"I'm willing to juggle chainsaws to reach teens."
That is a comment I have frequently heard from Chad Daniel, host of the popular Daystar TV show YouthBytes. While I have never seen him juggle, I have seen him jump out of an airplane and preach a message on taking a step of faith while falling to the ground, I have seen him handle a 16-foot Burmese python in a giant bathtub, and I have watched a spider the size of my hand crawl out of his mouth.
According to Chad, the message of the gospel is sacred, but the methods we employ in sharing it are subject to our endless creativity. Chad is a master of using media and is willing to walk the plank of "crazy" to communicate simple truths.
When it comes to tackling teen issues, the world is his stage. In dealing with peer pressure, he flew his crew to Sicily and acted out the scenario of his joining the Mafia. When they figuratively put a hit out on him, while he escaped, he was able to talk to young people about the influence, bullies and pressures young people face in joining gangs.
To deal with the issue of persecution, he dressed up like a gladiator and fought in Rome's Colosseum, then spoke to young people about those who were thrown to the lions in that location. When tackling deception and counterfeit temptations, Chad dressed up like a pirate and went into the knock-off markets of Thailand. "You see, lust looks like love, but it's just the devil's counterfeit" he says.
When it comes to teen suicide and the value of life, Chad made his way to the famed "Sea of Trees" forests at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan. From that renowned place of suicide, Chad speaks to young people about the value of life. In the end, Chad's messages get through in ways that are very difficult to forget.
These types of topics and the humorous and creative ways they are filmed have made YouthBytes a phenomenal tool for churches and parents to use in the discipleship of their teens, especially in the age of COVID-19.
The incredible story of the creation of the 60 episodes of YouthBytes and the ministry of Chad Daniel are the focus of this week's Lessons from Legends podcast and videocast program. The visual version can be accessed by clicking here.
Some sample seven-minute sessions can be found by looking for YouthBytes here.
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