Live Interview: Ryan Ries

Live Interview: Ryan Ries
Live Interview: Ryan Ries

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The Whosoevers: Boldly Living Out the Great Commission Before and During COVID-19

The following article is transcribed from an interview Calvary Chapel Magazine photographer Christian Rodriguez conducted on May 22, 2020, with Ryan Ries, co-founder of The Whosoevers movement. The Whosoevers regularly share the Gospel with public school students, bringing thousands to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Christian: So Ryan, in your documentary you share about Romans 1:16. How does this verse apply to right now in today’s world and to your documentary?

Ryan: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it has the power to salvation for everyone who believes … (Romans 1:16). Well, it’s the Good News. That’s how Jesus always refers to the Gospel, as the Good News. Every generation changes, but when you’re living in this generation right now with depression, anxiety, suicide, spousal abuse, kids are getting molested more than ever, right now at this time, if you read what doctors are saying that’s happening with COVID-19, everything is at an all-time high right now. And the good news is the Gospel. People are doing this [bad] stuff because they don’t have peace. They’re selling more marijuana than ever, drinking more, all these things, and sin is increasing more and more. The Good News of the Gospel is people realizing that they’re broken. At the end of the day, you and I know, going on social media and you’re looking at what’s going on, what people are pushing out through their social platforms, people are broken inside. Their spirit is broken because they don’t have a relationship with the King and they haven’t heard the Good News. In return, your conscience is broken, your actions are broken, and that’s what we’re seeing.

And I just want to say one thing because I know we’ll be getting into lots of stuff. I met with the director of outreach for the DEA and overseas California, Hawaii, Guam, and a couple of others. When there was this whole opiate crisis that happened. In Time Magazine when Trump was talking about it a while ago when he first got elected, Trump assigned 25 DEA agents for outreach to combat the opiate problem in the United States. Well, this guy heard about what we were doing in the public-school system and he ended up coming to meet with us and talk with us. He sat down with me and said, “Ryan, what do you see that’s going on with the culture?” I said, “Well, before I tell you what I see in the culture, what do you see in the DEA office and in the government that you see in culture?” He said, “Truthfully, we’re back in the ‘60s and ‘70s.” I didn’t get it. He said, “We’re at war, drugs are pretty much all legal, free sex, racism …” And there were a couple other things he mentioned. I started thinking, Wow, that is so true. This whole Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, there is racism happening. They’re calling our president a racist. War, not only on our soil but also abroad. “Rumors of war.” And you’ve got legalizing of marijuana, right now they’re trying to legalize [psychedelic] mushrooms, hallucinogenics, opiates are pretty much legal at this point, and free sex. What you’re seeing is all these people posting half-naked photos. Sex is pretty much normal at this point. And I started thinking, You know that is so true. And I like to talk about this because the Calvary Chapel movement has roots to the ‘70s so it’s relevant to the Calvary Chapel movement. What was happening back then: Woodstock. Well, we have Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella, the biggest and baddest, gnarliest music festivals going on around the clock. It’s not just once a year, they’re all the time. So, when we look at culture, what’s happening then and now, it’s exactly the same thing. It just looks a little bit different. What happened back in the ‘60s and ‘70s was a major revival because people were at the end of themselves. They were completely broken. So, going back to your question, [about the Book of] Romans, the power of the Gospel has the power to save those who believe. Right now, I believe we are in a great time for a great harvest.

Christian: You’re so right. People my age are going to social media to fill this void and even that’s not enough. Only Jesus is enough. Can you share a little bit about your documentary, what that was like and maybe what that was like filming it?

