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Teen website changes lives through laughs and relationship Print E-mail
Friday, February 11, 2011

HARRISON, Ark.—With just the click of a mouse, Doug Hutchcraft and Jon Taylor are pointing teenagers and young adults to Jesus.

Desiring to communicate the gospel to a generation that has grown up on the Internet, they have developed a one-of-a-kind website known as the “Doug and Jon Show.” 

Jon Taylor (left) and Doug Hutchcraft brainstorm new ideas for their website, www.thedougandjonshow.com.  Since the site’s founding in 2009, more than 11,000 teenagers from 48 countries have indicated they have committed their lives to Christ as a result of it.

The site’s interactive format provides a safe haven for young people to laugh, share thoughts, open up about their challenges and be introduced to Jesus Christ. 

“Young people under the age of 25 make up the largest mission field right now,”  Hutchcraft said. 

“The majority of this age group has no idea who Jesus Christ is. They feel hopeless and feel completely disconnected from their parents and friends. When we were thinking of ways to effectively reach them, we realized that this age group spends most of their time on the Internet—communicating with friends, checking e-mail and getting all of their information. 

“We realized that if these young people are searching for information on the Internet, then Christians have to be there to point them to the truth, hope, forgiveness and love found in a relationship with Jesus.”

Based out of Harrison, Ark., Hutchcraft and Taylor desire to connect students to Christ through a variety of ways with this platform, including sharing their own testimonies and life experiences. Their site also showcases humorous videos designed to break down barriers, build relationships and allow the truth to enter. 

In a “Life Video Blog” section, they address serious issues young people face—peer pressure, loneliness, bullying and sex. Taylor’s wife, Kara, offers a female perspective in a section called “Café de Kara.” 

“It is amazing at how young an age people can throw their lives away,” Hutchcraft said. “These days, young people face so many heartbreaking problems tied to family, school and peer expectations. Our goal with TheDougAndJonShow.com is to provide a refuge for them—a place where they can be entertained or discuss tough issues … or even choose to hear about the hope that only Jesus can offer.”

Taylor agreed, adding:  “We want to reach the teen who may not feel comfortable stepping through the doors of a church or attending a youth group event but is surfing the Web for answers to life’s difficult questions. We share our life struggles on the site in hopes that it can be an encouragement to teens going through the same thing.”

In addition to making a significant impact on teenagers, Hutchcraft and Taylor have made quite an impression on parents, as well.

“There are things that only parents can do, and we can’t take the place of that,” Hutchcraft said. “But what we can do is try to help teenagers understand where parents are coming from, and say: ‘Hey, give your parents a break. They’re trying to connect with you. They’re trying to understand.’ Hopefully, we can encourage teenagers to build relationships with their parents and communicate with them.”

Taylor added: “We’ve had parents ask us how we’re able to share these messages with teenagers. Parents realize the value of that and appreciate us addressing issues very bluntly, sincerely and authentically—but still in a way that teens will listen to. We hear it over and over again from parents saying, ‘My child needs this.’”

Since the site’s founding in 2009, more than 11,000 teenagers from 48 countries have indicated they have committed their lives to Christ as a result of the resource.

“People talk about viral videos and messages now,” Hutchcraft said. “But the ultimate viral message happened on the day of Pentecost—when thousands came to know Jesus.  That same thing is happening on the Internet today as teenagers are watching these videos, accepting Christ and then passing it on to their friends. That’s the beauty and power of the gospel right there. A young believer might have a hard time knowing how to share their faith, but they don’t have a hard time saying: ‘You should go check out this website or video.’”

 

 
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