"Who's Your One?" Join Our Initiative

Our vision at YFC is large.

In fact, we have set a goal of 1,000 authentic, Christ-sharing relationships with local youth come 2023, and YFC USA has launched a campaign to reach 1,000,000 kids through such relationships.

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We define an authentic, Christ-sharing relationship as this: A relationship between a YFC leader and an 11-19-year-old that has featured a minimum of two meetings and conversation on the core message of Christianity, the gospel.

Many of the relationships YFC leaders form with local youth feature far more than two meetings. They often involve shared experiences, listening, empathy, empowerment, life skills training, frequent dialogue about God and the Bible, and an intentional commitment to an active, mutually life-giving relationship.

We are committed to pursuing deep, life-on-life relationships at YFC. This is our vision, and we target our goal of 1,000 authentic, Christ-sharing relationships with missional aggression. There is an urgency for broken teens to be in relationship with Christ-centered leaders.

However, as we strive after this mission, we recognize the need to start by thinking small. Therefore, we need volunteer leaders to make one simple yet profound commitment: Find one local young person and invest in them through an authentic, Christ-sharing relationship.

To help launch this, we are getting behind the “Who’s Your One?” initiative through the North American Mission Board, desiring to see this activated at Youth for Christ. Watch this one-minute video below.

So, who’s your one? Join us at YFC as we mobilize this movement to raise up volunteer ministry leaders who are hungry to find their one.

Are you in? If so, reach out to a YFC staff member about getting connected and learning more about our various ministries. We will help you find a place to engage. Be praying about your “one” and for God’s sovereign hand to guide this effort! 

Also, stay tuned for future posts on this initiative that further explain the role of a faithful ministry leader. We need an army of leaders!

YFC Golf Outing 2019

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On Monday, August 5th, the annual Stateline Youth for Christ Golf Outing was held at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club. We enjoyed a beautiful day together!

We would like to thank the Joy Box Foundation for their generous sponsorship of this event in honor of Chuck Blomgren.

We would also like to thank Illinois Bank & Trust, Advanced Machine & Engineering, and Savant for their sponsorships (Birdie sponsors), as well as SVL Productions (Par sponsors).

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We would also like to thank the following:

Putting Green sponsors: Schmeling Building Supply and 11th Street Express Printing

Hole sponsors: MembersAlliance Credit Union, Dan & Jean Clark, Movement Fitness, Wells Fargo (LaLoggia Investment), BSLBV (R.C. Pottinger), John Widell Construction, Attorney Peter A. Savitski, Lorna Haugen Tutoring, Joe Sosnowski, Rockford Christian Schools, A & B Freight, Stifel (The Luedke Investment Group), Midland States Bank, and State Farm Insurance (David Zierke).

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Summer Intern Spotlight: Angelica Bonner

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This summer, I have the privilege of working as an intern with Stateline Youth for Christ. I get to spend time working with a team of amazing people whom all share the goal of helping at-risk youth reach a healthy relationship with Christ.

In the last four weeks, I’ve had the chance to bridge the gap between my gifts and my passions. Each day in the YFC office, I’ve been able to help make an indirect impact on the youth in Rockford. Working with YFC has allowed me to gain experience doing administrative and support tasks, while still having the chance to work with and impact the youth in our city. The team has helped me to learn more about myself as an individual and as a member of a team. The diversity within this amazing group of people helps to ignite creativity and productivity within every one of us, especially myself. The work that I’ve been able to do myself and observe others doing has inspired me in ways that I never expected.

In addition to the amazing work I get to do in the office, next month I will have the chance to serve as a cabin leader for the middle school summer camp. While at camp, I get to spend time with youth one-on-one and have the chance to make a direct impact on their lives. For students, summer camp tends to be a life-changing experience and the catalyst for them to say “yes” to Christ. So, I’m very excited about this opportunity, and can’t wait to see what God does for us all at camp!

During the closing half of my internship, I hope to continue learning about how the Youth for Christ organization works behind the scenes and being an asset to the Stateline Youth for Christ team. I will have the chance to be more hands-on with our youth, attending City Life sessions and being able to attend building time with students. I ask that you all continue to pray for us and the work that we’re doing in the months to come!

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Ways to Support

Prayers and donations are greatly appreciated! To cover us in prayer, here are a few things you can focus on:

  • A great experience at camp & the payment of all camp fees

  • For current YFC students & an increase in the number of youth we reach

To donate, feel free to give donations at www.statelineyfc.org/give.

Faithful Presence

Our team at YFC was recently challenged to consider our presence in the community.

We were encouraged to uplift the idea of “faithful presence” in the city of Rockford. This idea encourages active participation in the brokenness of our city, developing a faithful presence that listens, learns, and loves while standing in the gap of injustices.

Embodying faithful presence results in a life on mission, in which the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is actively at work in the cracks and crevices of our city and world.

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Far too often, Christians retreat from brokenness and flee blighted areas in pursuit of comfort elsewhere. However, the life of Jesus provides an example for us as believers to follow.

John 1:14 states, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”

Jesus became human and entered into our broken world, choosing to live among us and absorb our pain. He “moved in” with a broken humanity, and He redeemed us through His death and resurrection.

Jesus is our model of faithful presence. We at YFC are seeking to magnify this. We do not want to withdraw but rather enter in. Jesus demonstrated such faithful presence. May we learn to do the same.

The Impact of Juvenile Justice Ministry from a Parent's Perspective

The following paragraphs feature a parent’s perspective on Juvenile Justice Ministry. The work to serve youth in such a capacity is a collective effort. We at YFC are thankful for collaborative efforts with Rockford Reachout and ultimately praise God for transformation such as this.

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“I would like to express a few things as to how JJM has been beneficial for my family. I will only be able to use one person as our experience has been mainly with him. Jake came into my sons life due to poor decisions my son was making in his life at the time. He was running wild, acting defiant, being destructive towards others including minors and adults, breaking the law, trying his hand in drug use, missing school, as well as many things I could list.

Just under a year ago my son was sentenced to time at the local Juvenile Detention Center. He was scared, out of his element, away from the influential people he was hanging out with. But I’m not convinced he was ready to make a change in life yet. He was anxious to get home but I believe based on certain things that he was more anxious to get back to this inappropriate lifestyle.  

He was fortunate to be able to meet Jake (our JJM director) during his stay in the detention center. He would attend meetings on a weekly basis. It began as a group and eventually was able to get to a point where he had time with less people in the group. He took an interest and really began to learn about what Jake had to talk about. It seems to me (since I wasn’t there) that Jake would talk about things in the Bible and bring information for my son  (as well as others) to read and learn from. But it didn’t stop with that. My son was able to relate to him so well, since Jake would read things or talk about things and then ask something to the effect of “what does that mean to you”, or “how can you relate to this”? Without my son even recognizing what was happening, I believe in my heart that he was understanding the way of being a Christian without even stating it specifically.

My son was eager to have these visits with Jake and to learn more. I know this because when his Dad and I were allowed to visit, he would spend much of that visit telling us what he has learned without us even asking, and having a smile on his face while doing so.  

Fast forwarding to him being released. Since my son was released to come home, we still are in touch with Jake and have had him over for visits, meals, attended church together, spent time learning and talking and so much more. My son is currently living life much differently.  He is going to church regularly, working full time, working on his high school diploma, drug free, law abiding, and has a strong interest in joining the military once he is through with high school.

In the past my son would not have had anything to do with religion without being rebellious.  It became embarrassing to try to make him attend, so as you can imagine, the effort stopped. Since he has become more tuned in to the reward that goes with being a Christian I believe he has fully accepted him into his heart and we have JJM to thank for this.  

The Youth For Christ Camp that is coming in August is something we are all looking very forward to. I would have always dreamed for my son to take part in something like this, without looking at it as a chore. He is eager to go and teach and learn and be a part of the excitement.   

I know my son is only one person, but if this program can reach these kids in one way or another, God Bless It. These kids that need guiding can relate to the leaders and quickly develop respect for them. This is a program that will hopefully always be available. I’ve seen first hand the success it has to offer.

Thank you for helping saving my son.”

Youth for Christ Annual Banquet: "Plot Twist"

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The annual Youth for Christ banquet was held at Giovanni’s on April 4th with the theme “Plot Twist.” The event captured the latest developments in YFC’s ministry, highlighting how “plot twists” are occurring through YFC’s outreach as lost youth find hope in Jesus.

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More importantly, the evening magnified the gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news of the gospel is the ultimate “plot twist,” as Jesus has offered forgiveness from our sin and a new life in Him. This is something we all need. It’s not just broken teens in need of the gospel. It’s everybody.

