Young Life greatly appreciates the work that local churches do among teens. Young Life complements that work by reaching out to kids — through the tools of contact work, club, Campaigners and camp — who might not attend activities at a local church.
One of the principle characteristics of Young Life ministry is that we go to the kids. We interact with them right where they are. It’s called contact work and that’s why you’ll find Young Life leaders at school athletic events, social events and other “non-church” settings. In an increasingly secular society, we’re able to engage kids by providing an environment that feels more “neutral” to them.
Young Life is committed to discipleship and we know that church involvement is essential for following Christ throughout one’s lifetime. We’re not affiliated with a specific church or denomination even though we work alongside a variety of denominations. We promote active involvement in the local church among the kids who are growing in their faith, and we try to communicate that Young Life is not a substitute for their local church. We also offer them the opportunity to join us in making an impact on their school for Christ. We do encourage kids to talk with their families about their church choice. When appropriate, Young Life staff and leaders will make suggestions.
Partnering with the local church is important to Young Life. Although congregations can minister in ways we can’t, Young Life has inroads in communities with kids who are disinterested in church. However, as Young Life staff and leaders care for these kids, we try to help them become life-long followers of Jesus Christ who will one day be active in the life of a local church.