Ryan: The documentary is based on our tour. It’s a video on the Great Commission. I call it a radical, revival, Great Commission video. We started The Whosoevers movement, which I run now, to go into the public-school system because of exactly what we’re talking about. All those issues we’ve been talking about, all those things are happening in middle school, high school, starting very young now. An average kid gets into pornography at 6-7 years old now. The numbers keep going down. They’re getting exposed by friends or family. With all that said, this is why we go into the public-school system to bring the Gospel message. So we’ve been touring public schools for about four years and doing the ministry for about 12 years. We’ve seen close to 80,000 students give their life to the Lord in the public-school system around the world from Australia, LA to New York, Mexico to Canada, you name it. We just started seeing all these things happen with what God was doing. I always come back to Calvary Chapel conferences or church services and I’m explaining to people what we’re seeing, working with Calvary Chapels from around the world to go into schools and disciple the kids later. We just started seeing God pouring out His Spirit and people just getting saved. We just started stepping out in faith, laying hands on the sick, and people are getting recovered. We were in a rehab and the director of the rehab had broken ribs and a neck brace on. We gave the Gospel, the Good News, we led them to the Lord, we prayed that they would get filled with the Holy Spirit, and then we started laying hands on the sick and literally her neck got healed. She ended up taking her brace off. Then we started filming. We just started praying for people’s legs, government official’s knees, principals’ backs, and all these people just started getting healed. What would happen is when people would get healed, we’d point to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, and that the Bible is the Word of God and that what we’re reading is actually real. So it brings attention to Christ, always Christ-centered. What happened is we started seeing an influx of this stuff so I took a [videographer] on the trip, Benny, who was not a part of the movement. He was just hired. So we hired him to come on the trip and it’s funny because his dad is actually a pastor of Calvary Chapel St. Bakersfield. What happened is this video was always only supposed to be a 2-minute video, a recap of the trip. Well, we ended up doing six events in 12 days, basically four high schools a day, and God just poured out His Spirit on this trip and he [Benny] just looked at me after the first day and says, “We need to make a documentary.” And I was like, “What do you mean? You were just going to do a recap.” And he says, “There’s so much footage here and God is doing amazing things. The world needs to see this.” And I replied, “Well, I’m down. And what would be awesome is if you just tell your story on the trip because then it’s not biased like us trying to push what we’re doing. You use this document from your perspective, being an outsider, of what you saw on this trip.” And that’s basically what happened. This went from a 2-minute video to a 50-minute film and had to narrow it down so much. We also have it in Spanish subtitles so it can go global basically.

Christian: It really is a powerful documentary and one of the things I love is that the Lord is using you to heal people, and you automatically say, “This is Jesus. It’s because of Jesus.” I love the part with the guy with crutches who’s trying to sell you marijuana, and he gets saved and he leaves different from when he came! You can’t make that stuff up!

Ryan: You know what I love about that story? That story’s so special because at that point we’d just been kicked out of the schools for talking about Jesus. The government was like, “You guys can’t talk about Jesus. If you don’t talk about Jesus, you can continue to do the rest of the 30 schools.” So we leave and we’re like, “We’re not compromising.” That’s what we’ve always been taught: Don’t compromise. Where God guides, He provides. Chuck Smith always told us that. So we’re like, “Forget it, we’re done.” And on the trip, we all skateboard, so there was this amazing skatepark there in that city. So I say, “Let’s go out and skate!” So as we’re driving down the street to go to the skatepark, and I don’t even know if this part was in the story, I look and see these white, perfect ledges going down these stairs. I’m like, “Let’s pull over and go skate these ledges.” And they happened to be at a church. We pulled over and we got out there to go skating there at the Catholic church. We did the trick and we were about to leave. I left a crowd earlier to go to the car and all of a sudden this guy pulls up and says in Spanish, “Hey man, do you want to buy some molta (marijuana)?” So I call my translator over and I ask him to ask the guy what’s wrong with his foot, if it’s broken or sprained or whatever. And, in the video, he says, “It’s broken.” His foot is throbbing with pain because he actually got hit by a car. Someone ran him over. So the pain in his leg is throbbing and the video shows that we pray for him and the throbbing stops immediately. And then we pray again, and he gets healed and start walking. I’m holding his crutch! So Jesus says, preach the Gospel and signs and wonders follow. That’s what Jesus says in the Bible so it means we can do that. So after he gets healed, what did I do? I tell him he needs to give his life to Jesus. He believes that Jesus is Lord, he gives his life to Jesus, and then we lay our hands on him and he gets filled with the Holy Spirit. We ask him what happened when we prayed over him and he said, “I don’t know. I felt peace like something pretty.” And we respond, “That’s the Holy Spirit. You just got filled with the Holy Spirit.” So back to the video question, what I want to show in the video is what you and I, and all of us that are going to church every week in Calvary Chapels, are being taught in Scripture but I want to show what it looks like in 2020. It’s like you’re reading it, you’re learning it in-depth at Calvary Chapel, but here’s visually what it looks like.