We were privileged to have YFC USA President Dan Wolgemuth as our guest speaker. We are encouraged and challenged by his leadership as he pointed us all to the life of Jesus.

We praise God for our annual banquet and are grateful to see continued momentum as we expand our vision.

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We would also like to thank our sponsors for helping make this event possible: Subway JPW (Platinum Sponsor), Jack Wolf Auto Group, SVL Productions, Tim & Karen Ancona, Chuck & Karen Blomgren, Roy & Beverly Blumenshine, Advanced Machine & Engineering Co., David Anderson (Spring Creek Partners), Rick & Ann Anderson, Gary Love (Baird Financial Advisors), Culver’s, Rick Engen, FIELD, Luke & Cristina Frederick, Lori Haugen Tutorial & Editing Services, John & Karen Hranka, Dr. John & Dena Koehler, Larson & Larson Builders, Inc., MembersAlliance Credit Union, Bill & Terri Roop, Stateline Church, David Zierke (State Farm Insurance), Jeff Luedke (Stifel), Streamline Architects, Thrivent, John Widell Construction, Inc.

We would also like to thank all who gave to the silent auction.

Christ's Love Compels

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This is a post from YFC Ministry Director Beth Fontana:

1 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and who was raised again."

So often I wonder how it is that I have the privilege of coming alongside high-risk teens. I never struggled with the law growing up. I didn't come from an abusive past. I felt validated and loved by my parents and encouraged to be all God has created me to be. 

I don't have a clue of what it is like to live the lives these precious teens live every day. I cannot relate to living in survival mode. They can't think past today. These children do not have the capacity to wait on things. It is very hard to control their impulses, especially with anger. It shows up in their relationships.

Why is my heart tender for them? Because God's heart is tender towards them. I want them to know that there is more to life than what they are experiencing. I want to give them an opportunity to receive the love and acceptance from a caring adult, which makes way for the gospel. My passion is that every high-risk young person will know they are loved and then hear about the One who loves them the most. 

Christ loves compels me. I am one who is broken reaching out to another who is also broken. Together, we will learn to no longer live for ourselves, but for the One who gives us new life.

I recently received a letter from a young lady that I have been corresponding with at the Department of Corrections for juveniles. This young woman was the first girl I met with at the JDC. She has been in and out of the JDC several times and this is her second stint at DOC. Below is a small part of what she shared with me.

“It made my day getting a letter from you. If you have enough time are you able to come and see me? It would mean a lot to me if you are able to visit. I really appreciate you thinking of me. It feels nice to know that when I am out of sight, I’m still on your mind. Sometimes I have really rough days. So now when I’m having really rough days, I’m gonna read your card of encouragement. I have been going to church services and I like going. It’s really changing my train of thought. It gives me a lot of knowledge and wisdom.”  

Christ’s love compels!

A Day at Campus Life

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“What happens at Campus Life?”

We are often asked this. So here’s a snapshot of a day at Campus Life. We are in five schools through Campus Life. This blog post specifically features activities at Auburn High School.

On Thursdays, our leaders kick off the afternoon by hanging out with teens during the Early Release hour. While some students depart, many students remain on campus in the cafeteria. We engage them through games, conversations, and ultimately relationship-building.

Students then gather with our leaders in the library, where Campus Life occurs. Food, laughter, games, and focused conversation on Christ and life are all regular components of Campus Life.

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On a recent Thursday, our leaders discussed healthy boundaries with students and the value of relationships. They did a fun exercise involving a maze and blindfolded participants.

The maze featured pieces of paper with an “exploding bomb” printed on them that they were to avoid.

Each participant had a partner, who was the only voice that could help guide them through the maze. To make it harder and more confusing, other students were allowed to get really loud to distract. This presented challenges!

The exercise demonstrated that communication is often torn in friendships and relationships. Sometimes we listen to the wrong voices. We need to block out distractions and only listen to one voice.

Learning such skills leads to developing healthy boundaries within relationships and the ability to discern which voices in one’s life are healthy.

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Such activities foster deeper relationships between our leaders and the youth.

Moreover, it’s our consistent presence within schools that highlights God’s love. The presence of loving leaders point youth to God’s voice and His grace and mercy found in Jesus Christ.

This is Campus Life. Contact us about getting involved!