Wednesday, February 25, 2015

YoungLife: What We Do on Tuesday Nights

Aaron and I don't know marriage without YoungLife. Pretty crazy that we led cabins at camp just a month after we said I do. Doing ministry together is incredibly rewarding. We believe that it is God's will for us that we pour into kids' lives instead of choosing to focus solely on us. It can be stressful at times, but it unites us in a mission that is much bigger than ourselves. And the Lord blesses our marriage through it. Tuesday nights are YoungLife nights for the Ks. And so are Mondays, and Saturdays, and some Fridays...really any night can be YoungLife night, but every Tuesday we alternate between Club and Campaigners, where we spend time with our high school friends.

 So at this point you may be wondering, what exactly is YoungLife? What do you actually do? 

My best answer to that would be, we try to love like Jesus did. We meet kids where they are, and we love them. We don't always love the decisions they make, but we love them just the same. We believe that we have to build a relationship with them first, before we can "earn the right to be heard" when it comes to telling them about Jesus. We spend time with them, are there for them, and try to provide them a voice of truth in a world that can be incredibly hard to navigate. As a result of this, many of our YoungLife kids have never stepped foot in a church. Some of them don't know anything about Jesus, and some of them know a lot. YoungLife is for everyone. There are four main "C"s of YoungLife Ministry: Club, Campaigners, Contact Work, and Camp.

Club- A Party With a Purpose:
What is it about YoungLife Club that makes it the best night of the week for thousands of kids every week? We like to think of it as a party with a purpose. It's controlled chaos that's almost impossible to describe, but kids know it when they see it. And before the party ends, we share a simple message about God's love for them. After all, that's what the celebration is all about.

Campaigners- A Time to Learn and Grow
Campaigners is a weekly meeting for kids who wish to learn more or grow in their faith through study, service, and leadership. YoungLife leaders also encourage these kids to celebrate their faith through participation in a local church congregation.

Contact Work:
Kids don't care how much you know till they know how much you care. Young Life leaders show they care by going where kids are, meeting them as they are, and believing in who they can be. Within YoungLife we call going into the world of kids "contact work", but kids call it friendship.

Camp- The Best Week of Their Lives:
Kids spend a week away from the distractions of home, including their phones, and build deep friendships in the midst of awesome fun while hearing the greatest love story ever told.

My story with YoungLife begins back in 2003, during my freshmen year of high school. Everybody went. Students wore t shirts and put signs on lockers about Wednesday nights. We met in the top of an Attic Storage business in town, sang songs, played games, and went to Wendy's for Frosties after every club. I had alway been involved in church, but my church was far away and I was one of the only people from my high school who went there. Thus, I thought I'd give YL a try.

I went to YoungLife camp at Windy Gap for the first time the summer after my Sophomore Year of High School. It changed my life. I learned that I could truly share my faith with others, and be excited about it. I had the best news in the world, and it was time to start sharing it. I was active in YoungLife for the rest of high school, and I went to camp again as a second timer at Crooked Creek. I looked forward to weekly Campaigner meetings where I loved worship songs and talking about the Bible with girls my age who went to my school. Even for a churched kid, it had a huge impact on my life.

When I graduated and headed off to Mizzou, I had several friends who encouraged me to go through MyLife and become a leader. I was already involved in a sorority and classes, but I knew that YoungLife would be a worthwhile activity that I wanted to be a part of. I lead for three and a half years at Blair Oaks High School, a small school just outside of Jefferson City, before I moved back home to student teach.  YoungLife was fairly new to Blair Oaks, so it was a humbling experience where we sometimes had more leaders than kids at our clubs. Still, God was working both in and through me, and I loved the experience.

I can honestly say that becoming a YoungLife leader in college was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had such an instant community of amazing Christians around me who supported me, prayed for me, and held me accountable for making good decisions and being true to myself and to the Lord in college. I believe this kept me out of so much trouble in college, and I am thankful that God worked through me to morph me and strengthen my relationship with him at that time. I was also asked to lead cabins full of girls for my old high school at camp two other summers, and it was the most amazing, indescribable experience. Ministry became not only a part of my life, but also a priority. I began to care less about myself, and more about others who I wanted so desperately to know the love of Jesus, and to show them that love through me.

I took a break from leading to survive my first year of teaching, but then the call went out to take two girls from the high school that I taught at. I went. We were a part of another cabin, but it was still a blast. I knew that my high school needed to have regular Clubs again. I knew that the kids needed Campaigners. And most importantly, I knew that the kids needed to hear about Jesus. The next year, while Aaron and I were still engaged, we started telling kids more about YoungLife and inviting them to come to camp with us that summer. One girl in my class noticed my YoungLife water bottle, asked me about it, and then recruited about fifteen of her friends to come to camp with us. Thus, Liberty YoungLife was reborn.

Last Year's Group at Castaway Club in Detroit Lakes Minnesota
It has been an incredible journey to see how God has worked through Liberty YoungLife since the summer of 2012. Our Clubs and Campaigner groups continue to grow, and we are taking 48 students to camp this summer! FORTY EIGHT! The Lord has blessed us with new leaders, supportive parents, and kids with a heart to learn more about Jesus and share His story with their friends. We can't wait to see God continue to move through this ministry. So, dear friends, THAT is what God is doing on not just Tuesday nights, but every night, through us. Aaron said it best: YoungLife isn't just something we do on Tuesday nights, it's something we devote our lives to. Something that affects the kingdom, and peoples' lives. Something worth all of the time spent passionately pursuing kids for the Lord. Something eternal.


If you'd like to find out more about YoungLife, please don't hesitate to contact me! If you're interested in getting more involved, check out our Facebook Page or our website. We are always excited to have new leaders, committee members, supporters, and those lifting us up in prayer. We will be posting updates and photos on our Facebook page while we are at camp. Check it out to see all the fun we're having! Thanks, friends! 

I'm linking up with Amy Schlichter, Wholehearted Home, Giving Up on PerfectWomen With Intention, To Love Honor and VacuumCoffee for Your Heart, and A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


  1. Years ago---when I was a LOT younger---I worked with Young Life! Those were fun times. Nowadays I work with teens as I teach in a Christian high school. Working with kids is the best job in God's world! So glad I stopped in from Coffee For Your Heart. Blessings!

    1. That's awesome, Renee! It really is a great ministry. Love that you're still teaching- so am I! High school kids are great, and it's awesome working with them everyday- never a dull moment! Thanks so much for stopping and commenting. Blessings to you and your students as you pour into their lives this year!


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