Christian: So we’re going to church, we’re being fed the Word, and we’re growing, but what happens if we’re not going out? That’s what I love about The Whosoevers movement. You guys are going out and making disciples. Why is it so important to go out and evangelize, Ryan?

Ryan: Because Jesus said it. He commanded it. He says, “Go out and preach the Gospel to the nations.” He says it twice in the Great Commission in Matthew. He says, “Go into all the world, preach the Gospel, baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey my commandments.” Then repeat. There’s no church without evangelists. There’s no one coming to church unless you’re reaching people. Then look at Jesus’ life. The majority of His ministry He was going from town to town, city to city, house ministries. He would show up preaching the Gospel outside the Temple, then he would go inside the Temple and teach the Word. But for some reason—I don’t know why—it’s so easy for us as Christians to get stuck in the institution and say, “This is what God commands. That’s not what God commands.” That’s a piece of it, but He actually starts the Great Commission with going! He tells them, “Go, go, go.” Being in the church is not going. That is the end of the Great Commission. That is teaching our disciples to obey the commandments, but we’re forgetting the “go.” In Acts 6, it talks about how the apostles wanted to separate themselves to prayer and fasting so they could preach the Word of God. But what they did, is they got these guys who were filled with faith and power of the Holy Spirit. It says they laid their hands on them and those ones went out. Revival was breaking out. It says that Phillip was full of faith and power and he did many signs and wonders amongst the people. Clearly, Mark 16 says, “Preach the Gospel and signs and wonders will follow.” And that’s what you’re seeing in the video. The way I look at the Bible ever since I got saved, is I say, “Okay, Jesus went and cast out demons. We can do that. These guys prayed for the sick. The eyes opened, the ears opened, the mouth opened. You can do that!” I just have that childlike faith. I read the Bible and I do it. And it happens. And just to be clear, not every time but I don’t put God in a box. He does it more than He doesn’t do it. From my personal experience, every time I’m in a situation where I preach the Gospel, God starts moving and people start getting healed. That’s what I see and that’s so funny because that’s what I see Jesus says: “Preach the gospel and signs and wonders will follow.” I don’t go around trying to heal everyone. It’s not like that. My focus is, preach the Gospel, lead people to the Lord, and if God wants to move after, awesome! If not, that’s cool too. Not my problem.

Christian: You have a really cool story about your kids and God’s grace and faithfulness in your marriage. Can you share a little from those stories?

Ryan: A little background with me is that I’ve been working in the skateboarding and music industry for over 20 years now. I got saved radically from working in the mainstream music industry, managing a professional skateboard team. I OD’d for the third time, came out of it, gave my life to Jesus and God got ahold of my life and gave me a desire to obey the Great Commission. During this process as I started going out and living the Great Commission, I ended up meeting my wife. I got invited by Chuck Smith before he passed away and started teaching out at Costa Mesa for a Monday night study then I started a Thursday night. Basically, what happened is I met my soon-to-be wife there. Long story short, we got married, went through infertility for about two years, couldn’t get pregnant. But we decided that getting pregnant wasn’t going to be our god because I saw anxiety and depression coming over my wife because she couldn’t have a kid. I just said, “Look it’s not going to be our god. If we get pregnant, we get pregnant. If not, no more. After this month if we don’t get pregnant, we’re done trying.”

