Youth Speaker Points Students Towards Change

by: 

Leann Callaway
Jul 14, 2010

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After ministering to youth and college students around the country for more than a decade, Kevin Kirkland's heart was broken. All around him, the former youth pastor and founder of Katalyst Ministries saw a 'spiritual sickness' infecting today's students.

As Kirkland desperately searched for a cure to the incredible brokenness he saw everyday in the lives of students that God had called him to minister, he realized he was void of a blueprint of rebuilding the next generation.

“Then one day, while reading Nehemiah, I recognized for the first time that if we are going to be a catalyst for change and revival in the coming generations of America, then we must be a catalyst for change and revival in the ones who are leading the generations," Kirkland said. "The spiritual epidemic in the country did not start with our children, it started with our parents, our leaders, our pastors and youth pastors. Likewise, the rebuilding of the spiritual walls of America must start with us.”

On April 16, 2007, the exact same day a student walked onto the campus of Virginia Tech University and unleashed a massacre on 32 people, Kirkland expressed his heart's cry for this generation and began writing Broken Walls: And Those Called to Repair Them, a book about the desperate need for adults to step to the forefront of the spiritual battle for the souls of tomorrow's America.

“I was overwhelmed and inspired to write; I was without the ability to say no to the word that God was burning in my heart. The book not only points out the need for revival and rebuilding, but it walks the reader through powerful and practical steps as to how we can effectively secure the spiritual future for generations to come. It is for parents, pastors, youth pastors, coaches, teachers, community leaders and truly for anyone who is a follower of King Jesus. It is for our children and their children -- the future of the church.”

The book was released this spring and Kirkland, a member of PaulAnn Baptist Church in San Angelo, Texas, has been overwhelmed by the response.

“I was thrilled when I found out that a charter member of my church had ordered 21 copies. When I heard he had ordered the large quantity, I called him to find out what he was up to. He told me that he read the entire book in one sitting, and he ordered the 21 copies for the group of local pastors that he meets with once a week here in San Angelo. He relayed to me that he felt compelled to get a copy for every pastor he knew because he recognized that this message was truly more than a book. In his words, ‘it was a word from the Lord for the church today.’

“I have received many e-mails and phone calls from parents and pastors alike, who just want to say thank you for writing the truth about the situation we are in and about how we, as a people, can overcome it in the name of Jesus. I am honored and humbled by the wonderful way people have responded to the book, but my heart cries out to see that the message of Broken Walls would bring about great change in our homes, schools, churches and eventually our nation.”

The book has also impacted Dr. Richard Ross, professor of student ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

“I will long remember how the book Broken Walls touched me,” Ross said. “It went straight to my heart. I am absolutely certain Kevin Kirkland wept as he composed some pages and prepared to write others. I know plenty of writers who are motivated to provide instruction through their writings but few who write out of such honest pathos. Readers who come to share his concern about the brokenness of the young, their families and their culture will then carefully listen to this call for change.”

Kirkland said that a 12-year-old girl recently contacted him to say she had just finished reading the book, and she was ready to be a “repairer of the broken walls.”

“I love to see families healed, to see young people passionately in love with Jesus, and to see students that are hungry for the things of God,” Kirkland said.

This summer, Kirkland will be sharing life-changing messages at youth camps.

“My ministry and preaching is intentionally relational, and my expectation for students is extremely high. I am not an entertainer or professional speaker. I am simply a sinner saved by grace, qualified by a supernatural call and extremely compelled by Christ's love to see the world come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I cannot think of anything better than seeing the reality of the cross radically change the reality of the lost.”

For more information about Broken Walls: And Those Called to Repair Them, please visit www.katalystministries.org

7/13/09

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