Chris Schmitz, Redwood Falls Youth for Christ director, understands the importance of meeting the kids of the community where they are at in their lives. He also realizes the value of meeting them in places where they hang out during the day.
That is what convinced him to move his weekly program to the Redwood Area Community Center a few years ago, and as a result of that move another decision was made.
Schmitz and the Youth for Christ program have moved again.
As of the beginning of this year, Schmitz has moved into a new office space in Redwood Falls. The new office, which is located on Second Street, is in a familiar spot for many in the community – the former site of the Calf Fiend Cafe.
“With the move to the community center, we did not need as much space as we had in our previous location,” said Schmitz.
The program had been renting a space on Washington Street, but with the moves being made and the ever-present need to be a good steward of the funding that is given for the program, the decision to move made a lot of sense.
The old space had a lot of room, but in one sense Schmitz said it really became nothing more than a storage space, adding its size meant spending a lot of funds on heating and cooling that can now be utilized to enhance the ministry of Youth for Christ in the community.
Schmitz began his role as the director of the Youth for Christ program in the community six years ago, and over time he has seen changes that have meant doing ministry with kids differently.
In addition to the traditional youth ministry program with junior high students each Tuesday at the RACC starting at 3:45, Schmitz offers a much more in-depth Bible study for senior high and young adults Wednesdays at 8 p.m. That study will be held in the new office.
Schmitz also offers an afternoon of gaming for youth at the office each Wednesday. The best part of the new location is that there is plenty of room around the still existing tables for that gaming program to grow.
(Schmitz added the space in the old coffee shop is also still available for rentals, adding people should contact Eric Lovett if they are interested in using it for meetings, parties or other group events.)
“If the door is open, I am here,” said Schmitz, adding if people want to meet with him it is better to give him a call to set up a time. “I like to be out with the kids, which is where I believe I am supposed to be.”
Clearing out years of history from the previous Youth for Christ office has left Schmitz with plenty of work to do, and with much more of the information stored digitally today, the need for all of that storage just does not exist.
Schmitz said there are tons of old pictures from the past at the Redwood Falls Youth for Christ, and he plans to offer a chance during the spring banquet for people to go through those photos and take the ones they want.
In terms of communicating with Schmitz, he said the contact information is still the same. People can still contact him using the (507) 637-8140 number. However, he said that number will be transferred to his mobile device.
One can also send an e-mail to Schmitz at email@example.com. That, he added, is probably the best way to contact him.
A newsletter is also being offered as a way for people who are interested in the ministry to keep in contact. The information is offered via e-mail each month, and those who would like to be added to the list are encouraged to contact Schmitz via e-mail.
Schmitz is currently working on a ski trip for local youth and will be inviting all of the local youth groups to join in that event. He is looking to hold that event in late February.Contact him for more details.
“I think this is a good ministry move for Youth for Christ,” said Schmitz.
He is looking forward to seeing how God uses it to bring more kids to an understanding of what it means to be a youth for Christ.