City Life | Jay



In modeling after Christ, we put relationships first in everything we do, with God and then with others. YFC focuses on being a relationship ministry, One way we do this is to train our staff to understand the national strategic plan and best practices to reach our goals. The focus for staff is mobilizing adult leaders that build relationships with teenagers in our communities. 

PCL does this through FOCUS ON THREE, finding THREE teens that you will commit to building a relationship with, and doing this with the mission God has given YFC which is called THREE STORY (3story). If you notice our branding in the upper left corner of this letter, this is THREE Story. The circles in order from top to bottom connect and stand for God’s story, our story, their story. By modeling and sharing God’s story in our lives, prayerfully that will open up opportunities to share our story, build trust with teens, and showing them how Christ’s love can change their story. Walking with them into the mess that may be their life, and helping them discover how the Word of God, Jesus’ resurrection, and the Holy Spirit can lead them to peace and purpose. 

Ms. Bridgette (above) is one of the PCL leaders, and is a beautiful example of our mission. She tells me she is not sure she is doing this right, and I encourage her that she is one of our best in THREE Story. After this picture was taken I looked at her and said, “Wow look who has THREE!” She laughed as only she can and tried to deny it. 

There is ONE more thing to mention - the only way we can fulfill our calling in this is through your teamwork in giving, and for that we say thank you. Lately at Peoria YFC our funds have been tight, and sadly a lot of our prayers in meetings have included increased funding. So I am asking you to help us by FOCUSING ON THREE and asking 3 people, families, churches, etc. to join our team with funding like you already are doing. Please help our today’s THREE to become Focus on 3,000 like the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  We will boldly proclaim and let the Holy Spirit lead them to Christ! 


PCL Meal Team Wish List

Every Monday our meal team prepares a meal for 40-60 people and does it very well. They have asked me to help them find more pots and pans. We will accept any size, function, and condition for this ministry team. Please drop them by our YFC office or call me and I will pick them up. We desire to feed God’s people mind, body, and soul. Thank you in advance, Jay



Funny thing about discipleship, it works! Studying and applying what Jesus did in His earthly ministry, Peoria City Life is headed toward a new season of ministry. From the beginning, Jesus took a small group of guys and trained them to change the world. By sharing the Gospel, they saw first hand others come to believe in Jesus and change their families, friends, and even enemies. With the model of the Great Commission, 12 men impacted millions of people, and expanded the Kingdom.

Doing the math, 12 times a few, times a few, times a few has created an army of disciples with marching orders and a mission for God. Jesus told His 12 they would do greater things than He did, and He was right with the multiplication. In the neighborhoods we serve, we want to do greater things too. We are partnering with Prince of Peace MB Church in the East Bluff. With a target area God has shown us, we want to instill love and value into the teens and families in this area. We have built great relationships in these neighborhoods. Half of our existing group lives in the area and Peoria High is nearby. That gives us a great start for impact

We plan on having female and male groups focused on Biblical Manhood and Female Empowerment. That will be our foundation, believing that when teens understand how much God loves them and how valuable they are, they will value others and make their neighborhood better.

We know that that 3-7pm is the time of day where youth need options to help them stay safe and out of trouble. 

We are asking for a lot of things for this next season. 

  • Please pray that committed people will serve as leaders.

  • Pray that funding for another full time City Life staff will be provided.

  • Pray that this neighborhood will be changed BY THE YOUNG PEOPLE for the glory of God.

  • Pray that we serve this neighborhood the way they need it and not the way we think.

  • Pray for awareness of the new site to anyone who lives in the neighborhood.

  • Please connect us with any people who love God and youth, who might be willing to join this mission.

  • Finally Ask God how you can be the person God wants you to be in this new season.

When disciples who make disciples, who make disciples are seen, multiplication happens in heaven and on earth. 

Thanks for reading, praying and funding. This summer finds us a little behind financially, so we sure appreciate your generosity! God is The Provider. But He seems to use generous people like YOU.

