When Youth for Christ appeared dramatically on the religious scene in 1944, some evangelical leaders began to criticize it. Others postponed their criticism with the belief that the new “baby” was basically healthy and in time would grow up to make a large contribution to the cause of Christ. Youth for Christ is now in its fifteenth year, and I believe it is ready for a frank appraisal. Having worked with the organization and its leaders from the early days, but never as an official part of it, I think I have sufficient detachment to be objective, and enough knowledge to be factual.

A Baby Matures

There is no doubt in my mind that Youth for Christ has matured and has “put away childish things.” Some Christians, when they hear the name “Youth for Christ,” still think in terms of the “toys” that characterized the movement in those first years: loud bow ties and suits, spectacular programs of a sideshow nature, and some untrained, almost uncouth “workers” who posed as “youth experts.” If these elements are present in local YFC programs today, it is the exception and not the rule. To me it is a definite strength in YFC that the organization has matured without becoming an evangelical edifice with more past than future. Youth for Christ has not only remained true to the evangelical faith these past 15 years but it has retained its spontaneity and unique approach to evangelism. True to the slogan adopted then, it is “Geared to the times but anchored to the Rock.”

Specialists In Youth

There was a period in Youth for Christ’s history when the main purpose of the organization, namely, to win teen-agers, was temporarily eclipsed. Along with the teen-age ministry there was a program for servicemen, for church revival and evangelism, and ...

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