‘Kids don’t come to Jesus through an organization or programming as much as they do through trusted relationships with leaders who share the Gospel first with their lives and then with their words’
September 19, 2022
SAN ANTONIO— For Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a leader in the missional ministry community in America for 77 years, their mission to reach local youth and create impactful relationships that connect young people with the truth of the Gospel is aided by help of volunteers from the community. Thousands of volunteers across the country come alongside young people during pivotal moments in their lives and point them towards Christ and His plan for their lives.
San Antonio YFC is thankful for their many volunteers who help bridge the gap and provide a safe place for young people to feel seen and respected.
Sandy Vogelman, San Antonio YFC Ministry Stewardship Director, stated, “Frederick Buechner, author of ‘Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC’ is often quoted as saying, ‘The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’ I believe that YFC is a place where fellow believers’ deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet — a place where they can answer their personal call to serve and share the transforming message of Jesus with kids from all walks of life. Volunteers, or Ministry Leaders as we call them, do not serve to help us fulfill mission but rather to fulfill the mission that God has called each of them to and we all benefit because of it. Kids don’t come to Jesus through an organization or programming as much as they do through trusted relationships with leaders who share the Gospel first with their lives and then with their words. At YFC, ministry leaders make the mission possible.”
One volunteer, an ex-firefighter named Raul Chapa, became a licensed counselor after leaving the San Antonio Fire Department. God began to encourage Chapa to use his abilities for the Kingdom, who now offers pro-bono counseling for YFC staff and volunteers once a week.
“It is so easy to lose hope today,” Chapa stated. “In my time in the Fire Department, I witnessed many horrible things and am still dealing with those traumas today, as well as the trauma of being raised in an alcoholic home. Dealing with that pain unfortunately led to addictive behavior that I am still overcoming today. Part of my healing has been the opportunity to see the mission of YFC in action and see healing take place through the work of the missionaries and volunteers. I have seen God truly work in supernatural and mysterious ways before my eyes that I would not have seen if I had not volunteered. It is not a coincidence that God brought YFC into my life and I will always be grateful for the healing and the opportunity to serve HIM through YFC.”
Another volunteer, Maddie Werland, went through the San Antonio YFC Campus Life ministry as a youth and is now giving back. Coming from an affluent high school, Werland lacked for little in her daily life but didn’t have what really matters in life — a relationship with Christ. She gave her life to Christ and began serving with YFC straight out of high school. With a deep desire to reach urban youth through YFC’s City Life ministry, Werland is constantly searching for ways to impact her local YFC chapter, such as donating discontinued sneakers to YFC youth in need.
Werland commented, “YFC is a place where I can be myself and feel at home, just as my students do. Being a volunteer has challenged me spiritually, mentally, and creatively. I have grown so much by being surrounded by a team that cares and encourages me daily. I genuinely enjoy being able to make a difference and share the love of Jesus that I was given as a student.”
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. 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.