Well, we got pregnant. We went to the doctors and they discovered it was a high-risk pregnancy, yet we got pregnant with fraternal twins. Then on our second appointment one of the eggs split into identical twins. We showed up and they said we were having triplets, but this is a high-risk pregnancy. It got really scary because they said this was very dangerous for my wife’s life and for the kids. A lot of complications. Fast forward, we get to 16 weeks and the doctor says, “These babies are millimeters from coming out and you’re going to lose them. They’re going to die and there’s nothing we can do.” God wakes up my mom in the middle of the night at 3:00 in the morning and gave her a vision. It was a stormy sea with a boat and there was a baby with brown hair looking out the front and two identical twins sleeping in the front of the boat. And in the vision the boat transformed into Jesus’ hand. So we knew these babies were on a storm but they were in God’s hands. Remember, all signs and wonders point back to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah and the Word of God is real. Fast forwarding, those babies ended up staying in my wife millimeters from coming out all the way to eight months and I ended up having healthy triplet daughters. One a brunette and two identical blondes like the vision. So I have triplets. They’re party animals. They have a lot of energy so it’s awesome. I have a lot of rainbow and unicorn parties. I just had a son who is now seven months and that’s where we’re at. We’re continuing working out our faith, marriage, relationship with the kids, and all that. I don’t have it figured out, but we’re trying to figure it out.

Christian: So we hear “Kill The Noise” a lot with The Whosoevers. Can you explain that wording and what that means?

Ryan: Kill the Noise came to me in a Bible study I did a while ago called, “Destroy All Gods.” The noise is what you’re listening to, what you’re watching, let’s just say “Garbage in, garbage out.” Jesus would say, “It’s not what goes out of your body that defiles you. It’s what goes in, to the heart.” Jesus also says, “The eye is the light to the body.” And then at the end [the Bible] actually says, “What light you think you have could actually be dark.” I’m [paraphrasing] from the New Living Translation because I have a poor reading level. You narrow all that stuff down to the fact that when Jesus says, “If you want to be My disciple you’ve got to turn from your selfish ways and pick up your cross.” So “the noise” is all that stuff that’s coming in, your body appetites, you have to go to the cross and you have to crucify the body appetites. You have to destroy all gods, all the idols in your life that you put in front of God. You have to destroy that stuff. In the King James version, it says, If ye live after the flesh ye shall die, but if ye live after the Spirit and do mortify the deeds of the flesh ye shall live. Mortify means to self-inflict pain. We’ve got to get all that stuff that will destroy us and crucify it daily so we can live in that Spirit-led life of the Holy Spirit. It’s a continuous thing in your life that’s daily. People think, Oh I’ve got to fix my life. No. Every day I wake up and I think, Okay, I’ve got to change this. I’ve got to change that.

Christian: Going back to the documentary, it’s like an action-packed tour as you guys are on the move. And you’re walking by faith as tours are getting cancelled and such.

Ryan: When we showed up, we had over 30 events planned. When we landed on Mexican soil the whole trip was cancelled. And then we got one school, it started picking up, and then we got cancelled because we kept talking about Jesus. So we got cancelled twice by the government. When I travel, it’s all young guys. I’m the oldest guy on the trip and all the other guys are like 19, 18, or in their 20s and they decided to play a prank on me. The whole trip got cancelled in the beginning and they didn’t tell me. But they’ve all been on trips before when things got cancelled and God always shows up. They’ve got that faith saying, “These things got cancelled but this trip is going to happen because God’s going to do something.” So they thought, “Let’s play a prank on Ryan and not tell him.” Then I found out halfway through the trip that everything got cancelled!

Christian: So the government is trying to compromise you guys by telling you that you can’t talk about Jesus. What’s going through your mind as they’re telling you to compromise?

