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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

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Young Life has had a huge impact on my life. When I was in high school, my Young Life leaders had the greatest impact on my life outside of my parents. I volunteered with Young Life through college and it continued to impact me greatly.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Young Life is a great ministry that shares Christ with kids. I have had many great experiences with Young Life as a student a volunteer and now a staff person.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Not only did Young Life change my life in High School, it has provided a foundation for a growing relationship with Christ for me as an adult. YL offers many ways for adults to become directly involved. It gets people out of the pews and into the world of actively serving Christ and others.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

At age 14 I was invited to a Young Life camp by my cousins who were both doing ministry at the time. It truly changed my life. I couldn't think of a better Christian organization if I tried. Young Life does for kids what the local YMCA can never do, it shows kids the light!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In the town where I live Young Life started 5 years ago. I have seen both macro and micro transformation. Camdenton is a small town and needed a strong out reach program because most youth groups were small in the area when I moved here. One of the most encouraging things has been to see some kids go to college and become leaders. One of the transformations I have seen was the community between alternative kids and mainstream kids. The skater/hardcore music group, alternative kids, have always thought the mainstream kids hated them. There were definite stereotypes mainstream kids hold against alternative kids. Now the kids say Young Life feels like a community. They greet each other in the hallways right now and feel morelike a family. Finally, I have seen individual transformation as kids learn what it means to follow Christ. A lot of our leading is by example and discussion not just teaching. Therefore, we do Bible readings with kids and help give them the tools to become practical theologians not just tell them what the Bible says. It has changed the way I follow Christ and my views of people. I have seen the same in many people I am around as well.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

If it weren't for this organization my life would be tremendously different and I thank God for the radical change that's happened in my life because of Young Life. I was a High School kid who seemed to have it all together on the outside but I was broken and desperate on the inside. My leader, who was committed to the mission of Young Life, stepped in and loved me when my own family was falling apart and failing to do so. I assuredly would have went all the wrong directions had I not found Christ through Young life. My leader was not only committed to introducing me to the love of God, but also spending years walking me through the experience. As I've turned around and decided to work with Young Life I've been used by God to change the world, at least for a handful of kids. I believe that God has used this ministry to change lives for decades now

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Young Life has changed my life not only with my walk with Christ but with my career path and now get to experience teenagers in Bozeman realize what a huge impact Young Life has on them.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a high schooler in N.C. my view of God and of myself was forever changed by a Young Life leader coming to my school everyday. He pursued a relationship with me for the pure sake of pursuing a relationship with me. Not to get me to come to a meeting. Not to get me to give money or time. Just because He loved me. Naturally I wanted to be cared for like that and it wasn't long before I wanted to know everything that he knew and wanted to be like him. I have been involved with Young Life since then as a leader. It has been 9 years since I met him and my life changed. The work of Young Life has had an unbelievably long lasting effect on me.

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I could not dream up a better organization to be a part of. The leadership of the staff and the hearts of the leaders are beyond superb. It is amazing to see how much this organization is able to do.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I wouldn't be who I am today without Young Life! It has rocked my socks off. I know God better and can love others better because of it. I was entrenched in alcohol and drugs and living only for myself until Young Life shared the Truth of who God is! They are very effective and loving and caring.