I didn’t join Youth for Christ because I was called to youth ministry. Actually the opposite, I thought it was a waste of time. I had seen too many young Christians walk away from their faith. However, I did think it would be a Godly way to serve my media skills for a year before kicking on to bigger and better things. God had other plans, challenging my selfish thoughts on my second day with Youth for Christ, when I attended an Auslife program for the first time. I don’t remember a lot from the day but I do clearly remember one question asked by a young person. “Was Jesus born as a man or as a baby?” At the time I thought it was a ludicrous question, but it quickly led me to the epiphany that I had taken my Christian heritage for granted. Growing up in a Christian home, going to a Christian school, I had been gifted the knowledge of the gospel, but never realised what a blessing that was.
That day opened my eyes to how little many young people actually know about Jesus and the importance of sharing with them this gospel that I had mistook the value of. Not to coerce people to believe what I believe, but to encourage them to explore Jesus and to give them the opportunity to make an informed decision. To provoke a curiosity and a desire to seek out the truth.
9 years later I’m still with Youth for Christ and believe it is exactly where God wants me to invest my gifts and abilities as we seek to give every young person an opportunity to be a follower of Jesus. In Western Australia, we are passionate about partnering with the local church to help young people explore the big questions of life. And young people ARE asking the questions. They are searching for truth, but they want more than information. They want to hear something tangible, something real, not just theological concepts. It is our desire to help young people in this journey towards discovering an authentic relationship with Jesus.
Written by Mike Albany – Media Production Manager of Youth for Christ in Western Australia