Music is the language of every generation.
That is the premise Chris Schmitz, Redwood Falls Youth for Christ director, believes is going to play a huge role in his role at the youth-centered ministry.
Schmitz, who came on as the new local director less than one year ago, has taken ownership of the center bringing his own touch to the facility.
While the traditional programming offered at the Youth for Christ center in the community continues, with Campus Life each Monday night and a senior high Bible study each Wednesday night, Schmitz has made some changes he believes are going to pique the interest of the youth he hopes to reach.
One of the most dramatic changes at the center centers around one of his passions – music.
A stage with a sound system and several instruments has been set up at the center, and Schmitz plans to use that stage to bring in groups that can help share a message of hope through their music. One such event has been scheduled for April 19.
That night starting at 7 p.m. the Redwood Rock Show is being held, with two bands being featured.
The bands, See the Rise and At Mourning’s End, play what Schmitz called hard core music.
Both bands, he added, have a connection to the Redwood area, and all youth are invited to come and watch the show. There is no charge to attend.
Schmitz said this is the first concert of what he plans to have each month, with different music styles featured with each performance.
He added several area businesses are helping sponsor the concerts, and Schmitz said he still looking for added sponsors.
The intent is to offer a positive message through music, said Schmitz, adding he knows there are many youth out there who have an interest in music and who would enjoy this kind of event.
Schmitz is already making a difference in the community, and that difference is going to be on display tomorrow night when the annual Youth for Christ banquet is going to be held at the Redwood Area Community Cen-ter in Redwood Falls.
While it is too late to get tickets for the meal, Schmitz said the public is welcome to come and hear the presentation which is scheduled to start at approximately 7:30 p.m. A bake sale is also being held to help raise funds for the ministry.
In addition to Schmitz providing an overview of the program, youth are going to be sharing how it is making a difference in their lives. Schmitz stressed Youth for Christ is not church and is not intended to be a replacement for one being actively involved in a church.
Page 2 of 2 - “We are a youth outreach program,” said Schmitz. “We work alongside and through churches.”
Schmitz also said he often brings pastors from the community into the center to talk with the students and to answer questions they may have.
Rather than just present a message to them, Schmitz said he believes what is important is finding out what they want to know.
“I am more than willing to shift gears and talk to them about what they are interested in,” said Schmitz.
There are typically somewhere between 20-30 youth who are coming to events at Youth for Christ, and Schmitz is hoping the kinds of events he plans to host can add more to that number.
No, it’s not about counting people who come in the doors but about changing lives and providing hope to a culture of teenagers who truly need it.
Those who want to learn more or would like to support the program can call Schmitz at (507) 637-8140.