Brian, along with his wife and three children, have been serving military chaplains, families, and teens since 2002. For nearly 10 years they have lived in Europe, including Bad Aibling, Wurzburg, Heidelberg, and Garmisch, Germany, Naples, Italy, and Kaiserslautern, Germany. In August 2016 they moved to Omaha, NE where they currently reside. Brian has an undergraduate degree in Elementary and Middle Level Education from the University of Northern Iowa (2002) and a Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary (2014). His life-long passion is to pass along an enduring, robust faith to the next generation. Military teens’ unique set of life experiences make it difficult for them to feel known and understood. Consequently, there exists a great need for military-connected youth to connect with one another as well as God-fearing adults who can help them navigate a sea of ending change and disruption with Jesus as their life-long anchor.
ABOUT YOUTH FOR CHRIST (YFC)
Mission: 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. More information can be found online at http://www.yfc.net/.
RELATED YFC MESSAGING:
July 5, 2022
YFC Military: Serving military-connected youth and their families for 40 years and counting
YFC Military provides a safe environment for military-connected youth to be understood and appreciated
DENVER— The lives of members of the military and their families are extraordinarily difficult. There are approximately 1.2 million military children of active-duty military members worldwide. Most military families will move up to three times more than their civilian counterparts. The continual separations between parents and children and increased hazards of deployment create high anxiety in many military children's lives. One third of school-age military children have been reported to show psychosocial behaviors such as being anxious or worrying often.
For Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a fixture in the youth ministry community in America for the past 78 years, these statistics emphasize the importance of their Youth For Christ Military outreach. Designed to be a place for young people connected to the military to feel like they belong, YFC Military is uncovering God’s story of hope in the next generation of military-connected young people. YFC partners with local chaplains, churches, schools and other like-minded organizations to reach these youth through unconditional, authentic Christ-sharing relationships.
Maddie Spencer, YFC Military’s Ministry Director, stated, “As a YFC Military Community Director, I have had to learn the normal rhythms of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season. We would make our best efforts to say goodbye to students, but often it was easier for them to leave quietly. It was a great joy when we were able to connect students to YFC Campus Life at their new base, knowing that there would be a welcoming and familiar ministry to make their transition easier. However, often, they are left with no foothold in their new community. Unfortunately, many don’t feel understood or welcomed by civilian youth groups. After a few weeks, they stop going and lose connection to a faith strengthening group.”
Jacob Bland, president and CEO of YFC, stated, “Military life requires sacrifice, and military-connected youth proudly join in their family’s tradition of sacrificing for the good of strangers. But frequent moves and living life in the absence of a deployed parent is tough. As a result, military-connected youth often feel overlooked and struggle to find where they belong. This is why YFC Military is so important for these young people. Something powerful happens when these amazing young people feel heard, seen and believe they belong.”
Several YFC Military staff members, volunteers, and youth commented on the outreach, with one stating, “YFC was a safe place for all of us to be open and honest and share what we were going through.” Another commented, ‘“Come as you are and we will show you the love of Jesus…’ It’s a value I learned through YFC.” One staff member said, “I love being able to serve kids wherever God, via the military, takes me!”
YFC chapters impact thousands of communities across the nation, seeking out and serving youth from all walks of life. Young people are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues—and through the YFC ministry God empowers, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when Dr. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. 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. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has over 130 chapters that impact communities across America.