Youth for Christ (YFC) knows that Christian teenagers' behavior often is not that different from that of their non-Christian peers. Thus, the youth ministry devoted its recent DC/LA '97 "SuperConferences" on evangelism as places to teach teens how to put their faith into action.
"We want to help equip Christian kids to live what they believe," said YFC/USA President Roger Cross. YFC's triennial conferences attracted 10,000 teens to Los Angeles June 25-29 and 20,000 to Washington, D.C., July 16-20.
Cross cited George Barna's research as a key reason for the "Live the Life" theme. In his 1995 book, Generation Next: What You Need to Know About Today's Youth, Barna wrote, "The behaviors we tested are virtually identical among Christian and non-Christian teenagers. Both segments were equally likely to volunteer their time to the needy, to cheat on an exam, to steal possessions, to look through a pornographic magazine, to have had sexual intercourse, to have attempted suicide, and to spend time watching MTV during the week.
"Most teenagers' lives do not seem to have been substantially altered by their faith views," Barna wrote.
To help teens "Live the Life," YFC held student seminars at DC/LA with such titles as "Geek-Proof Your Faith," "How to Take the Garbage Out," "S.O.A.R. (Sold Out And Radical)," and "What Kind of Billboard Are You?"
At the conferences, YFC also kicked off its "Gotta Care" campaign, a game plan for helping teens practice six Christian disciplines—praying, giving, Bible reading, witnessing, serving others, and abiding in Christ (see "Campolo: You Gotta Serve!" at the bottom of this article).
Students in D.C. said they were eager to return home and practice the things they learned at the conference.
"DC/LA has ...1