A Window Into Juvenile Detention Ministry

A Window Into Juvenile Detention Ministry

Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago giving a snapshot into the real world of ministry to youth in juvenile detention. The three of us had arrived early and went through the usual process of emptying our pockets and remembering to lock everything in our vehicles except our photo identification and our Bibles. Alex is a lawyer and Ben is a retired juvenile court judge and the three of us look forward to these times when we get to spend an evening with a room full of teenage boys who are incarcerated in the Mountain View Juvenile Development Center just outside Knoxville, TN. The guards are always friendly as they go through the process of checking us through security. We sign in, leave car keys at the desk along with our identification and clip a visitor tag onto our shirt. They escort us through a few steel doors and each one locks behind us. We get to the room where we will hold our regular youth Bible study. We set up the room by placing the plastic chairs in the shape of a large oval. It seems like there is so much to catch up on while we are waiting for the youth to arrive escorted by guards. We use these few minutes to talk about our families, our church, work, books we are reading, and anything else on our minds. All the while we catch ourselves looking toward the window as we see teens entering the hallway. Are there just a few coming tonight? Are there a lot of them? Are there any new faces and are our regulars all coming? The guard sticks his key in and opens the door. Yes, we’ve been locked in here for several minutes waiting on them. Teenage boys rush into the room. Most of them have huge smiles on their faces. Rarely do any of them go straight to a chair. That’s just not how it goes. They rush up to Alex and Ben and to me and grab our hands offering a firm handshake. “Hey, it’s great to see you! How have you been? Thanks for coming tonight!” The room is energized! Everyone grabs a Bible (Alex always brings extras) or they have their own. The room is full! We sit down and everyone shares their name and a prayer request and then we pray. We dive right into a vibrant Bible study and I usually lead while Alex and Ben chime in with a quick testimony or an insight into the topic. It might surprise you to know, there are no discipline problems. It’s not a struggle to get anyone’s attention. It is a lively atmosphere and guys can’t wait to ask questions or share a thought. And there are these “God moments” that occur. Moments where it feels like He just pulled up a chair and sat in our circle and spoke right into the ear of someone. This happens a lot and it’s what keeps me so excited about this ministry. One of those moments happened recently while we were studying Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. A persecutor of Christians became a proclaimer of the gospel, basically overnight. One of the guys started to squirm and you could see that the wheels were turning in his mind. His hand shot into the air and he said, “Ken, are you telling me that God can change someone that much and He can do it that fast?” I said, “That’s exactly what I’m telling you.” He said, “That’s amazing. Because, Ken, I’m just going to be straight up with you. I’ve probably been arrested a hundred times and every time I get out I decided I’m going to do better but I always fail. I had no idea God could change someone like that and do it so quickly.” Then, guys all over the room began to speak to him and share quick testimonies of a specific way God had transformed their lives from the inside out. It was powerful. We had a powerful and meaningful moment of prayer as our time quickly ran out. It was obvious the Spirit of the Lord was moving. We gave the gospel and this young man didn’t accept Christ in the Bible study but he took a Bible and the plan of salvation printed in the back to his room. Pray for him to trust Christ.

View More: http://johnandlindsey.pass.us/commercialBeing with these guys and sharing God’s truth with them causes me to understand why James 1:27 is so powerful. Authentic faith looks like this… visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and keep unspotted from the world. 85-90% of these youth are fatherless. They need and they really want the hope and love that comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.Want to learn more about getting involved? Contact us.

High Impact Teens and the Ghana Project for Young Pastors

High Impact Teens and the Ghana Project for Young Pastors

In 2009 things were a little tough in the world of ministry, to put it mildly. We were one year into the founding of our outreach ministry and you probably remember, the economy was not good! I was working in my office in the basement of our home in Indianapolis on what was a very discouraging day. The phone rang and that changed. It was a missionary calling from Ghana, West Africa.

I answered the phone and it was Fred Kearney. We had never met. But here is what he said. “I walked into my office today here in Ghana, and a book was on my desk. It was a High Impact Teen one-year spiritual journal. I couldn’t believe it because I’ve been looking for something like this for the teens we are reaching in Africa. The youth don’t have anything like this over here. So I called the phone number on the back cover of this book to see if there is any way we can get these for our youth?”

