Heart of Illinois YFC Offers a Connection Amidst Teen Isolation

March 20, 2023


Teen Isolation

Despite being more connected than any other generation, today’s teens are more lost and isolated than ever before. Research shows that in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, teens are still struggling to feel connected and like they belong. In a world of social media, the drive to stand out in the crowd can be a lonely one.

Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a leader in missional youth outreach for more than seven decades, is dedicated to uncovering God’s story of hope in the next generation that desperately needs it. 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.

One YFC chapter, Heart of Illinois YFC, is going above and beyond to reach all types of teens struggling with loneliness and isolation.

Social Media

“Today’s teens are struggling with the same thing’s teens have been up against for decades. They just have the added pressures of technology and social media,” said Heart of Illinois YFC Executive Director Dan Learned. “Youth are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in a rapidly changing world. They spend an excessive amount of time on their phones. It is trying to shape their personalities to a world with bizarre cultural values. In today’s society, sin is embraced on so many fronts. Many of them in their hearts know it’s wrong. They just don’t know how to make these hard decisions without guidance.”

That’s where Heart of Illinois YFC comes in. They come alongside teens during pivotal moments and encouraging them to seek Christ through meaningful relationships. Heart of Illinois YFC leaders provide invaluable support for teens struggling with isolation or an identity crisis.

The Job of the Holy Spirit

“We have kids from all walks of life,” said Learned. “Volunteers in some areas who run cattle farms and reach the more rural communities. Also, we have a thriving City Life ministry that reaches the suburban and city-centered youth. Our mission is to position ourselves as support for all youth from all walks of life. It’s important to make ourselves available to help them during these stressful and defining moments of their lives.”

Jay Pearson is the Heart of Illinois YFC Community Ministry Director. “Today’s teens are curious about the world, but they don’t really know what they’re looking for,” said Pearson. “They might be connected to everything, but they are incredibly lonely. Teens aren’t necessarily looking for more information from anyone. They have information constantly being relayed to them right at their fingertips. Youth want a group of committed, caring adults who are willing to walk alongside them through the mud. We aren’t here to try and fix them or convince them of anything — that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. YFC just wants to love them and show them that we care about who they are as people. We want them to know that they can actually have open, honest, transparent conversations about the confusion they are facing.”


    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.