What is Young Life Small Towns?
Small towns have a unique way of life. There are about 300 students in the average small town high school and more than 1,200 in a typical suburban school. Young Life has developed a strategic Small Town ministry, meant for single-high school towns with populations of less than 25,000.
Kids in small communities face the same kinds of challenges and pressures as their peers in the urban and suburban areas. The difference is, in a small town, when a kid makes a mistake, the whole town knows it. Through club, Campaigners, friendships with leaders and camp, Young Life offers kids a second chance, the message of Christ’s unconditional love and the opportunity to explore a personal relationship with Him.
Because Young Life in small towns often involves teachers, coaches and others who care about kids, the community is significantly impacted. When you reach a kid in a small town, you reach his parents, his barber and his next door neighbor.
How is Young Life in small towns different?
Although the nuts and bolts of Young Life in small towns are very similar to Young Life in more populated suburban areas — club, Campaigners, camp and committee — some of the methods of starting Young Life are different. Getting ministry going and growing depends largely on the commitment of an individual, a couple or group in the community who desires to build a solid foundation for Young Life. Young Life in small towns greatly values teachers as people who can make a significant impact as volunteer or part-time staff.
Young Life Small Town leaders are caring people who strive to provide what every young person needs — a life filled with love, support, excitement and challenge. These trained leaders spend time with kids, modeling Christ’s unconditional love at weekly club meetings, special events and on camp trips. They walk alongside kids and help them navigate the tough road of being a teenager.
Each year, nearly 11 million students graduate from Young Life’s sphere of influence in small towns. Since 2000, the number of Young Life ministries in small towns has doubled. As of 2011, there were more than 900 small town ministries in the United States. Weekly, these clubs meet to have fun, sing songs, build friendships and give kids the chance to hear the message of Christ’s unconditional love for them.
Taking kids to summer camp is the very best way to send a ripple through a small town. These kids get to experience the best week of their lives — full of adventure, fun and the message of Christ’s love. Set in beautiful surroundings, kids participate in everything from horseback riding and mountain climbing to driving Ridge Runners and completing a ropes course. There’s no shortage of excitement. Camp provides the opportunity and environment for teens to open up and share their struggles, fears and thoughts about God.
How do I start Young Life in my town?
To start Young Life in your small town or to obtain more information about Young Life, you can contact your local Young Life office or one of the “Small Town 12” staff.