Young Life

Rating: 4.78 stars   283 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Philanthropy

Location: 420 N Cascade Ave Colorado Springs CO 80903 USA

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.
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

This organization finds it way into middle and high school and seeks out kids. School boards should forbid them from contact with minors. Please don't support this organization. Keep your kids away from this organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Young Life is a self-serving non-profit whose main goal at the end of the day is to peddle co-ed summer camp registrations and recruit new donors to perpetuate the Young Life camping network. They offer no physical charitable benefits to the community. They use college-aged kids to infiltrate the network of cliques at local high schools and use their seniority to recruit new members (in blatant disregard for separation of church and state).

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

As a a parent and teacher, it is disturbing that this group has access to my children and are so coy about their intentions. School Boards should forbid them from having contact with minors at school. If I were to have a similar group of atheists trying to convert the Christians, I'd be railed out of the school. Guarantee.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

Please keep your kids away from younglife. Those people are pretty creepy. They are out to recruiting kids only, especially kids in middle school.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I am a parent and a participant. I attend a women's retreat at a Young Life facility once a year. I am impressed by the compassion and servant attitude that comes from these kids. This organization is trying to reach our youth for Christ. There is nothing wrong with that. Their passion for their faith is what drives them. Praise God that there is an organization promoting something positive and that teaches our youth values.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I went to Wyld Life camp the summer after my 6th grade year and it forever changed my life. For the first time it sunk in that I could have a personal relationship with God. I had an amazing week, and SO much fun that I will never forget. I will also never forget the love,joy, and concern that the leaders had for each and every camper. I stayed involved with YoungLife all through High School as well. YoungLife presents the gospel in a nonthreatening and non-forceful way in which every kid can understand. They just put the gospel out there in a clear way, and it's up to the kids to choose what they want to do with it. I am so thankful to God that he made YoungLife something that I had the opportunity to be a part of.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

It’s Sunday afternoon and my step-daughter just returned from a young life weekend camp trip, and I’m not happy. First of all, I just assumed this organization was part of the school, because she brought home the information from school---I thought. There was some kind of permission slip I signed weeks ago, but those things get signed so fast in the morning, I can’t say I paid attention. So the trip was reintroduced on Thursday and I checked the website [lakechampion.younglife.org] in advanced of the trip on Thursday night. But obviously not closely enough. I just kind of did a cursory review of the location, the facilities, but didn’t read about them in depth, because I’m still assuming this is a school sanctioned trip. Because of the cursory nature of my review, I HAD NO IDEA this organization had anything to do with religion!!!. Now I freely admit, that’s my fault and I take responsibility for not reading the website closely.

My first real clue that religion was involved came when my step daughter called me today before the return trip to say how much fun she had and that at one point there was a discussion about “how God can change your life”. Antennas immediately went up now --- WHAT? Back to the website ---this time the parent organization website, not the lakechampion local site--, and now I’m paying attention. So the website says:


Young Life brings the good news of Jesus Christ into the lives of adolescents with an approach that is respectful of who kids are and hopeful about who they can be.  

Also this excerpt, from http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/february/1.13.html:
Following a November statement outlining the “Non-negotiables of Young Life’s Gospel Proclamation,” YL's eight-page Non-Negotiables statement requires a sequence for gospel presentations that closely resembles Campus Crusade for Christ's Four Spiritual Laws. Talks must begin with the person of Jesus Christ, "the overarching theme of all our talks." From there, evangelists should explain the reality and consequences of sin before presenting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Talks end with an invitation to believe, become a disciple of Jesus, and publicly proclaim one's faith.

Immediately I want to know, who are these YoungLife people and what is their history?? I notice they’re global and have been around since the 40s. That means there is some substantial money behind them. Where do they get their money? Who are the present and past characters on their board of directors and what are their individual histories? All these questions pop into my mind. So, now I’m aware I should have launched a research project behind this organization and I have neither the time or inclination to do this. My knowledge of the self-serving history of Christian proselytizing and it’s often damaging, global impact leaves me extremely uneasy. And if that weren’t enough, these contemporary Christian fundamentalists are a truly scary and dangerous bunch and I want no part of them.

I’m particularly outraged since this “batch” of students that attended the camp is mostly immigrant, mostly children of color and a significant percentage have Islamic background. Even though I didn’t complete my homework, I feel deceived. I probably would not feel so if there had been a direct one sentence, bold highlighted, large font declaration of younglife’s organizational intent on the form they sent home for signature. The young lady who was my step daughter’s contact for the organization said there was a brochure that accompanied the waiver, release, but I don’t remember it. In any case, this information was sent home some weeks in advance of the trip so there is that disconnect between the information delivery and the actual trip---enough time to forget. Bottom line, this entire experience leaves me extremely disturbed and wary. I’m especially distressed that they have manipulated the mentality of the young person so that now, when we parents have to come back with a sharp counter analysis, of course the adolescent only remembers how much fun she just had. This is insidious and underhanded. I will be following up with the school, as many of the other parents I can contact and if necessary we will launch an internet advisory warning other unsuspecting parents.

