When I was a kid in the 50s, Dad used to take Tom and me to Youth for Christ rallies, crusade-type meetings on Saturday nights featuring musicians, speakers and special events -- maybe a magician or a newly-released Billy Graham movie. They drew crowds and many people came to know Christ through these rallies.
Junior high and high school years provided YFC club, a weekly Bible club at school. Goofy games and silly skits were blended with teaching and challenges to trust in Jesus and live for Him. We continued to have rallies, camps and banquets as well, all designed to point people to Christ. My heart for outreach was enlarged during these days, my fumbling efforts to share my faith encouraged.
In the mid-80s I found myself once again involved in Youth For Christ, this time as the administrative assistant at the Seattle Area YFC office. Our staff gave themselves to reaching kids with the love of Christ. By then, the clubs met off-campus; we had a foster care program; and we scheduled fast-paced multi-media presentations in area high schools, offering hope to hurting kids.
And now my son has re-connected me to YFC through the SPOT, the teen drop-in center in town that offers a place for kids to hang out two afternoons a week and Saturday night as well. The SPOT offers computer access, games, snacks, conversation, adult involvement -- let's just say love, acceptance and grace for teens. There's also a strong Teen Parent group. The Stanwood staff are amazing in their ability to connect with kids and support them right where they are.
Youth for Christ is still a viable ministry. As times have changed, so have its methods, but its passion to see kids come to know and grow in Christ has not.