Youth For Christ President and CEO Jacob Bland challenges leaders to focus on the heart, posture and character of Jesus
Youth For Christ’s (YFC, www.yfc.net) Institute remains YFC’s foundational training ground for new leaders, providing resources, relationships and experiences that nurture personal devotion to Jesus and equip leaders to fulfill the mission of YFC. The training goal is to develop Christ-centered leaders in authentic Christ-sharing relationships, forever becoming story tellers who are missionally focused, committed to excellence and empowering others. It is at this year’s 2022 Institute, over 100 new YFC leaders, representing 50 of the 130+ YFC chapters nationwide, joined Youth For Christ President and CEO Jacob Bland and many other YFC leaders to build community and train for the mission of reaching youth nationally and globally.
YFC: ‘Christ in us is the only hope of glory’
In the midst of a pandemic, YFC recognizes the crucial need for mentors in the lives of teens. While many leaders have been burned out, have struggled or felt defeated, Bland encourages the trainees to lean into Christ’s strength instead of self-reliance. Bland remarked, “Maybe that’s part of the grace over the last two years—we were pressed beyond our own strength so that we might learn to rely not on ourselves, but instead to rely on Him who raises the dead because Christ in us is the only hope of glory.”
Bland stated, “We live in an era where we’re far more prone to scroll through social media and search for the latest meme. But isn’t it refreshing that we have the privilege of serving in a mission that endeavors to first and foremost, lift high the name of Christ in YFC?”Bland reminded the trainees of the importance of their own relationship with God and that his sincere desire is that everyone of them would have an intimate encounter with Jesus. It is not in their own abilities that they find success, but in Christ alone.
Bland concluded, “I pray that all of us will have a personal encounter with the living Christ this week; that your hearts would burn because you have been with Jesus. So, if you hear me say nothing else, then hear me say this— it is Christ in you. That is the hope of glory. Not your intellect, not your creativity, not your ability to multitask or relate to kids, not your eloquence or your relevance. It is Christ in you. That is the hope of glory.”
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, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which is the idea that the work of the Gospel happens in the overlap of God’s story, our story, and our neighbor’s story. It’s the DNA of YFC ministry that leaders hold to as they pursue meaningful relationships with young people who are walking through pivotal and story-shaping moments in life.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. 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. 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. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has over 130 chapters that impact communities across America.
Note: Christian Activities publisher Kathryn Darden served on staff with Nashville Youth for Christ over a decade ago.
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