Statement Regarding Young Life’s Gospel Proclamation

Press Release

By Terry Swenson
Vice President of Communications

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- In the fall of 2007, Young Life leadership created a statement titled The Non-Negotiables of Young Life's Gospel Proclamation (or Proclamation Paper). While the dissemination of this statement regarding Gospel proclamation has been widely accepted within the mission, a small fraction of staff have felt that they could not support Young Life’s historic approach to proclamation affirmed in that document. As a result of this disagreement and related commentary, we feel it is important to clarify a few points:

    1. We take the consistent, effective proclamation of the Gospel seriously in Young Life. The Proclamation Paper was written in order to provide direction and clarity for the more than 3,000 staff and 27,000 volunteers who serve in all 50 states and more than 50 countries around the world.

    2. The paper is our best attempt to help our staff and volunteers present the person and love of Jesus Christ, the consequences of sin, the efficacy of the cross and resurrection and the need and opportunity for young people to respond to God’s grace.

    3. The Proclamation Paper is a human document and not perfect. The term "non-negotiable" in the title is familiar to Young Life staff as a way to stress methods and practices that are of particular importance. It is in that spirit that the term is used in the Proclamation Paper. While the importance of a consistent, proven approach to proclamation is essential to the mission, Young Life’s Statement of Faith remains the mission's statement of the core theology guiding our work with adolescents.

    4. We start with love in our proclamation of the Gospel. Young life reaches out to adolescents in friendship, loving them where they are and as they are. It is in the context of this grace that we talk about the truth of sin that separates us from a relationship with our Creator.

    5. This Proclamation Paper was written as an internal document, not intended to instruct any other person outside of Young life or organization in their proclamation of the Gospel.

    6. While we have had valuable discussions with many staff about the Proclamation Paper, including several staff who have decided that they cannot work within the framework outlined, Young Life generally does not discuss the nature of these conversations and other employment details regarding staff and former staff.

It is our hope that this information is helpful and reassuring to those who care about Young Life and the mission’s ongoing outreach to adolescents around the world. For more information, contact Terry Swenson, Young Life's Vice President of Communications, at (719) 381-1898.