It started with a simple question, “Can I show you how to fish for men?”, and a movement was born. The movement would have many names and take many forms over centuries. Participants would be called followers of the Way or Christians or even the unwieldy Young People’s Society for Christian Endeavor. From Jesus’ time until now, whatever the followers are called, the movement often begins the same way—a teacher recruits students to follow and releases them to serve.
On February 2, 1881, Pastor Francis Clark and 57 students at the Williston Congregational Church in Portland, Maine, made an decision. They promised to live daily for Christ. Their promise was recorded on a two-page document all 57 signed, much to the surprise of many who didn't believe they (or other adults) could make and keep the kind of commitment Francis was requiring of these youth. But they did. And within a few short years, the first ‘society' grew into 67,000 groups and over 4 million young people worldwide who promised to endeavor to live the Christian life.
Endeavor is the freshest expression of its parent ministry, Christian Endeavor International (CEI). Considered to be the father of and forerunner to youth ministry, CEI has helped to spiritually shape the lives of millions of teens for over 130 years. Today, CEI is leading the charge for the church to be the global model of mentoring and discipleship of young people seeking significance in the world.