Ryan: Well, there’s two things that happened. First, I’ve been in situations before where the principal is a Jew and he says, “You can say things like higher power but you can’t say Jesus.” When [they’re] an atheist Jew they aren’t going to allow you to say things like Jesus. You have to compromise your message. But I said, “I’m not going to say higher power. I’ll say that through the message but at the end I’m going to say Jesus.” In [the Book of] 2nd Peter it says, “Honor all brothers and respect a king.” So on one side I’m thinking I need to honor the government but then I’m also thinking I can’t compromise the message. So I decided I’d say God (because it’s kind of all encompassing) through my whole message but then when I get to the end I’m going to say Jesus. I started doing that at the one school, but they said, “No. You can’t say Jesus or pray.” That’s basically when we said, “Okay, fine. But we don’t have a story then because everything that happened in my story and how I got saved was God and Jesus. So if you can’t let us pray for people, then we’re done.” So our tour guide just went and told them we couldn’t do it anymore.

Christian: One thing you said in the documentary was, “Doors are closing, but God’s going to open new ones.” I’m sure you have so many stories of that happening.

Ryan: That’s basically what happens. When we plan the trip, there’s set stuff that we have, but when we land there’s always new trips. We got there and the prisons opened up. We went into the main prisons where the cartel kids were and then we went to the main prison were all the adults were. Then we went to a rehab and then a skate concert. We ended up having to cast a demon out of a cartel hitman at the skate park. His cousin brought him from the church to the skate park to watch the skate contest. And he wasn’t like an old cartel guy. He was a young kid, maybe 19. I went to pray for him and when I laid my hands on him, he fell on the ground and he started foaming at the mouth. I knew that there was a demon in him, so I told them to get him over to the side of the skate park. Long story short, when I asked him to confess his sins he started growling and he went off running. I went off chasing him and I told him, “In Jesus’ name, stop” and he started tackling me. I maneuvered and we just got other people and kept praying for him and then the demon in him ended up coming out. So you never know what’s going to happen when you’re living the Great Commission. But the Bible’s there, the stories are there. Jesus clearly shows you what’s going to happen, you just don’t know when it’s going to happen to you.

Christian: It’s cool seeing the Lord using skating to reach people. Tell me about that.

Ryan: The cool thing about God is that He’s not going to put you in things you don’t want to do. I think that’s one of the biggest fears for Christians, especially youngsters, when they’re giving their life to God. You have this persona that I’m going to give my life to God and it’s going to be boring and What am I going to do now? Well there’s only one of you and there’s only ever going to be one of you, and God created you with a specific plan and purpose. All those desires, all those gifts, all those talents that you have and are using now, God will use those. Everything that I’ve done in the past I’m doing now. I’m a skater. I surf. I do concerts. I’m doing concert events at schools and throwing parties for kids still. I’ve been doing that since high school. I design products. I’ve been touring with skateboarders and I’m still now touring with skateboarders. I have the gift of bringing people together. I’m still bringing people together. Everything that I’ve always loved to do I’m still doing and much more. Who I am in Christ, all the gifts and talents that Christ put in me, I’m using those for Christ.

Christian: I’ve heard you say, “Not all storms have come to disrupt our lives but to clear our path.” Can you break that down and explain how it’s been true in your life?

Ryan: The interesting thing is that when you’re going through these storms and trials in your life, you think, “Why is this happening to me? Why am I going through this?” God is omniscient. He’s at the beginning of time, He’s right now, and He’s at the end of the future. He’s working out His plan and purpose in your life right now, for what’s going to happen in the future. When I went through that storm with my wife of almost losing the kids, we were so scared. It was almost a year of trial. But when we came out of it, that is now the story that I am touring with around the world. I’m telling my testimony, not only how I got saved, but what God did through this time of me having my kids, and that’s the story that’s brought almost 80,000 people to the Lord. I went through a very dark time in my life with the pregnancy, but God is using that for His glory now and that is the fruit of that storm. So you have to be encouraged that God is finetuning us, He’s developing us, He’s shaping us like it says in Jeremiah where it talks about the vessel. He’s breaking us down, molding us into that vessel for Him to use. For the Master to use for His glory.

Christian: Right now we’re in a season of COVID-19 where a lot of people are isolated and alone and there’s been some anxiety even among believers. How would you encourage someone who’s going through that right now?

