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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: The vision was born in 1938 when Jim Rayburn, a young youth leader in Texas, was challenged by his senior minister to focus on the local high school and pioneer a path to connect with non-churched kids. After exploring several possibilities, Rayburn decided that the best setting for the proclamation of the Gospel was at a Young Life club, held in the home of one of the kids. Club involved lively singing, a skit and a short talk about Jesus Christ. He believed every kid had a right to hear the message of Jesus Christ and decide how to respond to the Gospel. Young Life leaders provide kids with factual information for making good decisions. Leaders work hard to provide teenagers with the basic facts concerning Jesus Christ. The information is presented in a non-threatening manner in terms that kids can understand.Young Life leaders have the highest regards and respect for a young person's right to choose where matters of faith are concerned.

Target demographics: middle school and high school kids and college students.

Geographic areas served: all 50 states of the U.S. and in over 100 countries internationally.

Programs: Young Life's efforts to reach out to every kid, everywhere have resulted in a number of specific ministries. Each of these apply the basics of Young Life to meet kids just as they are through friendship and faith. In alphabetical order our specific ministries are: Capernaum: Young Life's ministry to kids with disabilities, named after the town where Jesus performed many miracles. College: Young Life's outreach to college students both in the U.S. and internationally. International: Young Life's outreach to high school and middle school kids in more than 100 countries around the world. Small Town/Rural: Young Life's ministry to kids in one-high-school towns of fewer than 25,000 people. Urban: Young Life's minsistry to racial and ethnic minorities, focused on kids who live in high-density communities and who are historically, socially and/or economically disadvantaged. WyldLife: Young Life's ministry to middle school kids. YoungLives: Young Life's ministry to teenage moms. Young Life provides healthy, creative fun. From weekly clubs to seasonal camping experiences to daily outings with leaders, Young Life is known around the world as an organization that knows how to have fun. Club meets once a week and has been described as "controlled chaos." Leaders combine songs, humor, and group interaction to create an hour of energetic fun where kids can express that teenage tendency to push the limits-but within the controlled context of a safe environment. Campaigners is the name for Young Life's Bible study program. Kids often meet in small groups with a Young Life leader during the week to discuss their ideas and question about faith and begin exploring the Bible. These groups were named from a term we've kept around since Young Life was called "The Young Life Campaign" in the early '40s. Camping is one of Young Life's specialties. Kids can discover adventure and prove their prowess by climbing through a ropes course in the tops of trees, barreling down a water slide from hundreds of feet up the side of a mountain, riding horseback along scenic trails, water skiing, parasailing, racing go-carts around muddy tracks and enjoying what Young Life leaders promise to be one of the best weeks of their lives.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Was a volunteer and then moved on to staff. I served for many years. YoungLife is a great organization but with some extreme holes for leadership. Also, coming from a donor perspective , many questions about honesty and stewardship came into play. Unfortunately, the negatives out weighed the positives when it came to this ministry. There are many shady men with in the ministry and YL does nothing to protect your children. Example: posting pictures of minors on facebook and for younglives, posting pictures of minors and their babies. They do nothing to protect their identities .

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

God used several men & women in Young Life to transform my life. I am so thankful for their obedience to God's call on their lives.

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been with YL since 1975 and I am honored to be involved with this organization. I have seen how the Lord has worked in the lives of kids all over the world and also in my life as well.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Young Life since 2000. Young Life truly changed my life when I was a sophomore in high school and heard for the first time about a personal relationship I could have with Jesus! From there My leader loved me well and lived life with me. I did Work Crew at Frontier Ranch in 2002 where I met my best friends! Two of those girls and I all decided to go to College together at The University of Tennessee, where we all were volunteer Young Life leaders through out college! No I work full time for Young Life and truly love telling kids about Jesus and how he has changed my life and how he can change theirs! Both my brothers and my parents also became Christians through Young Life....our family is forever changed because of the impact Young Life had on each of us!

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Young Life is a great organization to work for b/c they are committed to training, supporting, and encouraging their staff. You never feel like a lone wolf. There is an extensive support network for administration, teaching, mentoring, training, etc.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved for 11 years now. Club kid to full time staff. It has taught me so much about life with Christ, community and my faith. I can never cheer enough for this organization!

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My father passed away in 1983 when I was 26. At that time I was a very selfish, self centered person. The Lord brought Young Life to fill the void in my life. Little did I know that He would change the whole direction of my life. Though a Christian at the time, I had a lot to learn and Young Life was at the very core of what the Lord was doing in my life. Twenty six years later, I will say that I am amazed at how the Lord has changed my heart and attitude. I do care for others now and my life is all about serving others. Something I learned by rubbing shoulders with many amazing people involved in the ministry of Young Life. I have seen the ministry of Young Life make a difference in hundreds of thousands of kids lives the last 26 years, but I will never, ever forget how the Lord has blessed me through this amazing ministry.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was a church kid and didn't understand YL until I became a volunteer leader in college. Once I caught this mission's vision for reaching out to broken, hurting kids, I was hooked. YL models its ministry after the ministry of Jesus -- going into the world of kids, developing relationships with them, and sharing the love of Christ through sharing their lives. I'm on my fourth year on staff with YL now, and there is nothing in the world I'd rather be doing than loving junior high and high school kids and teaching our rockstar volunteers to do the same.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met Christ as a sophomore in high school in 1975 . . . I've never been the same and volunteered or worked with Young Life ever since. I am grateful for those who have gone before and hopeful for those who will follow.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Young Life is an incredible organization that gave me hope, and now as a leader, I get the opportunity to give other kids that same hope.