Chambersburg, Pa. — This time next year, commitments made in the heart will be visible on the faces of men wearing quizzically long beards — and as a result, potentially 1 million people around the globe in countries closed to Christianity could hear the name of Jesus Christ.
A new group of men is forecast to take up The Tide®(www.thetide.org) ministry’s Year Beard® challenge in 2021, growing out their facial hair to help offer hope to many people across the world. Participants commit to skipping shaving for a 12-month, 6-month, 3-month, or — for babyfaces — 1-month period and to raising support and awareness for The Tide ministry’s world mission projects.
With the support raised through Year Beard, The Tide ministry purchases additional airtime for its Gospel radio broadcasts in Africa, Asia, and Europe. For every dollar given, 20 more people worldwide hear about Jesus. In 2019, the first year of the challenge, $28,000 was donated to the ministry, which meant that 560,000 more people heard The Tide ministry’s international radio broadcasts.
After the success of the first year, The Tide filed Year Beard as a registered trademark and received notice of its official registration on June 2, 2020.
“The Tide takes a creative partnership approach to fulfill the great commission,” said Jared Brock, author of ‘Bearded Gospel Men,’ a devotional that 12-month Year Beard participants receive. “Through their international radio ministry, people hear about Christ for the very first time. I heartily endorse the Year Beard challenge — what better way to advance the Gospel than by remaining ‘follically’ faithful? Year Beard is a whole new way for everyday men to live out their faith and grow their own neck scarf.”
As men grow out their beards, they grow into more opportunities to share the Gospel with curious onlookers — if only by explaining they have committed to The Tide ministry’s Year Beard challenge to raise financial support for world missions. To help participants feel comfortable in their skin, The Tide ministry provides fact sheets and other resources about their current radio broadcasts and countries they’re involved in.
Heading into the 2019 Year Beard challenge, one 12-month participant named Dave said he hoped his beard would prove an icebreaker for talking about how The Tide ministry is introducing people to Jesus.
“I’m looking forward to this year, as my beard will hopefully become a conversation starter about how more people can hear the Gospel all over the world,” Dave said. “It’s great to know I can do something small to make a big impact.”
Dave’s hopes were realized. By the end of the year, Dave had collected more money than any other Year Beard participant. But no matter how much participants raise, all participants reflect Dave’s heart to share the Word of God and take the Great Commission a littler farther — or, if you like, a little longer.
Participants in the 2021 Year Beard challenge have the momentum of last year’s success behind them — and a unique website provided by The Tide ministry to help them pluck up their courage year-round. At www.yearbeard.org, a profile page exists for each beard grower showing progress photos and a dedicated, secure donation button for family and friends to show their support by making a donation to The Tide ministry.
Anyone with a heart for world missions and a courageous spirit can participate, and the best way to start is by registering for The Tide Year Beard challenge at www.yearbeard.org. Based on the length of each participant’s commitment, growers will receive a Year Beard t-shirt, the devotional “Bearded Gospel Men,” beard oil, and hand-cut combs shaped from a single piece of wood — to keep the frizz down.
“Year Beard provides a new way for men who care about the Great Commission to put their faith into action,” says Mark D. Story, Director of Development for The Tide ministry.
Story had the idea for men to change their appearance, thus triggering the question, “Why did you grow that ridiculous beard?”
“Love it or hate it, Year Beard did the job of raising awareness and funds for our global radio ministry,” Story said. “I guarantee that any man who grows a beard with me in 2021 will enjoy the camaraderie and knowledge that their commitment not to shave means greater accessibility to the Gospel. I call this the new face of world missions.”
The Tide ministry is actively seeking men, nationwide, with a faith commitment to Christ and a willingness to grow a beard by taking up the 2021 Year Beard® challenge. Visit www.YearBeard.org to watch videos of past participants who share their joys and challenges of not shaving for a whole year.
For nearly 75 years, The Tide ministry has recorded and broadcast Gospel programming in nine countries on three continents in 27 heart languages spoken by millions of people in multiple regions, including Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. With more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide and more than 2,000 people groups yet unreached with the Good News of Jesus, the opportunities are tremendous.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its website at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Director Don Shenk here.
To schedule interviews with Don Shenk, director of The Tide global radio ministry, contact[email protected], Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.