Ryan: It’s pretty interesting because I think it’s affected everybody. Our routines got broken and that kind of threw us in a weird loop. Everything’s been shut down and now I have to rework my life and routine. It could be as simple as going to see your friend, your family, going to church or fellowship, but when all that stops, all of a sudden, your life’s in a weird place. Those things you normally take for granted, now they’re not around. I’m getting anxiety in the sense of “It’s been a while, let’s go now. I’m tired of being at home.” That’s what people are going through. They want to get back to normal life, fellowship, be with their friends. I would encourage them: All things work together for good to those that love Christ according to His purpose. Not all storms come to disrupt our lives; some have come to clear our path. Right now could be a season of opportunity for great things. For instance, it could be a time to get closer to the Lord. What are you doing with your time? Are you on your phone, wasting your life away? Or are you in the Scriptures? You used to say, “I wish I had time to read the Bible.” Now you have it. “I wish I had the time to go through a bunch of Chuck Smith’s or my local pastor’s CDs.” Did you do it? “I wish I had time to start learning guitar.” Did you seize this opportunity? What’s going to happen is, during this time of months and months, there will be a group of people who have produced new music, have grown in the Word, who have seized this opportunity. Then there will be other people who are going to say, “I finished Netflix.” My point is, did you waste your time or did you produce? If you’re sowing in the Spirit in these times, then you don’t have anxiety because you’re producing things of the Spirit. If you’re sowing the things of the flesh, you’re probably depressed and have anxiety. During this time, we’re actually producing more radio shows, I started teaching the Bible, and my wife just launched a new vitamin company. We used this time to create a new company to actually help people. If you have a strong immune system, you don’t need a vaccine. I got a book deal, and I just finished my book yesterday.

Christian: Check out thewhosoevers.com.

Ryan: I have a nationwide radio show, the Ryan Ries Show, out of LA out of KWAVE. It’s syndicated out of 111 stations from LA to NYC. It’s a live call-in. I interview musicians, artists, pastors. I just did a cool End Times update with my dad (Raul Ries). It goes to all the platforms—video, podcast.

Christian: In the video, you’re talking about Mark 16, preaching the Gospel, and signs and powers follow. You have so many testimonies and examples of that. You’re just being obedient to what God’s calling you to do.

Ryan: I’m going to read it. This is out of Jesus’ mouth. And He told them (disciples), Go into all the world, and preach the Good News (the Gospel) to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved, but anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miracles, signs, will accompany those who believe. They will, and I underlined it. And cast out demons in My name. They will speak in new languages and tongues. They will be able to handle snakes, and if they drink anything poisonous, it will not hurt them. We know the story of Paul in Acts, when he gets bit by the snake, and he does not die. When I read that verse, I think about missionaries … and they survive, and Jesus gets glorified. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will recover and be healed. The Lord Jesus finished talking to them, and He was taken up into heaven, … and the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked with them and through them confirming the Word of God, and they did many miraculous signs. It’s that simple. Read it, do it. Don’t get caught up in the institution and traditions of church. The reason why the Holy Spirit was poured out in a powerful way in the Jesus People movement is that they weren’t caught up in the organization and traditions. God just poured out His Spirit. Calvary Chapel got organized later. We need a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. We need to read the Bible and do what the Bible teaches. That’s what I do—I read it, I do it. The problem is that people aren’t doing it. People are reading it, and they can quote the Scriptures, but they’re not stepping out in faith. There’s the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, and He told the disciples, “Go to the other side, and I’m going to meet you there.“ He goes up and spends time with the Father and looks out and sees that the disciples are in a storm. He starts walking on water. They look and think it’s a ghost. But then Peter, the brave one, says, “Jesus, is that You? If that’s You, tell me to come walking on water to You.” First of all, who does that? That’s insanity. But Peter knows that Jesus can do some pretty radical things. He believes because he’s seen what Jesus can do. But the other disciples—what are they doing? Nothing. They’re scared and don’t say anything. Jesus tells him to walk on water, it’s a command. So Peter steps out by faith and tries walking on water. That’s crazy. But he starts walking on water, starts living the impossible, the supernatural in the natural realm. Peter would have never known he could live the impossible, would have never seen the miracle, if he didn’t step out of the boat. When you step out of the boat, that’s where you and I put ourselves in a situation and know that God’s going to work. The problem is, I look at that boat as like a church with a lot of people that are with Jesus, walking with Jesus, seeing what He’s doing, hearing the best Bible studies. But they’re too scared to step out of the boat by faith. When you put yourself in a situation which is terrifying, you say “God, if You don’t show up, I’m going to sink.” But what I’ve seen is when you step out by faith and put yourself in that situation, God shows up. That is the biggest problem, faith and unbelief cannot coexist. People are too scared to step out of the boat, and that’s what the whole video is about. The Great Commission video is showing people to step out of the boat. It’s in the Scriptures. The hardest thing in the Christian life is when you’re abiding, you’re in that place where you’re sold out, and the hardest thing is to step out by faith. When you do, though, God shows up and you say, “Wow! He showed up. My mind is blown. Now I’m going to do it again!” The next thing you know, you’re living in a radical revival. It’s just an obstacle that we have to overcome.