Body Builders Mission Trip

Version 2

Psalm 127:1 says,”Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” That’s how our newest City Life adventure (the above group plus two people not pictured) took us to the South Miami community of Homestead,FL. The trip was named for our efforts to serve with our YFC City Life family and The Movement Church. Corey and Robin Sanders have been connected with YFC Camp for more than a decade and planted a church four years ago. Praying and planning, we wanted to expose our teens to travel (a 5 a.m. bus from Bradley to O’Hare, security, boarding, not to mention the flight), as 9 of the 13 had never been on a plane. Experiencing the beauty and culture of places they have only seen on TV, and encouraging our teens to connect with the Body was our goal. This revealed who God created us to be when we are kingdom-minded in our efforts, as well as advancing the Gospel in word and deed by serving other communities and our YFC/Movement family.

Our team took on projects at West Homestead K-8, refreshing their raised planting beds to encourage class projects for their students. At the Police Athletic League  Center, we cleaned storage/laundry areas, rearranged table, chairs, and supplies for their after school program in the main gym, and outside the center we scraped and repainted backboards. We also served at “The Table,” a free meal in the park outside of the PAL center. During the event we watched 12-15 young people shooting baskets at the pole the backboards should have been on, so we knew that project would serve that neighborhood in a mighty way. Touching Miami With Love has an after school program that serves the neighborhood. We painted and created sound reducing panels in their building. At KIX, a YFC teen center, we spent a day promoting and setting up for a free community concert with Pastor Corey, Fro, and local Gospel rappers. The event was packed with different youth organizations and teens from the neighborhood, a powerful night of truth and music.  

After days of projects and events, creating and building relationships, we enjoyed a free day to take in the culture. We started the morning on South Beach, then experienced Cuban food and Caribbean music. We shopped at an outdoor mall in downtown Miami next to where the Miami Heat play, which was an awesome place to get all of that. 

Bodybuilders’ goal of impacting the future leaders of our community and allowing us to share God’s incredible love with everyone involved was a priority for us.

Thank you for your continuous love and support as we journey near or far to the places God shows us. Be assured that discipleship is happening in all we do!



One night as I was walking half asleep, I kicked a bag full of lightbulbs that a family member left in the hallway. After a discreet whimper of pain, and resting my foot for a few minutes, my thought was, “Lightbulbs don’t work well if they aren’t connected.” The very thing they were created for, and were needed for, failed to happen, because they weren’t connected to the power source. Dealing with today’s youth, their idea of connection is having their phone charger with them at all times. As soon as they get anywhere they are searching for an outlet and asking for the WiFi password,  which makes me think they get the idea of connection but most don’t know the true power source.

John, the beloved disciple, in John 15:5 explains the true source with “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  Jesus was very clear and City Life is devoted to the mission of connecting the next generation to the ONLY power source that will guide, protect, and light the path God has planned for them.   The word of God calls us the children of the light. As we shine in the presence of teens, and stress how important this connection is through the teaching of the Gospel, we believe there will be brighter days ahead. 

Lightbulbs, like people, can’t fulfill their purpose if they are not connected to the right power source and we can’t light the way as God is commanding us. The old joke,”How many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb,” well my answer is all of us! Thank you for teaming with us as we help teens shine brighter than ever. John continues in 15:6 with, ”If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” True connection not only changes but saves lives! With God’s power, passion, and purpose, lets light the path to the source for others to get connected. 

Live Romans 1:16

Support our Bodybuilders Mission Trip

April 15th-20th in Homestead, FL

We hope to bring 21 teens & leaders to help The Movement church relocate & minister to the homeless population of their community, connecting with our YFC/City Life family in Homestead. Price per person is $578, but Teen’s cost is $300. Please pray about investing an extra $25, $50, or $100 to this life changing adventure.

Neighborhood Hope Dealer

Keep Encouraging

Keep Encouraging

The other day someone told me a few teenagers they talked to, said I was the person they looked up to the most as a Christian. The humble side of me tried to play it off, but the hope dealer in me yelled “YES IT’S WORKING!”. Where many of us grew up, the people hurting the neighborhood were looked up to, because of all they owned and their lifestyle. Pimps, dope dealers, thugs, gamblers,etc were some of our heroes. 

In today’s HOOD, some have the same heroes but most of us have no hero’s. It’s getting harder and harder to find people we can model our lives after, who we believe are trying to do the right thing. One of my goals in ministry is to eliminate the excuse, “I don’t know a real Christian!” I try to live out loud in front of everyone in my path. I try to obediently let God use me to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I try to stay open with my victories and failures, struggles and goals to help others see the hope and love that only comes from Jesus. Prayerfully, the youth will stop looking up to the DOPE dealer and instead follow me, the neighborhood HOPE dealer! I can truly said “Follow me as I follow God” because all my hope comes from Him.