No one knows how my High Impact Teen journal ended up in Africa, on the desk of a missionary.

We worked together and were able to ship about 100 HIT Journals to the youth.

Here is a picture of some of the youth smiling with excitement with their NEW HIT Journals a few years ago!

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A few years later, Fred Kearney called again. They were hosting a youth conference for several hundred teens from cities and villages all over. We reached out to our supporters and were able to help by providing a few hundred HIT Journals.

So, now here we are with a new UPDATE TO THE STORY.

Two of the teen guys who used the HIT Journals (or as Fred Kearney says… they devoured everything in these journals) are now grown. Both of them are 25 years old and God has called them to be pastors. Both of them are planting new churches in Ghana. Fred Kearney’s parent church, Lighthouse Baptist, will now have three other churches to bring a total of four vibrant churches reaching the lost of Africa. The two newest church plants are being pastored by these two young men.

Because the High Impact Teen Journal has been such a vital part of their spiritual development as teens, they want all the youth in their churches to use it as well in order to become grounded in the Word. They are requesting 100 HIT Journals for each of the two churches, or 200 HIT Journals. 

For a gift of $15, you can sponsor a teen in Ghana to be discipled by one of these young pastors with the High Impact Teen journal. Can you help sponsor one or more and invest in these youth who are hungry for the Word of God?

Let’s join hands and help Fred and Antoinette Kearney and invest in these two young pastors, Samuel and Prosper!

Check out their photos and a video below of these young pastors!

In Christ,
Ken Turner
Click the DONATE button to give online.
Select High Impact Ministries, and Ghana West Africa – HIT Journal Project.
Or you can mail a gift to High Impact Teens, PO Box 1325, Dayton, TN 37321.
Prefer to give via PayPal? Click here for our PayPal link
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Help Us Reach Our July Giving Goal

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Your gift today will help us meet our mid-2018 goal and is an investment in the life of a fatherless teen.

Our first youth group in 1987. Metro Baptist Church, Nashville, TN. *My wife, Jennifer is in the middle row, third from left to right. =)

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

Give a gift today that will change the life of a fatherless and troubled teen. As we move into the second half of 2018, we are releasing ministry training resources, online courses, and tools to equip others in ministry to fatherless. We need your help to expand our ministry to reach even more fatherless youth. You can read more specifics below.

Your best gift today, or even a matching gift pledge, will make a difference.

In Christ,

Ken Turner


Update: Joshua Goodling – Impact Young Lives

Update: Joshua Goodling – Impact Young Lives

Joshua Goodling Is Available To Speak To Youth In Your Community

The paperwork has all been completed, my mortgage is now paid, and I am ready to hit the road bringing the life-changing glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to young people and others!  I am currently stationed in Knoxville Tennessee while I look for a truck and trailer and pray that God will open the doors He wants.

Jesus said in John 4:34, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”  In the past few months, we’ve seen celebrities hang themselves, we’ve seen young people shoot others in schools and places, and we’ve seen a world that is filled with people seeking happiness and a meaning in life – but they are looking in the wrong places, they need to KNOW GOD!

I must also remind us that just because some of our young people are in churches does not mean they truly know Him.  Many of our churches and so-called Christian groups today are simply entertaining our youth, rather than teaching them the truths found in God’s Word.

I am currently booking speaking opportunities in churches, youth groups, camps, and other events all over the United States.  I know many of you who read this have contacts in places – please help me spread the word, and impact more young people for Jesus Christ!  Share my website, my facebook account, and other information!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support today and in the days and weeks ahead!



You can support Joshua and invest in bringing the message of the gospel to hurting youth!

1. By Mail: High Impact Teens, PO Box 1325, Dayton, TN 37321 *Indicate your gift is for Joshua Goodling: Impact Young Lives

2. Make an online donation here.

Big Announcement About Youth Speaker Joshua Goodling

Big Announcement About Youth Speaker Joshua Goodling

You meet so many people in life, but there are a few of those relationships that carry on forever.

My friend Joshua Goodling is one of those life-long friendships. We met in college, became friends, and God continues to use Joshua in my life on a weekly basis to strengthen my faith, and I believe He continues to use me in Joshua’s life in much the same way. It’s one of my “iron sharpens iron” relationships.

