One the of the hallmarks of Young Life is what we call Contact Work. This is the idea that we go to where kids are. We don’t typically build buildings or count on events to build relationships with kids. Instead we go where they are, be it the game, after school, at work, or the coffee shop.
We do this for two main reasons. We do it because it’s effective. When we build relationships with kids they are more likely to take what we say seriously. Besides the truth is, that we want to be there when it counts, and you never know when that will be. So it’s better just to be there to begin with.
But perhaps the main reason we do it is that we believe it demonstrates Jesus to kids. Most religions are about us getting to God. Christianity, at it’s core, is about God coming to us. Jesus didn’t stay in His comfort zone. He left that to come after us. We want kids to see us do that for them. We want them to know that they are worth coming after, worth spending time with, worth showing up for. We think they’re worth it, and so does Jesus.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Our volunteer leaders are rockstars. Being a leader requires a wide range of skills, vision casting, maturity, and substantial amounts of time. Young Life demands a lot of its volunteers and, in fact, we tend to think of them not as volunteers but as “ministers.”
These pictured (and many more) ministers are concerned enough about kids to go to them, on their turf and in their culture, building bridges of authentic friendship. These relationships don’t happen overnight – they take time, patience, trust and consistency. So, our ministers log many hours with kids – where they are, as they are. They listen to kids’ stories and learn what’s important to them because we genuinely care about their joys, triumphs, heartache and setbacks.
We are SO encouraged by one another as we eat together, laugh together, and pray alongside one another. Please join us as we stir up one another to love and good works as we celebrate our rockstars.