Finally, I notice all the reviews on this page are glowing with the exception of mine and another mother who submitted her evaluation a few days prior to mine. It’s obvious that you get all the kids to write in. We’ll see if we can get some more parents who have been equally blindsided to weigh in on the discussion.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Young Life is an evangelical fundamentalist Christian organization that seeks out children when they are out of their parent's view. They send college aged kids to your child's school, lure them with donuts before school in the parking lot, or lurk around after school while they are at sports practice. They tell the kids they are going to be in the gutter soon: drinking, druggin;, wanton sex OR they are going to find Jesus (via emotional manipulation and group dynamics). No other choice. YL realizes they are in violation of many Supreme Court rulings prohibiting religious proselytizing on public school grounds, so they clandestinely pull the parking lot/sports practice deal. Creepers. YL caused the biggest rift in our relationship with our teen we had ever experienced before or since.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 1 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

My daughter got involved with Young Life because a friend was into it, as was her high school assistant soccer coach. It was promoted as a fun thing for kids to do, and it is. However, it is also, and it states so clearly on their website, an evangelical Protestant organization. Their Articles of Faith sound quite fundamentalist to me. Eventually my child got sucked in because she is a teenager (15) and teens love to hang out with peers, party, go to fun camps, etc. Oh yeah, and they are indoctrinated and encouraged to accept Christ, whatever exactly that means, read the Bible every day, etc. Nothing has caused such a rift in our family as this Young Life experience. My daughter will not talk to me about what all goes on at the camp and the meetings, because she knows her parents are not Christians. I find it weird that adults and young adults will do things like go to my kid's sports games, theater performances, etc, pick them up after school to take them to their house to 'talk' and study the Bible. Obviously, Young Life knows that kids of this age are very impressionable and easily influenced by their peers, and especially by peers slightly older than they. This is an evangelical organization, it is not quite upfront about its intentions, and it is manipulative in targeting middle school/high school, and thereby very easily influenced, children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Virginia

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

keep it away from minor children

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

My nieces are involved with Young Life and frankly, if they were my children i would forbid it. My problem with the group is that they sell themselves as non-denominational, yet they are brainwashing and converting those girls make no doubt about it. They are not a youth group - they are a Protestant bible study group. We are Catholic, we have a faith yet they like to go to YL because they have a very active youth group, they plan weekend trips, take them skiing and even to Disneyland (from Seattle!). Of course, the kids want to go! Example, I was asking my 16 yr old niece Hailey about YL, and at one point I said you are Catholic, and she snapped back, I'm a Christian! I said true, Catholics are Xtians. She shook her head and stormed off (she is a teenager after all). It upset me that these people are obviously telling her that Catholics are not Xtians, why such animosity against her own religion? Example2, They have YL on Weds night and a rotating movie night at various member homes on Saturday. Hailey's mom asked her to offer their home for movie night. Hailey said no, you cant. "Why?" You just can't you don't go to their church, they don't know you, they wont let you. Meanwhile, all her YL friends are always at the house after school, weekends, at non-YL times, when the parents don't mind. So why, if this is truly non-denominational, are non-Protestants parents not allowed to be involved in YL activities? I could site several examples that individually do not sound like such a big deal, but when viewed in totality, it paints a very clear picture. My Bro&Sis-in-law are complacent about it, figuring its better to associate with Protestants than thugs or stoners. Perhaps, but it is not harmless. They are pushing their Protestant agenda on impressionable kids. Overall, I think it is a great organization for Protestants. However, I do not approve of the way they market themselves as non-denominational when that is clearly not the case. if they want to evangelize they should be honest about it. But then, I am sure their membership would drop markedly as many religious families would not want their kids going to Protestant bible study. Be honest! What a great example of Xtianity, Charlatans in non-denominational clothing!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing the negative changes in my nieces

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Prohibit them from branding themselves as non-denominational when that is clearly not the case. They are a Protestant evangelical organization. There is nothing wrong with that, just be honest so parents know exactly what their children are getting involved with.

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I first read about Young Life in my local newspaper. I was very surprised as they talk about having a constant presence at sporting events, school dances, and visiting the school cafeteria. Apparently they act friendly to you in order to eventually convert you to Christianity. Although a strictly Christian organization, there is nothing in their symbols, etc. that would lead a defenseless child to be on their guard against this indoctrination. I am appalled at this! If they're going to try to convert my children, they should have the integrity to come right out and say what they're trying to do instead of sneaking it in. I'm not a Christian and it's this sort of behavior that makes me proud of that. The best advice I can give this organization is to mind their own business, stay out of our schools and in my fondest hope, wither and die.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

That it's been at a distance.

Ways to make it better...

This organization had never existed.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
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