One of my favorite movies is The Usual Suspects. Remember the part where Kevin Spacey says the greatest trick Satan ever pulled was to convince people he doesn’t exist? When you consider how few people understand that slavery is still going on, I think that’s what’s happened.
It’s so weird to me. I talk to people about slavery, and they say, that’s still out there? And I wonder, how do they not know? There’s more slavery now than when it was legal! Slavery is a billion dollar a year industry, and there are more than 18,000 slaves traded in the U.S. every year.
I’ve watched Dave Batstone of Not For Sale do several presentations. You should see people’s faces, man, the terror that comes over their faces. The Not For Sale Campaign is so successful because once you are aware of the problem, it’s actually inhumane for you not to participate in the fight against it in some way, shape or form. You’re not going to hear about slavery from someone and then walk up to them and say, “Good luck with that.” It’s impossible. It’s impossible!
This new generation responds with a lot of power. I’ve studied this generation. They’re really, really relational. They have a very large capacity to be influenced, by a bad influence or a good one. But they have that capacity.
When you show them something and create passion in them for it they will actually take action. You start talking to these young people about their generation getting killed off, and they want to do something. You start telling them, “People your age are getting sold, people will pay a price for you, and you’re going to be doing what they bought you for,” and they really respond. They get angry.
And that’s a positive passion. That’s a zeal. To me, it’s not a form of destructive anger. It’s a zealous anger that says, “You know what? We can’t allow this to happen.” And that’s the voice, that’s the movement that’s going to cause positive change. Whether it be global poverty, lack of clean drinking water, slavery, or any kind of injustice, when you start telling this generation that this is what’s taking place outside of the United States of America – and inside! – and get them to have awareness of that, they’ll act. They’ll raise money and they’ll work.
Here’s what’s really awesome: they’ll want to work to become great at what they do. They’ll work hard to become successful so that they’ll be able to help their neighbor. Then that love for neighbor will actually start to ooze out of them. When you disciple a young person by informing them and raising their awareness, that young person feels a powerful love for their neighbor. And that love is the love of Jesus Christ. Once they know that love, they won’t leave the church. They’ll have a reason to stay.