YFC: ‘Reaching Students with Hope, Resiliency, and a Message That Says You Matter More Than Anything Else’
January 10, 2022
At the start of the new year, Youth For Christ Metro Maryland (YFC Metro Maryland, www.mmyfc.org), a chapter of Youth for Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), hits the ground running as Campus Life Military Director Chris Martin partners with local ministers and school administrators to bring hope and healing to the military-connected youth of the community. YFC Metro Maryland is dedicated to meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the youth in and surrounding Fort Meade, Maryland, and has the second largest workforce of any Army installation in the continental United States. There are more than 65,000 military and civilians on the installation.
Since military families are often moving after a few years, the need to quickly reach military-connected youth with the Gospel is urgent. In a world full of distractions, this can be difficult.
Martin commented, “Youth these days are bombarded with everything from what they hold in their hand all day long from the tablets to the cell phones, to the radio, to the movies, to the TV. They’re constantly being told who they are, what they need to buy, what they need to wear and what they need to look like.”
Through all these distractions, Martin and the rest of the YFC Metro Maryland teamare determined to come alongside youth that are connected to the military and share the love and hope of Christ. For some young people, all it takes is for someone to listen and understand their basic struggles.
“Some youth who are connected to the military are coming to school with so many struggles like an unstable home life, financial issues at home, no leadership at home, and no spiritual resiliency” stated Martin. “We come alongside youth in those situations and provide an additional layer of support during such a pivotal time in their lives.”
With a goal to “make sure that every student feels heard and that they have someone to talk to,” Martin and the rest of the YFC Metro Maryland team are tirelessly working to build up their presence in the military community of Fort Meade and show every youth that they are fully loved by God and that He desires a real, intimate relationship with them.
Martin commented, “I want the youth in our area to think, ‘Today I could have dirty clothes and not much money, but I know that Christ has a plan and a purpose for me. I may feel like I scored low on this test, but I know that this test doesn’t define me. It’s Christ that defines me.’
“If we can get the kids to start thinking like that and seeing how God has a bigger purpose for their lives, I’ll know that we are making a real impact on the youth in our community.”
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