Ministry doesn’t slow down in summer, you might just say it goes “off-roading.” We have more pool events, trips, small group bible studies, hangouts, and church exposure as we mix up the events and do some deeper building times. This last month we took over 70 kids to YFC Camp. I love camp because it accelerates relationships and gets kids out of their regular element for new experiences and new possibilities in their life.
One night at YFC’s Middle School Camp the girls in Courtney’s cabin huddled around her bunk to hear her testimony. She shared where she had come from and how she met Jesus. As she shared the changes God started making in her life their eyes got bigger and bigger. Courtney shared how God traded himself for us; his goodness for our sin, his life for our death, his love for our hate. She shared the good news of Jesus and asked if anyone wanted to receive Christ in their life. One young girl said “Yes” and they went outside to pray and talk. There were tears, lots of them, and tons of questions that will all take time to answer. On the new path of discipleship, this young girl was sticking to Courtney like glue.
Our stories are full of twists and turns, aren’t they? We have powerful markers in time when something fundamentally changes in us. And other times we feel like we looped all the way back to the beginning. David is a kid we worked with in City Life almost 10 years ago. He was mentored closely by his YFC staff member Gabe. They did art together, started a skateboard repair program, and even did the original mural on the side of our downtown center. We got David a job and kept walking with him after he graduated. 10 years later, after we painted the building and covered up the fading mural, David came back around to leave us a wall-sized, graffiti message of his disapproval. Lost adults do lost things. Here’s a silver lining though, Gabe is still involved with David and was my first call. God’s not done with David, and we aren’t either! Evangelism and discipleship don’t stop for us at age 19. The Christ-sharing relationships carry on through twists and turns. It’s tough! And really good.
This last year YFC reached 70% more kids than the year before. Praise God! Here’s how the last school year turned out:
- 1,778 kids came to a YFC program.
- 1,231 kids were engaged in conversations where we learned more of their story.
- 887 kids were identified as spiritually lost and we started a Christ-sharing relationship with them.
- 130 made a new decision to follow Jesus.
- 108 completed an initial follow-up/discipleship program.
- 71 became involved in an ongoing fellowship/church.
- 53 joined student leadership
I want to see kids’ lives changed, don’t you? I want them to discover that God has a big and good purpose for them. An adventure of awe in his goodness and power, of finding life in the loving and serving of others, and deep connectedness with His body, the church. Until and unless they do, they will only know a “life” that leads to death.
May God send us this year into NEW relationships with kids and would He again change their lives and futures by the power of Jesus in their life.
P.S. Get your walk, stroll, or run on at YFC’s Campus Life 5k on August 27th. $35 for great swag, a frozen treat, and a legit race. Oh, and it fuels the on-campus ministry we do with kids. What a deal! Sign up today at YFCnow.org/CL5k.