Meeting “Johnnys” and “Marys”

by Ken Ham on June 29, 2010

At the AiG conference in Washington, when discussing the problem of young people who leave the church (two thirds by college age based on the Already Gone research), I refer to them as “Johnnys and Marys.” I also say that if Johnny and Mary are brought up to stand on the authority of God’s Word from a young age—taught how to defend their faith and answer the questions of the age—then this can make an enormous difference in their life. I say that Johnny and Mary are much more likely to stay in church, and then they bring their children up to stay in church, etc. A major problem today is that the church is not teaching coming generations how to defend the Christian faith and basically just teaching Bible “stories.”  And because so many church leaders compromise God’s Word with millions of years and evolution yet proclaim the message of Christ—young people view this as “hypocrisy” (which is one of the major reasons so many “Johnnys” and “Marys” leave the church).

I have had many people this trip come to me and say, “I was a Johnny” or “I was a Mary.” They walked away from the church as teenagers, but most of them have been telling me they came across AiG material, which changed their lives. Now they are bringing their children up on AiG apologetic material, and they tell me, “our little Johnny and Mary love the Lord and aren’t having the struggles we had—thank you so much.”

One lady handed me a letter, which I typed out:

Dear Mr Ham, I visited this church for the first time yesterday and I am so grateful I was obedient to the Holy Spirit. You opened up my life and looked inside with the Already Gone data. I was at the church whenever the doors opened until I was 15 years old. [Their] hypocrisy was too much to stand up to. I never stopped believing in Jesus and eventually made my way back to the faith several years ago. I am still “unlearning” all that stuff that didn’t fit with the Bible. It has been a slow and steady process for the last several years but yesterday was an awesome, incredible life changing day. I can now build my shield and pass it on to my boys and others. I am now changed forever. Thank you for being obedient to God!!
I have received many similar testimonies at this conference. Here are some more photographs:

[caption id="attachment_10079" align="alignnone" width="300" caption=" "]I met a longtime friend—Marvin Lubenow. He authored the book Bones of Contention and was a Professor at Christian Heritage College. I first met him when I moved to the USA to work with the Institute for Creation Research then in San Diego.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10080" align="alignnone" width="300" caption=" "]Our video team had a special Dinosaurs for Kids prop made for the children’s presentation.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10081" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Here you can see the size of the prop."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10082" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Our dedicated group of volunteers—we praise the Lord for the vital help these volunteers give for the whole conference."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10083" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Families obtaining resources during the children’s session"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10084" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="The auditorium Monday night"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10085" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Me speaking Monday night"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10086" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Answering questions for children and adults"][/caption]


So shall we be separated

(Exodus 33:16) For wherein shall it be known here that I and your people have found grace in your sight? Is it not in that you go with us? So shall we be separated, I and you people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

The presence of the Lord Jesus Christ with us states to the world that we are saved from our sins, and it is also what causes us to live a separated life from the world.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,



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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.