am super excited to seeing what it has in store for me. Anyway, this is going to be an awesome Month and I cant wait to see what God has in store for us
-Erik W.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Expectations/Day 1

      I have been very nervous but also very excited to start this media fast. I have never done anything like this before, so it should be very different. I am hoping to focus more of my attention on reading the Bible, listening to gospel music, and watching movies centered around God. This media fast will be a great  accomplishment to boost my confidence in things that I can do whether I doubt my ability to do whatever it might be or not. I'm assuming that this fast will be very difficult, but a great experience and month to grow in my relationship with God and to open my eyes to how much time that I waste every single day.
      Today was my first day of the media fast and it actually went very well. I was surprised at how little I missed using various applications on my phone, watching television, etc. I must admit that I checked my phone pretty often for notifications that I didn't have. Although, I didn't miss responding to them as if they had a great significance in my life at all. I listened to some music by Lecrae and other music by Chris Tomlin throughout the day and found some very strong and powerful lyrics in their songs. By doing this media fast even just for one day so far, I can see how much time that I waste doing different pointless things on my phone from the time I wake up until the time that I go to sleep. Even though there are 29 days to go, I was glad to see how little I missed these pointless things in my life and I hope that it continues to get better from here on out. I am very excited and hopeful for what these upcoming weeks are going to bring and goodluck to all that are participating!

And They're Off!

Usually when I wake up, I head straight for the bathroom to start getting ready for my day, and I always bring my phone with me. I scroll through Instagram, send Snapchat streaks, or read an interesting book. However, today was different. I got up, changed, brushed my teeth, filled up my water bottle, and was ready to go in under five minutes. Normally, I take around 15 minutes to get ready in the morning. Just the simple act of cutting out my media saved me 10 minutes. It may go unnoticed by us in our daily lives how often we check our phones or unlock them just to turn them off again, or how many times a day we go to Instagram or Facebook to kill time.  But for those of us purposefully avoiding media, I realized how many urges I had to check my phone, and I am sad to admit it was more than I would have liked. I am not so addicted to social media that not going on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook etc bothers me, but in fact it does the opposite. I don't have any time wasters. That means getting ahead on homework, studying for my math test, and practicing my several upcoming presentations. On the way home from school today, I noticed a beautiful tree with budding purple flowers that I know I would not have seen normally, as I would have been on my phone. We miss so much by the time that adds up very quickly when we are looking at distractions. Although it is hard for me even after one day to avoid Netflix and my favorite 80's music, I am excited to prove myself to God that he is the most important thing in my life, even if that means giving up things I "love." I am looking forward to the next 29 days as we all continue our journey.
-Samantha Ross

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


     It's that time of year again: the Media Fast! I got back on the ol' blog and was checking out some old blog posts, including some of my own, and I was (and I'm trying to be humble here) impressed by some of the things I had said and was actually inspired by them because I had forgotten how awesome the fast had been in the last two years. However, I'm now stared in the face by a barely filled blog post and I want to say something witty or poetic or philosophical or wise or whatever. Something catchy. Something people would like. And I'm realizing that the feeling I get when I'm on social media, the longing to be accepted and liked and thought of as funny or popular or smart, has followed me out of social media and into the blogosphere of the Media Fast. Not exactly a good thing, is it?
     I crave that acceptance and attention, which I know I have from my Father, but social media tells me that I need people to tell me that I matter, that likes or retweets or the longest Snapchat streak determine my worth. I am worthy in the eyes of the Lord, and the insecurity and anxiety that I face in this secular world will be quieted by his love. Expectations fuel that anxiety, but since I'll be off the media that "holds" these expectations, I'll be more focused on what God has in store for me.
     So, after all that, I still need to answer the question: "What is your personal goal for the media fast this year?" Well, I think my goal is to be less obsessed with secular "acceptance" and more obsessed with discovering God's acceptance of me. I will be giving up all social media/games, such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, as well as secular media, such as TV, books, movies, and music. TV and books won't be super hard to give up, as I don't have a lot of sit-down time to watch a TV show or read a bit of a book. However, my family usually watched movies together on the weekends, so giving up most of the movies we usually watch will be difficult, but it will also give us the opportunity to discover Christian movies. I'd have to agree with Brandon about the difficulty of giving up music, because I love music and connect to different styles in different ways, so giving up secular music is going to be hard for me, especially with how easily accessible it is. However, I'm looking forward to hearing new songs on KLOVE and listening to songs that I added to my Spotify "Jesus Jams" playlist this time last year, rediscovering the connection I made with them last year and making new connections to God through them this year.
     Sorry for such a long post, but I hope this provides a bit of insight into my approach to the Media Fast and my wishes for the Media Fast. Thanks to all of you participating and supporting, and thank You, Lord, for all You've done in my life and all the things You're going to do.
     Happy Media Fast, everyone!
Madeleine Jones


     Bonjour, everyone!  Welcome to another year of the thirty day media fast.  I remember when I was an eighth-grader, I didn't exactly look forward to the media fast, because when you think about it, if you ask a teen today to give up all of their secular media, (I know you don't have to give up all of it, but still) than you will get some pretty crazy looks.  Just talking about it at school brings up questions like, "Is this a punishment?" or "Oh... this is like Lent isn't it?"  No, neither of those, but the fact that it even starts up conversations is a good thing.  As the years progress, and society and its youth become more and more integrated into the world of media, it becomes so easy to be consumed by completely useless media.  Yeah, I said useless.  It's the truth.  Anyways, even with experience, it's most likely going to be much harder than last year's or the years before that. Well, for me at least.  So good luck to you all that are doing the media fast as well, and to the sponsors supporting and praying for us all. Thank you to you as well.

     This year, the hardest part of the media fast for me to give up is going to be my music.  It has always been the hardest part for me to give up, and will always be the hardest part for me to give up.  The reason is because music has an emotional, psychological, and even spiritual effect on me that I can't even describe completely here, which is even more reason to give it up.  I will also be giving up all other secular media that isn't school related.  I will definitely be missing my books, and certain movies, but I still say my music beats them by far.  I think that I will notice new things during this media fast even though I have done it five years before, because even though we try, we will never completely understand God, His plan, and the ways He changes us, even though that's what the world tries to convince us sometimes.  So this fast is less of a sacrifice, than an opportunity to open myself up and let him work, even though I might think I have it all figured out.

Monday, February 27, 2017

2017 30 Day Media Fast begins soon!

It's only a couple days away! This year, our students are doing something a little different with the devotions during the month... they have been given a book in which they will connect with 1 of their sponsors and meet with them each week for 4 weeks to discuss what they are doing in their devotional time.

I can't wait to hear the feedback from the students who connect with an adult who is crazy about them... but I'm even more excited to hear back from those sponsors who get a chance to see how our students are growing in their faith!

God has got some big things planned this year... keep an eye on this blog for feedback from the students!