David McKee, Year Beard participant

After a full three months of not shaving, the beards on the faces of a brave group of men are getting longer, thicker and a little more unruly. But it’s all for a good cause.

The men have committed to be a part of our unique “Year Beard” challenge and vowed not to shave their beards for the entire year of 2019 to raise awareness and funds for the ministry. Fourteen men have committed to a full-year beard, while two others won’t shave for shorter periods of time.

Through the “Year Beard” campaign, the bearded men will each have a fundraising goal that will help purchase more airtime for The Tide ministry’s Gospel radio broadcasts in Asia, Africa and Europe. A motivating factor is the knowledge that for every dollar given, 20 more people worldwide can hear about Jesus.

“After one quarter of beard growth, the Year Beard challenge is catching on, as people who knew nothing of our global radio ministry are being told about The Tide ministry as they ask, ‘What’s up with that beard?’” said Director of Development Mark Story, who initiated the project and is also a participant. “Interestingly, this applies to believers and nonbelievers. Christians are excited to learn about global evangelism and non-Christian like that we’re doing something unique and different, as they, too, hear about the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Several of the brave men are excited about allowing their beards to serve as a conversation piece for The Tideministry and its work around the globe.

“Year Beard gives me a reason to grow for a full 12 months—something I’ve always wanted to try. I’m a big fan of missions work, and I like supporting these kinds of causes,” said participant David.

Added Brad, “I have done a lot of things to serve, and growing facial hair seemed like a new, easy and unique way to help promote the Gospel.”

Those who are growing their beards for the entire year have a fundraising goal of $1,000 each. Participants are working toward that goal by sending personal fundraising letters and emails, conducting special lunches and dinners and engaging in other fundraising tactics so that more people will be able to hear about the saving grace of Jesus Christ in their own language, such as this listener named Tomide in Nigeria.

“I want to thank you for the radio you gave to me,” she said. “The ‘Labarun Lafia’ (program) is really a source hope for me and family. I want to glorify God for the advice you gave me. The teaching of love has so much improved my daily life in the family.”

Depending on the time they commit to growing their beards, participants have received t-shirts, beard combs, beard oil and a devotional book called “Bearded Gospel Men,” along with conversation starters such as country fact sheets, a testimony sheet and a pocket info card so they can speak to potential donors about The Tidemission. Those who raise the most money for The Tide ministry throughout the year will be eligible to win sporting event tickets and gift cards.