For nearly 50 years, Youth Encounter has partnered with Christian communities to strengthen youth ministry. Today, we are able to look back on and celebrate countless stories of transformation within the lives of young people, families, churches, and communities. These are the stories of God at work among His people. Through all, runs the thread of the love of Jesus. It is this thread that unites us. Each of us – parent, pastor, host family, youth, alumni, staff, or stranger – has, at some point, sensed the ensuing wonder among us. United in Christ, we are privileged to be a fellow worker with God!
In recent years, despite volunteer shortage, low-level giving, and a semi-static ministry model, God has continued to author stories great and small amidst the Youth Encounter community. And now, if you turn your ear toward Minnesota, you might hear a rustling as the page is turned and the pen is set to scratching a new chapter. With visionary leadership, renewed vigor, and the passion for youth ministry that has long defined the organization, Youth Encounter is on the move. In faith (and not with little risk), they are implementing a comprehensive and strategic plan that responds to the great changes sweeping society and church.
Earlier this week, I joined the Youth Encounter staff in morning prayer. Next week, I will join in worship with a crew of young people entering into team ministry. God is at work – as He always has been. If ever there were a time to push for the work of YE, it is now. If you value your past or present involvement with Youth Encounter, I ask that you join the ranks of those who are working to see the story of Jesus told anew in lives of our youth.
Do you have YE-related memories that, like a flash of passing light, seize your attention still? Stop, settle your mind, and you may recall a wonder-filled moment when God granted you a glimpse of true reality and His Kingdom come near. Need help? Consider these Youth Encounter team journals from 2002-2009. (Republished below by permission of Youth Encounter.)
For the glory of His name, ask God that He might bless and keep the work of Youth Encounter. Ask that people will continue to meet Jesus through the work of YE. Ask that the story told in these 50 years past might continually issue forth fruit. Ask for 50 years forward.
It reminded me that God hears prayers, all of them, and that each one of us is called to do something in preparation for his kingdom.
– Tysen Bibb (Captive Free East Coast ’02-’03)
Please, join us and give to Youth Encounter today. Give from the gratefulness of your heart and for memories that linger in your mind. Give that others might be transformed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus.
I wonder if we don’t make giving more complicated than it actually is. In order to give to God, to show the love that we have for him, all we have to do is care about his people. That’s something we can do every day of our lives.
– Sara Berge (Lifeline ’06-’07)
Yes. Tell the old story of Jesus and His love! What greater joy have we as His redeemed people than to join in the cause of His kingdom come on earth?
This Body of Christ I have witnessed is not sedentary. The Bride of Christ is at work. She recognizes the need for the world to know the Savior – and she is responding. This Bride is not deaf to the cries of the fallen world. She realizes that her strength lies in the One who called her. Her only agenda is to love without fear. This Church’s love has the power to expand and rise above language, nationality, race, religion, country lines, and war zones. The Bride of Christ has the victory because she knows who is fighting with her. This Church, the Body of Christ, is spiritually feeding the world.
This Church will not be satisfied until the world is saturated with the Spirit of God. She will not rest until her Bridegroom returns…
We are a part of this beautiful, living Bride of Christ. While we are waiting we will watch and pray. We will respond. We will point the world to the cross and hope in expectation for the world to join us in adoring the King of Kings.
What a privilege we have to enjoy sweet communion with our Savior and with our brothers and sisters from all over the world! Let us rejoice in the calling our Lord has given us. Through the Spirit, who grants us unity, let us continue to proclaim the great message of love that is delivered in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
– Rachel Ringlaben (Kindred ’07-’08)
Finally, I charge you today: share your Youth Encounter story (comment below, tag @youthencounter and #yestory on social media, or invite someone to chat in a private room below). Also, share this post. Doing so will give your friend, family, or fellow teamer the opportunity to recall their stories of involvement with YE.
Youth Encounter has long been in service for the Kingdom of Christ, ministering the love of Jesus to the Church on Earth. Join them again today.
God is tracing out a tale full of faith, hope, and love. Let us listen to the telling and engage ourselves in the Spirit’s moving among us now for the glory His name – Jesus. May His grace by yours today.
Youth Encounter Team Journals
Captive Free North Central
Captive Free North East
Captive Free North West
Captive Free South Central
Captive Free South East
Captive Free South West
Captive Free West Lakes