YFC leader: ‘We are creating a culture where we’re able to share real life testimonies of investing in the lives of young people’
March 7, 2022
TAMPA, Fla.—Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net) 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. By equipping leaders to reach youth at pivotal moments in their lives and lovingly point them towards Jesus, YFC impacts communities for the kingdom through the heart and dedication of their staff and volunteers.
YFC Highlands County has been impacting the area since 1997. Led by Executive Director Tayna Taylor, YFC Highlands County has been affecting the surrounding community through their City Life and Campus Life Ministries. Through community collaboration, a teen center has been built and is now a hub where students can come to have meaningful relationships and meet Jesus through the stories of the volunteers.
Taylor stated, “We are actively involved in every middle and high school in the county. We finished the community center that provides a home for this amazing ministry where we’ve seen over 300 middle and high school students who’ve come through that program over the four years that we’ve been there.”
When talking about the heart of YFC, Taylor is quick to point out the crux of the ministry—the relationships. By having loving, impactful adults consistently investing their lives, youth feel safe and are able to share their burdens. For example, one student had a family member with a health crisis. She knew that the community center was a safe place for her, so that in a time of need she brought her mom to come and pray with the teen center director. Taylor recalled the moment of seeing this student come to Christ.
Taylor said, “When I walked in and came around the corner, the teenager had already accepted Jesus into her heart. It was just a beautiful testament to the relational ministry that’s happening at the teen center. I don’t think the volunteer realized that just calling her by her name when she walked in and asking her how she was that he was opening the door to sharing the Gospel, but that’s exactly what happened. She knew he was a safe person to bring her mom to for prayer. It’s just phenomenal. Now she comes every single week and brings her friends.”
Taylor commented on the power of volunteers sharing their life with the youth. “We are individually reaching young people. They will forever remember going and having a soda and some ice cream at the soda shop. Because in their world, they have got so much darkness and so many struggles that those are little moments that they’re able to just be loved on and be kids. We just share the hope of Christ. As we’re showing those stories in the community, it inspires our new leaders that are coming in to do ministry the way Jesus did ministry.”
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 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 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.