Christian: What would you say to a church that isn’t pouring into the next generation and into their youth?

Ryan: Well, I’ll quote Hitler, who said, “You get the youth, you get the future.” Who was Hitler in tune with? Who was the driving force in Hitler? Satan is a fisherman, too. He throws shiny objects in front of people to get us. He’s a fisherman as well and he’s done a great job of it. “You get the youth, you get the future.” There is no future in the church if you don’t have the youth. It’s just going to be older people, they’ll pass on, and then the church will be gone. You have to have the youth! It’s that simple. We’ve got to get the youth, and we’ve got to get them activated. Youth will work. They want to be activated. They don’t want to sit in the front and be an usher. They want to be activated. This is the problem with a lot of churches: These kids come in all fired up saying, “I want to be used by God!” And we say, “Okay. Be an usher.” They say, “I don’t want to be an usher! I want to be activated. Can you put me in skateboard ministry? Can you put me in videography? Photography? Can I help you with your social media? Can I help you with the youth or with outreaches?” You’ve got to get them activated. You can’t put them in a boring thing. You’ve got to see what their gifts and talents are and then put them in those areas. In the Calvary movement I’ve also seen, which is awesome, where they always mix it. They’ll put them in areas of serving with the youth, but they’ll also have them cleaning the bathrooms and toilets to get them grounded. So it’s good to have both the helping to serve after, clean, vacuum the place, humbling them and bringing them down to Planet Earth to see where their hearts are at, but then you also have them serving in those other areas so there’s a balance. And this also benefits the church. If they’re “killer” at photography, why do you have them being an usher? Use their gifts. What if they’re an awesome writer? Have them write your social posts. They could be a blessing right there in front of you, but you don’t have them in the right place. Hey, you have any people wanting to serve with The Whosoevers? Send them my way and I’ll set them up.

Christian: What has the Lord been showing you personally with this virus?

Ryan: I believe there’s a lot of hype and that the virus has been used for a lot of political gain. I’m not going to go into politics because that’s not my ministry, but what we need to do is read the Scriptures. What we’re seeing is Revelations and what Jesus says in Mark 13: “These are the signs of the times.” I truly believe that the harvest is ripe, the workers are few. These are the most exciting times to be living in. These are the times to get serious about God. We’re seeing the “chip” being introduced. We’re seeing control. These are the signs of the antichrist movement being put in place. Prophecy is being fulfilled globally. We thought the “chip” would surface in one area, but they’re talking about introducing the “chip” not only in Israel, but in Asia it’s already done, in America. These are the signs of the times. So for us, this is the time that the church has to be active. They have to get real. They need to get the Gospel out of the inside of the church. The Great Commission is the most important. People are open to the Gospel. They’re looking for spirituality of some type. They’re looking for God and hope and peace. This is why Jesus has given us the Good News. We’ve got to reach out, we need to invite them to church, and we need to reach them on their soil, wherever that is.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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