“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?