YFC Tuscaloosa Provides Youth with Stability in a Constantly Changing Culture

January 30, 2023


Growing in a Society

Social connectedness and meaningful relationships are paramount to the health of any teen. Social connectedness is associated with higher self-esteem, increased empathy, and better cooperation skills. It can reduce the risk of mental health issues and substance abuse. There are essential elements for the developing brain of an adolescent in order for them to reach their full potential. This would be the connection with others, being part of a wider society, while also experiencing empathy and compassion.


Meaningful relationships are a key component of Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a leader in missional youth outreach for 78 years. YFC meets youth at pivotal moments to build lasting relationships in which God can work in their lives. By partnering with local churches and like-minded organizations, YFC goes into communities and comes alongside youth to provide support, encouragement, and friendship.

YFC Tuscaloosa

YFC has been involved in Tuscaloosa for over 50 years, using God’s truth about community, empathy, and kingdom-inspired diversity. Mike Green is the Executive Director at Tuscaloosa YFC. Green leads a team of staff and volunteers through seven strategic ministry sites, engaging with youth in need and directing them back to the love of Christ.


“We are definitely seeing a huge need for ministry and relationships,” said Green. “Quite often, today’s youth are dealing with something that we can’t prepare for. There are so many kids who walk through our doors and are trying to figure out their identities and where they fit in the world. For many of them, church isn’t even on their radar.

 Being Available for Youth

“Our goal is to just be available to them. Whatever they think they’re looking for — friends, advice, a listening ear — we just remain consistently supportive and keep pointing them back to the love of Christ. Whatever is going on in their lives, they know that we are there.”


Green said, “For example, some of our staff was at a school during lunch and a few girls who happened to be atheists sat at the table with them. They had made several choices and lived their lives in a way that made it difficult for many leaders at the school to connect with them. A teenager who was connected with YFC came up and introduced us to the girls and we began to talk about who God is in a very polite, understanding way — we didn’t want to force them into a conversation they weren’t comfortable with.


“After that interaction, these girls just started appearing at our team meeting during their homeroom period. They would sit in the library with us and listen as we discussed faith and leadership and prayed for each other. Despite being staunch atheists, they continued to show up week after week and even started offering suggestions on how to best reach their friends with the Gospel!”

Point them to Christ

As loving, understanding, and encouraging role models, YFC staff and volunteers open the doors to more pointed conversations about Christ.


“Our approach has always been to love on them, listen to them, try to understand them today, and start opening that door to have the critical conversations about Christ later,” Green said. “Easing our way into the conversation so they don’t feel attacked is vital. We often will ask teens why they believe what they believe and they have no idea. Many are still trying to figure out who they are. In our current culture, the rules of the game are constantly changing, making these poignant life decisions even more difficult. Throughout all this turmoil, we work to be that light in the darkness, pointing them back to Christ.”

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