From the President

Our society is into “fast.” Like fast food and instant communication. Sometimes fast is good when we receive an e-mail from a loved one minutes after we’ve written instead of waiting for regular mail. And sometimes fast is bad when we begin to speed through life not taking the time to enjoy relationships, to ponder God’s creation, etc.

The Apostle Paul had a desire for speed and, in his case, it was good speed. He penned these words:

“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” — 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 ( TNIV)

Paul wanted the message of the Lord to spread rapidly. And he asked for prayer that it might happen.

In Young Life, we want the Gospel to take root in many more kids’ lives as soon as possible. We have a sense of urgency about this. We don’t want it to be “bad fast.” We don’t want to short circuit the spiritual growth process in any young person. We don’t want to give up our relational approach of going where kids are and winning the right to be heard. But we do want to see more kids meet Jesus as rapidly as possible because we know there are so many who are lost and need to meet Christ.

As part of this desire to see the message spread rapidly, we have launched a new initiative: Reaching a World of Kids (RWOK). The concept is quite simple: double the number of kids we’re reaching each year from one million to two million and do this through recruiting, training, deploying and retaining more leaders — many of whom will volunteer their time and energies. It has taken us 67 years to get to the point where we are touching the lives of almost a million kids a year. We don’t want to wait another 67 to get to two million a year. We want to do it much more rapidly. Like in the next five to 10 years.

We have always been a mission of leaders who volunteer. But in the next chapter of Young Life, this will be an even more strategic emphasis.

And we need your help to succeed. First, pray. That’s what Paul asked the Thessalonians to do. Pray that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly. And pray that we may withstand the opposition that comes — from the opposition of individuals who don’t believe to the opposition of the evil one himself. Second, ask yourself this question: Does the Lord want me to volunteer and work directly with kids? There are no age limits. So why not you? It’s a risky prayer but one worth making.

Let’s double the number of kids we reach each year. Let’s have the same desire as Paul: that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly.