Our Staff

Please call (515) 264-0400 to get a hold of any staff person. You may also click on a staff profile to send an email message.


    Matt grew up in West Des Moines in a Christian home. As a teenager God really got a hold of his life and began the process of leading his life to full time ministry. After attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, he came back to serve as a youth pastor at his home church. After twelve great years of ministry, Matt was called to Youth for Christ in 2007 after he had volunteered with several local clubs. In September of 2007, Matt became the Executive Director and spends his time overseeing ministry sites, our staff and board, as well as providing vision and raising support. Matt his high school sweetheart, Rachelle, and they have four children: Kenzie, Mariah, Emma and Micah. He enjoys sports, music, and going out to eat with his wife. Matt counts it a privilege to be serving the Lord with a committed and faithful staff and he looks forward to seeing what God is going to do in Central Iowa!


    Joel Swanson came on staff with Youth for Christ in 2004. He and his wife Selena have six children, Bethany, Lydia, Gabriel, Helen, Evelyn and Lillian and many pets. Joel is the Campus Life Director and serves at the Hoover High School/Meredith Middle School Ministry Site, the East High Ministry Site and heads up the Crossover Basketball Ministry helping to develop character, confidence, responsibility and faith in young men. About ministering with Youth for Christ Joel says, “I have a passion for the local church and seeing it work to be salt and light to lost teens in Central Iowa.”When Joel is not working he enjoys going out for coffee with Selena, playing soccer with his children and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.


    After living in Lincoln, NE, almost his whole life, Jason chose to move to Des Moines, and attend Drake University. He gave his life to Christ during the spring of his freshman year of college. When Kristi was looking for volunteers for Campus Life Middle ministries, she asked Jason since he was a Secondary Education major, and that is how he got started in YFC.  In August of 2009 Jason officially made the decision to join the YFC staff.  As the director, Jason oversees the Thursday night high school ministry, Monday night middle school ministry, pancake outreach and the Friday night soccer outreach. Jason enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristi and their three sons, Caleb, Andrew, and Issac, playing sports, especially basketball, soccer and Frisbee along with cheering on the Huskers and Hawkeyes when he can watch some college sports.


    Josh South came on staff with Youth for Christ in 2015 to do Campus Life at Urbandale Middle and High School. He and his wife, Leah, have three kids: Mercy. Lilly, and Hudson.  Josh enjoys bonfires, listening to music, coaching wrestling, rock climbing, hanging out with his kids, and going on dates with Leah. He and Leah want to spread the Gospel, make disciples of Jesus, and glorify God.


    Jesse and his wife, Mackenzie, moved from Spokane, Washington where Jesse was attending Moody Bible Institute. After moving to Iowa to intern with Youth for Christ, Jesse decided to finish his Bachelors at Moody’s distance learning while he continues to work at YFC. Jesse likes to be outside and stay active doing anything from rock climbing and hiking to disc golf and tennis, and spending time with Mackenzie and daughter Emalyn. His passion in ministry is being able to disciple young men and watch as God changes a boy in to a man of God. Jesse is working with his older, brother Josh, who is our Campus Life director in Urbandale.


    Cole is a part time City Life staff member focusing on the middle school group. Cole was a volunteer when we started our middle school club, 5 years ago, and worked with his wife, Dayna, to get that club going and growing. After Dayna stepped down from her staff role, Cole stepped in to fill the role. Cole works as a high School teacher in the Des Moines Public School system, after spending many years teaching at a local middle school. Cole and his wife, Dayna, have two kids: Westin and Ezri. Cole enjoys spending time with his family and being active outdoors.