Young Life – A Fun Outreach for Teens to Know Jesus
David Moore, the Staff Associate for Young Life in Pocahontas County explains just what Young Life is.
“Young Life is a youth ministry whose mission is introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ, and helping them grow in their faith” said David.
David says that Young life concentrates on those kids not already committed to Christ, and meets them on their own turf. Young Life, founded 1n the 1940’s in Texas, is today, an International Organization in all 50 states and in 99 countries.
David emphasizes that Young Life is independent of any one denomination.
“Young Life is what we call Inter-denominational “David says. “We work with all denominations, from Catholics to Methodists to Baptists, Presbyterians-all the way around. Simple core Theology is something we can all agree upon. We just stick to Jesus, which is very fun and very unique and kids love that. Once kids make a decision to follow Christ, we usher them into local churches and we don’t steer them in any one direction. We want them to make their own decisions and we can all work together for the same cause as the Body of Christ.”
David says that the local committee of adults supporting Young Life represents all those denominations and they work well together because they all love kids and love Jesus which transcends denominational differences.
David explains the ages and grades Young Life works with.
“We work with teenage kids” Davis says. “We start in Middle School all the way through High School. From 8th Grade to 12th Grade, that’s where we live.”
Right now they are working primarily at Marlinton Middle School and the High School, but hope to move into Green Bank Middle as well. David says that here in Pocahontas County, Young Life outreaches to kids mainly though two tools, “wildlife Club” for Middle School Kids and “Campaigners” for High School Kids. David explains.
“We do Wildlife Club once a month which is what we call a party with a purpose” said David. “It’s loud music, games, fun , craziness –it can get messy at times- but at the end it boils down to a ten minute talk proposing the idea of Jesus, this God come to Earth to love us, to show us that he cares.”
David says that the “Campaigners” are basically low key Bible studies with High school students.
David talks about another tool Young Life uses to reach teens, which are the Young Life summer camps.
“Call then camps, but they are really multi-million dollar resorts that we take kids to” David says. “Here in Pocahontas County we’re taking a summer camp trip to our property in Rockbridge County . Imagine if you say (to) a 15 year-old – ‘design a summer camp’-, he would probably design something that would look like a Young Life Camp-with zip lines, there’s mountain biking, there’s horseback riding there’s rock climbing. There’s always waterfront swimming, there’s an Olympic sized pool and outdoor basketball courts. We do all that just so at the end of the day we can say ‘you’re worth it, we love you and we believe the God who created you is crazy about you.’”
David summarizes the mission of Young Life.
“Our hope here in Pocahontas County is to lower the average age of the church goer. We go to churches now-a-days and you don’t see many teenagers there. And we want to fix that. In 20 years, our vision is that the people who fill the pews are in church (are there) because a Young Life leader was in their life.”
If you are, or know a teenager who might be interested in participating in young Life, you can contact David Moore by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone at 304-619-6983 or learn more by visiting www.younglife.org.