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Monday, October 22, 2007

Interview With LeAnn Rice of P31





Our first interview of the week is with LeAnn Rice, executive director or Proverbs 31 Ministries and the heart and soul behind the ministries' Next Generation division for teens and young women. LeAnn is one of my favorite people in the world, so it is my privilege to have her here on the blog today.

Thanks LeAnn for visiting with us today. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Uh… let’s see… There’s really not much to say. I am quite ordinary. The only thing special about me is my extraordinary God. But that’s not something that’s unique to me… we all have the same extraordinary God – THE Big Guy. THE Main Man. THE Dude of all Dudes! (The teens are starting to rub off on me!)

I know that you are heading up the P31 Next Generation division. Tell us a bit about what that is and how it came about.

The Next Generation is a new division of Proverbs 31 Ministries, specifically for teens and single young women. This new division is divided into two separate ministries. Living with Purpose: A Radical Revolution, for girls 12-17, was launched in September. She Seeks, for young women 18-24, will launch in January.

Trust me when I tell you that reaching out to the Next Generation was not my idea. This is all God! I am raising a teen BOY and I know nothing about teenage girls, except for the memories of my own teen years. There was nothing subtle about God’s request to reach out to the Next Generation. You and I have had conversations about how pointless it is to argue when God speaks… even when we’re thinking, “certainly He doesn’t mean me” so I just went ahead and gave in right away. It only took one peek at the very frightening teen statistics to understand God’s urgency. I quickly discovered that this was more of a universal call. God was speaking to women just like me all around the country. I know this because these women have been calling me and sharing how God whacked them in the head the same way He whacked me in the head. He gave each of us the same sense of urgency. If we don’t reach out to today’s teens, when they are our age, only 2% of them will be truth-believing Christians. The good news is that together, and with God’s help, we can equip, encourage, and empower today’s teens to make a real difference within their communities and beyond. How awesome is that
?!

What has been the most rewarding part of working with teen girls?

How hungry they are for more of God! Hearing their hearts just knocks my socks off!

What has been the most challenging?

Knowing what we are up against. I am horrified by the issues and challenges facing today’s teens. Did you see the story on the news this past week about the middle school that is giving contraceptives to girls as young as 11? I was stunned. All I could do was cry. My heart aches for those precious children who think so little of themselves, or who are so hurt and lonely that they are having sex at the age of 11. These girls clearly don’t know Who they belong to. They don’t know that they are daughters of THE King of Kings and deserve all that comes with the title, “Princess.”

What is your vision for Next Generation?

This isn’t about the Next Generation division of Proverbs 31 Ministries. This is about the next generation of young women, their futures, our futures, and the future of the Kingdom of God. As Christian women, we need to lock arms with one another and with these girls. “My” vision is that we all share the same vision… God’s vision, and we respond with radical obedience.

What would you say to a mom or girl who reads this and wants to get plugged into Next Generation?

Come on! Actually, we are already working on a new Radical Revolution website where you will find Christian event calendars, music and movie reviews, articles on the issues facing today’s teens, what teen boys are thinking about, and lots more. In the meantime, they can visit our devotion blog at www.radrevolution.blogspot.com.

Anything I didn't cover that you want to share??
In her book, “What Happens when Women Say Yes to God,” Lysa TerKeurst shares her sadness that Christ-like behavior is no longer the “norm” but radical. Her words came back to me as I realized that we were going to ask these girls to turn their backs on today’s cultural pull away from Godly principles and to radically live out loud for Christ. From there, God gave this ministry the name, Living with Purpose: A Radical Revolution. This is what He is calling each of us to do… to live a life of purpose for Him, and to radically revolt against what today’s culture tells us is acceptable. Eleven-year-old girls having sex is NOT acceptable.

Thanks for dropping by today LeAnn-- I can't wait to see what happens with Next Generation and the girls who are blessed because of it!

I can’t either! It’s clear that God has something amazing planned. I’m just thrilled that He is allowing us to come along for the ride!
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1 comment:

Elisa @ Extravagant Grace said...

Marybeth, it has been one of those weeks where I've been running behind from Monday. So I'm just getting here now to read your Teen Week posts. Please tell Leann a great big thank you from my heart for this interview and obedience to the Lord in launch the Radical Revolution.

My heart echoes hers, and I'm living with the teens the statistics are talking about. What she says is so true. But there is much hope. They are so hungry for women to be real with them about their faith and struggles, and anxious to see the victories -- in Christ -- in the midst of a dark world.

Please give Leann my words of encouragement to keep on keeping on. It is so needed!

Blessings, extravagantly,
Elisa