50 Years & Counting


In 1965, the war in Vietnam was escalating, the space race was in full swing, the Rolling Stones were on a world tour, the bravery of those who marched to Selma led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and the St. Louis Arch was completed. The United States occupied the Dominican Republic, Malcolm X was assassinated, NASA’s Mariner 4 flew by Mars, race riots erupted in Watts, California, and Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston.

Wow!  So much happened in 1965, both globally and locally.  And much, much more has happened since then.  Looking back at the last 50 years I am in awe of the diverse, dynamic, and broken world in which we live…but what’s funny is that kids are not really that different now – they are still in desperate need of Jesus.  Kids still want to be known, loved, and heard.  And we, as an organization, do the EXACT same thing we did 50 years ago: meet kids where they are at, love them for who they are, and point to the hope that is in Jesus.  In an ever-changing and fast-paced world, we have the joy of telling kids of the constant, real love of Jesus.

As we plan, pray and prepare for our 50 Years of Young Life in St. Louis, we are reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness the last half century.  We are reminded of the Lord’s goodness the last 50 years.  We are reminded of just how many times he has shown up in big, big ways in kids’ lives in St. Louis.  Kids have been transformed because of Him.  Eternities have been altered.  Please join us in rejoicing in all the lives touched since 1965!




One of the things about working with teenagers is that we get to watch them come in as a freshmen and walk out a senior. While in a way it’s a short time, it is also an incredibly important and sometimes volatile time. Kids start asking, in a conscious way, “Do I matter?” “What am I about?” “Am I loved?” “What difference does it make?”

Carl Jung said, “The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t have an answer, the world will tell you.”

We want kids to get that answer from God, not the world. That is why we go to them to both show and tell them that they are loved.  Not only that, but to let them know that Jesus has answered the question.

There are kids who will walk across the stage this month with those questions answered by Him because Young Life leaders showed up.

But there are thousands more who will walk across the stage who have never had a Christian adult share with them the story.  They’ll enter the next phase of life not having heard. If that bothers you – join us.  We won’t stop going.