Have you ever met someone given “zero chance of survival?” I hadn’t until I met Joshua. You’ll need to read the story on his website because I can’t do it justice here. But at age four, his parents were informed his chance of living was zero, and he was given one week to live. That was in the 1960’s so as Joshua would say, “It’s been a long week.”

Over the past few years, Joshua’s life has taken many unexpected turns. After a very successful career as a web engineer with WebMD and then on to PGI, another international company based in Atlanta, he could not escape the burning desire to impact others for Christ by sharing his message of God’s power to overcome all obstacles.

Joshua has spoken to over 15,000 youth in the metro Atlanta area over the past few years. He receives invitations all school year long to talk to students and FCA clubs and entire school assemblies. He also speaks to churches and youth groups.

Today, at 12:00 noon, Joshua is signing the closing documents on his condo in Atlanta and plans to buy a truck and small RV and devote his life to sharing the message of God’s power to change lives to youth and adults.

Joshua has a contract to do web development projects for an Atlanta based company which helps provide for his needs, but there are some who have stepped up to support Joshua through our High Impact Teen outreach.
I wanted to share Joshua’s news with you, asking you to put Joshua on your prayer list and consider inviting Joshua to speak to youth in your community or at your church.

If you know of anyone with a smaller (20-24 foot) RV to sell, please pass that information along! Joshua is looking for a truck also.

Learn more about Joshua’s story, how to invite him as a speaker and how to support his ministry at JoshuaGoodling.com

You can also support Joshua through High Impact Teens by going to our giving page and making a donation today.

For Youth,

Ken Turner
High Impact Teens

Project #FatherlessNoMore – Ministry Update

Project #FatherlessNoMore – Ministry Update

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May 23, 2018

Our Ministry Partners Have Made This Possible

For ten years, Ken Turner Ministries, through our High Impact Teen youth outreach, has been ministering to high-risk and fatherless youth. Much of our impact has been through Bible studies, worship services, outreach events and one on one time invested in youth in our juvenile centers. Through volunteers and staff, we minister to youth in Tennessee, Indiana, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

The Problem That Remains

We’ve learned so much in these ten years, and we’ve seen God do His miraculous work in the hearts of fatherless youth. Hundreds of youth have accepted Christ and are fatherless no more. But, there is still much work to be done. 85-90% of the youth we serve are fatherless, motherless or both. Many of them go back to the same environments after we reach them. These youth need a relationship with a caring, nurturing adult who will mentor and disciple them. There are twenty-eight juvenile centers in Tennessee alone and High Impact Teens ministers in the three long-term facilities in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis.

There are two great needs here:

1. The need for more adult mentors and disciple-makers who are specially trained for one on one ministry with fatherless youth and…

2. The need for more adult ministry volunteers who are specially trained to do regular ministry in juvenile centers as well as other places serving fatherless youth.

Our Solution To The Problem

Just over a year ago our ministry began a pursuit of high-level training to become better equipped to recruit, screen, train, and manage teams of mentors. Much of our training came from the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring (CAYM), an organization that has trained over 400 churches to do mentoring ministry. We are now working with churches and individuals in Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis and other cities to join us and be trained to minister to youth through mentoring. We are also ready to roll out online training for ministry to fatherless and high-risk youth that adults can complete being equipped to reach teens in their community.  We are re-vamping our High Impact Teen journal which over 15,000 teens have used so far as their “spiritual growth plan” and found a structure to keep them on track in seven disciplines of spiritual growth. In addition to the online training for mentors, and training for fatherless ministry, we are also adding an online study for teens using the High Impact Teen journal to remain focused in on a weekly study method to maintain their commitment to Christ.

My Invitation To You

These youth among us have spiritual needs, and we believe you, and I can make a difference in their lives. You can get involved in ministry to the fatherless and experience the joy of serving and investing in their lives in a meaningful way. We believe fatherless youth can be “fatherless no more” by knowing God and seeing Him in us.

For youth,

Ken Turner

You can join us by…

  1. Donating today to support our outreach ministry, new training startup and provide HIT Spiritual Journals to youth.
  2. Sign up below to learn more about training for mentoring or ministry to the fatherless.
  3. Sign up below to be on our “prayer alert” list to receive prayer requests from the front-line of our ministry.

Donate online or by mailing a gift to: Ken Turner Ministries, PO Box 1325, Dayton, TN 37321





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