It takes all of us to serve and lead our teens, and I am so proud to be on this team with you. Your prayers, funding, wisdom, and support push us forward in this mission! Hope for the hopeless is what we are trying to plant in the city. Thank you for all you do and live Romans 1:16!

Thank you to all who attended the Banquet

A special thank you to all who attended the City Life banquet! We give God all the glory for doing what He always does. It was a beautiful night and your prayers and support arehonoring God and reaching teens with this ministry!

His Puzzle Pieces

My wife is a puzzle person and I watch her collect, turn, and imagine where the pieces all go. I know the box has the picture on the front, but with all the pieces in a pile, I can’t see it. My wife has completed many puzzles in her life and has developed the skills to understand the process. Patience to group the similar pieces together, and figure out what parts of the puzzle she can put together first.

In recent months, God has set me in front of a 1,000 piece puzzle with no box and is guiding me to what the picture should look like. I am not a puzzle person but GOD IS and He is giving me a glimpse of His glorious picture. My relationships with City Life leaders and teens, fundraising, community meetings, and a God-size vision that is challenging me to trust Him are the various pieces of the puzzle I am trying to put together. The Holy Spirit is guiding my hands to place the pieces slowly. The puzzle is a long way from being completed. Trusting and resting in God gives me the perseverance to fit in where I should, because I’m a piece of the puzzle too.

Ephesians 3:20-21 says “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Please pray these verses with me, that I will trust God to see what the picture will look like.

As 2015 ended, we told all who would listen, “YFC finances are behind”. We prayed and we asked for a generous December. And Then … It Happened. People gave a bunch. We finished our 1/2-year budget of $485,000 ahead by 2%. Thank you, friends. Thank You, Jesus! We hope you will continue generously, because Jan-March income is typically lower than the rest of the year. Wow. That was big. Happy New Year!!!

- Dan L

Grass, Bar Crawls & Girls



WOW. That sounds like the life of young Jay Pearson!!! My daily focus was all wrong when I was listening to my flesh and dating this fallen world. Curiously in the beautiful summer of 2015 these things are part of my daily focus again! Please relax and let me explain. 

With many YFC Camp fundraisers, relationship building times, and awesome small groups, our City Life days are filled with things you might question at 1st glance. Grass cutting is an awesome chance to teach young men safety first, save some money, reach your goals, and even how to cut grass. If your family has never owned a home you may not know how to use a lawnmower. Our annual Ice Cream Bar Crawl is one of the best times to just be silly and make ourselves sick, trying to eat as much ice cream as we can! We travel to 6-7 different ice cream shops and laugh, burp, and take pictures at every stop of the journey! On a less fattening note, we are leading male & female small groups that are focused on strengthening relationships and spending quality time in the Word of God. Every Thursday these groups play and study together with great leaders by their side.

God’s Word says “Work while it is light”, “Break bread together” , and “the older men and women teach the younger men and women”.  We are focusing on that daily, with the cry of Psalm 34:8 

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!” 

What is City Life?

City Life is an effective ministry model to transform the lives of urban youth, their families and the communities that they live in. The City Life model provides a strategic way to pursue every young person in urban communities all over the USA.

"Give them the finger!!"

“Not much left on the outside to represent who you think you are” was a recent thought I had after having a conversation with leaders about why everyone is using different fingers to identify themselves. To us some are obscene and most are made up as they go. I will always throw up the “W” to represent that I’m from Woodruff and admit I have taught many others to do the same. I’ve been through the same phase of life I am talking about but now I know MY true identity today comes from Christ Jesus and that’s the truth City Life is trying to share! Many generations have been caught up identifying themselves with clothes, hair-dos, language, hand shakes, and fingers. While the outside may look cool, the inside is broken into many pieces. God is the only one who can put back together this million piece puzzle. 1 Peter 2:29 says, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Along with that John 14:6 says, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Sharing truth to help the teens God has allowed us to walk with is a honor and we thank you for being on mission with us! Showing them that God truly loves them and everything they are looking for is in Jesus Christ. I praise God we knowing who we are and Him using us to tell the next generation the Good News. Please always use your finger to point them to Jesus!