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In Recent Years

In recent years, we have taken some criticism for our “shift” in programs. Over 71 years ago we started our ministry as a way to connect with teenagers who were getting overlooked in the church. Today, many churches have strong programs for adolescents, teens and young adults. We had to figure out how we could partner with the Church. We hear a lot that teenagers are selfish, bad, troubled and disruptive. And they are. But so are we. We are saddened by other generations dismissing teens as a lost generation. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We see young adults and teens changing the paths of peers and adults, and we are proud to be working along side the Millennial generation.

The Barna Group did a report on the Most Evangelical Generation. This is an excerpt from that study:

“They’ve been called the social justice generation, and for good reason—Millennials are actively taking up the cause of the poor, the oppressed, the orphan and the widow. Yet the most common critique leveled at this surge in social compassion is that it comes at a great expense. Sure, skeptics argue, they might fed the hungry and free the captives in this life, but what about the next? According to this view, Millennials are elevating physical needs over spiritual needs and forgoing evangelism all together. Yet, the latest research from Barna reveals this is not the case…while the evangelistic practices of all other generations have either declined or remained static in the past few years, Millennials are the only generation among whom evangelism is on the rise. Their faith-sharing practices have escalated from 56% in 2010 to 65% in 2013. Not only that, but born again Millennials share their faith more than any other generation today. Nearly two-thirds (65%) have presented the Gospel to another within the past year, in contrast to the national average of about half (52%) of born again Christians.”

In a time when we hear that so many young people are leaving the church and not returning, these statistics are promising. At Youthfront, we are hearing stories of transformation as it directly relates to our programs.

  • We recently received a letter from a pastor sharing the conversion story of some of the youth from his church. They were transformed through the ministry of Youthfront that happened while they were serving in the Argentine district of Kansas City, KS. He described how this was having a significant impact on their entire church. I love these kinds of stories.
  • A mother shared how her teenage son had been dramatically transformed into a new person after spending time at Youthfront LaCygne this summer. A youth pastor told me that bringing youth to Youthfront West was critical to their spiritual formation.
  • In Croc, Mexico kids and teenagers lives are being impacted in life-changing ways. We have now financially helped approximately a dozen of the kids involved in Youthfront Mexico go to college. Several of them are back in Croc, helping Youthfront and giving back to the community.
  • We see the constant Facebook and other social media chatter among young people who describe the transformation that Jesus Christ has brought into their lives.

These are the stories that get us fired up. We also rejoice over the things that build our capacity and capability to do more things that help us fulfill our mission to bring youth into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Things like:

  • A beautiful new Activity Center at Youthfront Camp West and the progress we are making on the renovation of the Chapel. The new Activity Center is already attracting more young people. The renovated and expanded Chapel grows our capacity to have more at camp for summer weeks and weekend retreats.
  • The renovation of the Franklin Center in the Argentine District of Kansas City, KS which will make it the magnate for community gathering in the area. Youthfront’s ministry initiatives in this area will be greatly enhanced by this facility and the people who are coming around this project to bless the community.
  • The growth of Something to Eat which is enabling more youth to be discipled into a way of life that takes Jesus’ words seriously, “as you have done it to the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” Something to Eat meals are providing relief for those suffering from the lack of proper nutrition.

This is all good news to rejoice about. Now, here is the challenge. We are having a very difficult fall financially. While our projects above are making significant progress, we are dealing with a cash flow challenge in meeting our normal expenses. September and October have always been challenging months for us. This year we really need your help. Will you make a gift today that helps us continue to reach young people for Jesus, mobilize youth to serve, train young disciples, resource youth workers, help parents, and do all the things we are engaged in to fulfill our mission? Now, more than ever, we need your support.

The sad truth is that most ministries have a hard time making it financially. We don’t really like to talk about finances but our lives are connected to money. Even though we are struggling through economic hard times, we still live in one of the most prosperous cultures the world has ever known. Compared to the rest of the world and the annals of history we are living in an environment of affluence the world has rarely experienced. For those of us who have been blessed and prosperous, we are instructed to engage in generous and sacrificial giving and living. The Scripture instructs those who follow in the way of Jesus Christ to give as Christ gave. The Apostle Paul is clear that sacrificial giving by Christians should be given cheerfully (II Corinthians 9:6, 7, 13). Our belief in The Gospel should be our motivation for giving, not guilt, not for a hope that God will double our money back or to try to insure a future reward. Our motivation should come from the passion we have for the Great Good News.

Over the last several months we have directly ministered to thousands of young people who we were teaching how to pray, serve, and live fruitful lives for God in the way of Jesus Christ through the ministry of Youthfront. In addition to those young people we work with face-to-face, there are tens of thousands who are being impacted through Youthfront’s resources and youth worker training.

We need you right now. Youthfront has been faithfully communicating the Great Good News of Jesus Christ to young people for 71 years. We have a visionary staff that desires to reach more teenagers, disciple more teenagers and cooperate with God’s mission of restoration. My prayer and hope is that we can all learn how to be more generous followers of Jesus Christ who rise above the materialistic consumerism that we find ourselves surrounded by. Let’s live passionately as many of the Milliennials do and be obedient disciples of Jesus.

Thank you for your support over the years—we depend on your financial resources to help young people who desperately need to reject the false scripts that lead to heartache and brokenness. Young people will embrace the story of redemption through Jesus Christ and will respond to the invitation to follow Jesus Christ to life and life abundant. They are proving that already. Help us reach more. Donate today.


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