“See you at the Y.”
- Perhaps you’ve seen the advertisement.
In this post, we look at the rise, fall, and resurrection of the YMCA.
- This is a great lesson for every church, and every Christian.
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London, England on June 6, 1894.
- It was a Christian response to the unhealthy social conditions in big cities.
- It was a response to the conditions that resulted from the Industrial Revolution.
The “Y” was founded by George Williams, and eleven of his friends.
- In the beginning, it was a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men avoiding the spiritual hazards on the urban streets.
- In 1851, the first YMCA was dedicated at Old South Church in Boston.
- It was a ministry to sailors and merchants, providing a “home away from home” that was safe.
In 1855, the YWCA was founded in London by Emma Roberts and Mrs. Arthur Kinnard.
- The first YWCAs in America opened in New York and Boston in 1858.
- In 1860, the YWCA opened the first boarding house for female students, teachers, and factory workers in New York City.
- The objective of the YWCA was “to eliminate racism and empower women.”
Fast forward to sometime in the 1960s.
- The “Y” had become the neighborhood gym.
- From the sports angle, and the care for the poor, and for housing, the “Y” had become a social institution but had forgotten the “C” in YMCA.
- The YMCA began to decline.
We’ve consulted numerous churches with gyms, baseball fields, soccer fields, even bowling alleys.
- Most have forgotten the “C.”
- They have lost the mission to share Christ.
Today, the “Y” is experiencing a spiritual renewal.
- How does your church operate?
- Do you meet needs?
- Do you also share Jesus while you meet needs?
If you would like to know more, you can also subscribe to my podcast on Apple Podcast and Google Play. We will expand on this theme further in our series beginning on March 6, 2018.
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