It Could Happen to You

Jon and Sheila Chambers are the parents of two — Andrew, 7, and Anna, 5. They live in Fairfield, Ohio, near Cincinnati. Jon is an engineer, and Sheila is a stay-at-home mom. They also are the volunteer team leaders for Young Life at Fairfield High School. That means they lead the ministry, they are in charge, the buck stops with them. They have another couple on the team — Jeff and Dee Sims — who have been involved with them for years. Jeff is a teacher at the school. They also have a few college students and others on their team. But that’s it. No Young Life staff.
Sheila was a volunteer for five years when she was in college. Then she joined Young Life staff for 10 years. When Andrew was born, she left staff and became a volunteer leader, and she loves it as much as or more than being on staff. “I do the things I most love doing — direct ministry with kids,” she said. “I think the life of the volunteer is the greatest.”
As volunteers, they have been leading at Fairfield High for eight years. And when they can, they spend part of their summer on assignment at one of our camps, giving a month of their time.
First-rate leadership
So how is Young Life doing at that school run totally by volunteers? Is the outreach second-string compared to those run by full-time Young Life staff?
The answers are: The ministry is doing exceptionally well, thank you, and there is nothing second-rate about it. Between 200 and 250 kids come to club; they took 168 kids from just that one high school to camp; and they’re having fun. They see no reason to stop. And their kids, Andrew and Anna, love being around the high school students and the volunteers.
In addition to all that, a legacy has been created at Fairfield High. Jon, Sheila and the team have helped upperclassmen take a special interest in underclassmen. They have a vision of older kids reaching younger kids. So seniors reach out to freshmen, help lead Bible studies with them and even raise money so underclassmen having a tough time coming up with their funds for camp can go. Another part of the legacy is that the Young Life club at Fairfield High has produced 35 to 40 current volunteer leaders in other clubs in the Midwest and beyond.
Be part of a legacy
Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m praying and hoping that the Lord might nudge you to do the same as Jon and Sheila. Would you consider being a volunteer team leader? Would you consider being trained and deployed to focus on kids at a middle school or high school? Would you like to experience the fun and sense of purpose the Chambers are? Would you like to leave a legacy that surpasses almost anything else you could do? Then call your area director and sign up!
The Lord has given Young Life a vision for “every kid, everywhere, for eternity.” We’re not going to get the Gospel in front of every kid if we just rely on staff. We can’t afford it. There will never be enough full-time staff to go around. Besides that, there are wonderfully talented volunteers whom we wouldn’t want to miss. Young Life can share Christ with many more kids if we find more called people like Jon and Sheila. There are already almost 1,000 clubs led by volunteers. (We have another 16,000 volunteers who serve alongside staff and volunteer leaders.) Few are former staffers like Sheila. All love kids and feel called by God to serve.
Is He calling you?
Think about it. Maybe there is a school near you that you care about. A school that needs Young Life so more kids can be introduced to Jesus and grow in their faith. I’d like to suggest that in the next 30 days you make yourself available to the Lord in prayer and see if He is calling you. Drive by a school where we don’t have Young Life. Look at the kids. Pray in the parking lot. And discover what God may have in mind for you.
Jon and Sheila heard the call of God to Fairfield High. They have experienced much joy, a tremendous sense of purpose and few regrets since responding. We will need thousands more like them if we’re going to reach the many, many kids who are lost and need a Savior.