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.
Since I've been involved with Young Life (15 years), I have not only been challenged and grown immensely in my own life, but I have seen countless teenagers, college students, adults and family's lives changed. It's all about relationships and investing the time with people to have real relationships and talk about the things in life that really matter, like each other and Jesus and love.
I was a YL kid in high school and participated in campaigners. I attended summer camp once in high school and fall weekend camp twice. For senior trip after graduation I went on workcrew at Frontier while the rest of my friends went to Cancun....I don't regret it. I was a volunteer leader in college and now a donor.
Young Life has changed my life. My most fondest memories growing up are of club, camps, YL leaders, and the Jesus I met there. My life has been changed by Young Life and it will always be a part of me.
Young Life is a terrific ministry that focuses on building relationships with ALL TYPES of students so that they can learn how Jesus loves them. I am on our local Committee and have enjoyed seeing the dedication of the volunteer leaders as they go to the students, where they are, not waiting for students to come to church. Young Life is warm and welcoming. Its' camps are extremely high quality with the purpose of demonstrating to high schoolers how special they are.
Amazing staff and volunteers who care deeply about teenagers and the culture that is trying to destroy them. Young Life staff and volunteers reach out to unlovable kids, love them and build trusting relationships so these kids feel loved, acknowledged, and accepted enabling them to turn their lives in the right direction. What other organization in the world has such an impact? Transforming lives, giving hope and love and introducing kids to the most important person ever .... Jesus Christ! What an honor to be involved....
I have served on the local committee since 2002 and have consistently blown away at how God uses this ministry to reach kids for Christ. We went to Windy Gap as adult guests this past summer and were able to see excellence in every part of the program. From the way the tables were set, to how the grounds were kept, to the hilarious skits, to the evening programs. The only disappointment was that we had to leave early.
Younglife reaches out to high school kids with the message of Jesus. Some have never stepped foot inside a church or heard the Good News. I have many friends that received Christ during their time involved in Younglife. Tremendous!