Young Life doesn’t start with a program. It starts with adults 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 Young Life leaders log many hours with kids around the world — where they are, as they are. Leaders faithfully attend football practices in the Minneapolis suburbs, mingle with teenagers at a mall in Stockholm and play pick-up soccer with former child-soldiers in Liberia. We listen to their stories and learn what’s important to them because we genuinely care about their joys, triumphs, heartaches and setbacks.
We believe in the power of presence. Kids’ lives are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them, sharing God’s love with them. Because their leader believes in them, they begin to see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.
This is the first step of a lifelong journey; the choices they make today, based upon God’s love for them, will impact future decisions … careers chosen, marriages formed and families raised. All ripples from the time when a Young Life leader reached out and entered their world.
Everyone is welcome in Young Life! Our programs are custom made for kids throughout their adolescent years. Young Life is the name of our organization and is also the term we use for our program with high school students. We call our middle school program WyldLife. The initiative for college and university students is called Young Life College.
Young Life’s multicultural ministry, focused on kids in diverse cultural communities and those in economically-depressed areas, is arguably the largest of its kind in the United States. We refer to our ministry to kids with disabilities as Capernaum and to our work with teen moms as YoungLives. In a partnership with Military Community Youth Ministries, Young Life reaches military teens through a program called Club Beyond. The Small Towns initiative brings Young Life to communities of fewer than 25,000 people.