Question: "What is Youth for Christ?"
Answer: Youth for Christ (YFC) is a worldwide Christian movement working with young people around the globe. They are motivated by their faith in Jesus Christ and share the gospel of Jesus with young people. Youth for Christ is made up of tens of thousands of full-time, part-time, and volunteer indigenous staff in more than 100 nations. There are over 160 local chapters in the United States alone. Their doctrinal statement adheres to the fundamentals of the faith, and their vision is to see that “every young person in every people group in every nation has the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and become a part of a local church” (from their official website).
Youth for Christ was born in the mid-1940s as various church leaders had a concern to reach young people who were being missed in the normal church ministry channels. Using pioneering methods, young evangelists held mass rallies in dozens of cities using the name Youth for Christ. The movement, with its emphasis on youth evangelism, expanded rapidly. Chicago pastor Torrey Johnson was elected the first president of YFC in 1944, and Billy Graham became the first full-time YFC evangelist.
Youth for Christ programs reach young people in ways that are relevant to teens in the context of their culture and life circumstances. YFC offers outreach programs to high school students, middle school students, parenting and expectant teens, deaf teens, incarcerated teens, and teens in military families. Youth for Christ also operates summer camps with the goal of reaching young people with the gospel of Christ.
Today Youth for Christ has grown to include 110 countries around the world, impacting millions of young people. There are currently over 14,000 churches that partner in the ministry and almost 60,000 ministry staff.
As the Lord’s representatives, we need to be faithful to the call that all Christians have to share the gospel with the lost. Young, not so young, old—it does not matter, all people, regardless of age, gender, or nationality, need to hear the Lord’s call to salvation, and we must be faithful to do our part. Youth for Christ is doing their part to bring the message of salvation to all people before the Lord’s return.
The apostle Paul saw the value of teaching young people and raising them to be the leaders of the future. Paul mentored Timothy, who was Paul’s “true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). Timothy was relatively young, but Paul had complete confidence in him. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Youth for Christ is right in viewing the world’s young people as a necessary mission field and devoting resources to evangelizing and training them in biblical truth.