YFC Oklahoma City mentors Gen Z for leadership

June 4, 2024

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YFC Oklahoma City is continuing the organization’s rich legacy of ministry, mentorship and life change. The chapter boasts some incredible stats:

  • YFC Oklahoma City hosts 23 different Campus Life ministry sites at middle and high schools throughout the region.
  • In just five short months, the chapter has seen 192 teens choose to follow Christ, with 90 of those decisions taking place in April alone.
  • This summer 100 young people will take part in CORE leadership groups, with 50 attending as student leaders.

According to Andrew Hamm, Ministry Director for YFC Oklahoma City, YFC’S CORE leadership groups mobilize students to reach other young people with the Gospel in their schools, communities and other spheres of life. Every young person should have the opportunity to uncover God’s story of hope in their lives. We believe this is best realized through meaningful discipling relationships grounded in biblical community.”

YFC CORE is designed to pivot young people from being students to becoming leaders among their peers.

Hamm shared, “YFC CORE is about empowering teams of students to invite friends to discover Jesus. These teams of students meet weekly with adult coaches to pray and share how God is challenging them to invite their friends to walk with them toward Christ.”

As with any YFC endeavor, adult mentors remain a key aspect of CORE’s ministerial approach.

Hamm noted, “Our leaders stay connected with these young people, following up with them, walking with them through the ups and downs of life, building authentic Christ-sharing relationships and helping them get connected to a local church fellowship.”

Like many youth workers today, YFC leaders have seen an increase in mental health issues among teens. Many of their students have expressed fatigue at dealing with instability at home. One young man was even kicked out of his home, forcing him to grow up too soon, while carrying the burden of a broken home life. This reality reinforces the need for students to encounter caring adults ready to listen.

Hamm observed, “We focus on building relationships first and getting to know a young person’s story. It’s important to understand what they are going home to, so we can meet them where they are at emotionally, with empathy and compassion.”

The team is currently focused on expanding their reach and influence through a 5-Step Strategy:

  • Step 1: Campus Ministry. YFC staff serves on campus each week with the purpose of loving, challenging and encouraging students.
  • Step 2: Church. YFC partners with churches and other like-minded organizations to disciple young people.
  • Step 3: CORE. The CORE is made up of mentored student leaders who prioritize their relationship with Jesus.
  • Step 4: Club. The Club is designed to be a fun event where CORE students help plan and lead.
  • Step 5: Camp. Camp serves as a critical time to pull students away from their normal home environments and help them focus on their lives and God’s plan for them.

Hamm said, “While we can’t fix everything, we CAN provide HOPE and connect kids to practical resources in our community that can further help them heal and thrive, in spite of the challenges they are navigating.”