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Kids find Christ through the expanding ministry of YFC

“We pursue kids where they are, instead of expecting them to come to us,” says the CEO of Youth for Christ, Jacob Bland. “Together, through trusted relationships, we point them to Jesus, who gives life to their story.”

Even in a seemingly hostile environment, or perhaps because of it, Youth For Christ recently announced a 20% average increase across all outcomes and 7,855 kids who came to know Christ. The encouraging data was included in the organization’s ministry report for 2022-2023. It included numerous milestones.

According to YFC President and CEO Jacob Bland, “This means that, across our 1,200 ministry sites in the USA, more kids are sharing their name with a YFC leader, engaging in Christ-centered relationships, making a decision to follow Christ and plugging into discipleship.”

For more than seven decades, YFC has served as a pioneer in missional youth outreach, helping 11–19-year-olds uncover God’s story of hope in their story through authentic relationships, shared experiences, outdoor adventure, mentoring, small groups and more.

Bland said, “Every day we strive to engage young people who feel isolated and overlooked, whether they’re struggling with anxiety, locked up in juvenile detention, deaf or hard of hearing, feeling unsafe at home or just learning that a parent has been deployed.

The Covid pandemic was disastrous on the minds of young people. The organization had responded with special outreach dealing with loneliness and many found comfort and resolution. Now, students are pointing other students toward Christ.

Thirty-eight percent more students engaged with local churches this year.

Bland noted, “We also saw 25% more kids relationally sharing their faith with their peers — this year compared to last. They are living out YFC’s ‘3Story way of life’ and it’s this rising metric of young leaders that has our full attention. Frankly, Generation Z seems to be much more open to discussions about faith among their peers than the generations that immediately preceded them. It’s clear that this is a strategic opportunity God is creating for ministries like YFC and our Kingdom partners.”

Thirty-eight percent more students engaged with local churches this year.

YFC’s 3Story concept is an integral part of the organization’s strategy, forming a holistic approach to ministry that incorporates three key narratives.

Bland shared, “3Story is how we live in relationships with God and others. The three circles represent God’s story, my story and the stories of young people. When the circles overlap, it means friendship is growing, trust is building, transformation is happening.”

The report also noted that compared to last year:

  • Seven percent more teens made a first-time decision for Christ.
  • Thirty-eight percent more students engaged with local churches this year.
  • Twenty-one percent more kids began sharing their faith with their friends.

“Because of God’s faithfulness, 2,907 kids became multipliers of the hope of Christ!” Bland enthused.

Yet even as YFC looks back on a phenomenal year of ministry, Bland notes the numbers only matter because they tell a story.

Bland said, “In YFC, we aren’t celebrating numbers or scope or scale. We celebrate how Christ is moving. These are more than numbers — every number has a name, and every name has a story. The harvest is ripe among this generation and Jesus is still calling us to pray earnestly and trust Him as Lord of the harvest, the solution for every soul, every story.”

Youth For Christ has been a leader in missional youth outreach for more than seven decades and is dedicated to uncovering God’s story of hope in the next generation that desperately needs it. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement.

YFC chapters impact thousands of communities across the nation, seeking out and serving youth from all walks of life. Young people are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues — and through the YFC ministry God empowers them and they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life to lead people to Christ.

YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when Dr. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has over 130 chapters that impact communities across America through over 1,200 local ministry sites.

Visit the Youth For Christ media page here. Learn more about Youth For Christ at its website, www.yfc.net,  Facebook and Instagram pages, Twitter feed @yfcusa or on Vimeo.

–Metro Voice

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