Daniel Budhi has been partnering with churches to take the gospel into secondary schools throughout Doncaster for almost 5 years. However, he realised there was little to point young people who want to pursue exploring faith further towards outside of a school setting. “Over the years, I’ve walked the streets of local communities, asking God how we can come alongside churches to reach young people in the community”, he says.
This all climaxed in 2015 when Dan did a missions week in a number of schools. At the end of the week, he held an outreach event that saw 400 young people attend and 100 respond to the gospel on the night. While this seemed like great news…nobody was followed up. “At that point, reality hit home: in all these communities, there was no local, on-going outreach to young people that they could plug into.”
Dan and his wife decided to partner with churches to establish outreach to young people in communities. “Without a clue about what we were doing, we partnered with local Baptist and Church of England churches in one of the local areas to provide a weekly outreach to young people on a Monday evening.”
They averaged 53 young people a week in the first year. Then they started an after-school club with those who wanted to explore faith further. The next step came naturally, Dan explains. “Our heart was still to pioneer throughout Doncaster and we made the decision to set up a charity that would directly do this.”
Doncaster Youth for Christ
As they explored options across the town, Dan and his wife began a dialogue with Youth for Christ. This was intended as a ‘run ideas past you’ sort of meeting, according to Dan. He wasn’t looking at setting up a Youth for Christ centre because he didn’t even know that you could. At a local focus day, Dan sensed God asking them to set up a local Youth for Christ centre rather than going on their own.
It was a long process but it allowed them to make sure the right structures were in place.
On Saturday February 3rd at 7pm, Doncaster Youth for Christ was officially launched at an event in the city. When people arrived there was such a buzz in the building as they enjoyed canapés and arrival drinks. 101 people showed up from a huge range of denominations. They represented church leaders, community groups and faith-based initiatives such as ‘The Message’, ‘Scripture Union’ and the ‘Gideons’.
“We shared the heart and vision both of Youth for Christ nationally as well as locally on the night”, Dan says. People were inspired to be part of seeing young people’s lives transformed by Jesus. As demonstrated by the many who got in touch after to say what a great night it was.
“Our aim is to simply make sure that every young person in Doncaster has regular opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus.” Daniel Budhi, Doncaster Youth for Christ Director