Playing a Doubleheader

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If you’re a volunteer with Young Life, you know the drill. You spend all day at work or classes or with your newborn and then it’s time to “change gears” and head out to invest time in kids, whether directly with them as a leader or indirectly on a committee. It’s a true commitment which more than 52,000 men and women undertake every day around the world. Since the 1940s, volunteers have long been the backbone of Young Life.

And within this world of volunteers, there’s a unique contingent of adults joining in this great pursuit. During their work day, they may be answering your phone calls, processing your donations, creating your area’s newsletter or even designing the magazine you’re reading right now! After work, like thousands of others in the mission, they’re going to the high school basketball game, leading a WyldLife club, planning a committee meeting or meeting a kid for a coke.

These are the men and women of mission services, the vast majority of whom work at the Service Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Ask each one of them and they would say it’s a high honor and privilege to serve the field staff by day, and serve beside the field staff by night!

Following are profiles of four such volunteers and what they bring to the mission in most of their waking hours!


Jessica Hilgenberg

Mission Services Title: Income processor (sounds way nerdier than it is!)
Department: Income Processing
Years at the Service Center: Four
Role in local area: Volunteer leader, Manitou Springs, three years.


How service in the field inspires work at the Service Center:
My background is actually much more field work than administrative support. It’s on those long and stressful days in the office that I can stop and remind myself of those moments of seeing my girls experience Jesus. My processing of payments and donations is playing a part in teenagers, across the mission, entering into the most fulfilling relationship they will ever know! 

Some of the greatest lessons/principles/etc. … learned by working in the field: I’m reminded time and again it is not about me. It is nothing I do that will bring salvation to these kids, that is the work of the Holy Spirit and He can choose to use me, despite myself, in that process. I’ve also learned prayer has to play a huge part in all I do in the field. 

What brings joy to your role at the Service Center: I have the opportunity to see how we are the body of Christ and how the Lord uses all types of people with different gifts and abilities to work together to fulfill the mission. Just because someone is not directly working with youth does not mean their heart doesn’t break for kids. It’s been a joy to work with people who, while they may never lead a club or have a one-on-one conversation with a teenager, have such an intense and deep desire to see kids know Jesus. I have the opportunity to share with these coworkers my experience in the field and it blesses them to hear those stories. It also brings me joy to serve and support the field. I love knowing that what I do frees up the staff to spend more time with kids and hopefully lets them lead a little more of a stress-free life.


Rob Winship

Mission Services Title: I had to look at my official Young Life business card — Telecommunications technician
Department: Building Services
Years at the Service Center: 14
Role in local area: Young Life volunteer leader with my wife, Sherry, at Pueblo West High School, eight years.


How service in the field inspires work at the Service Center:
I can see how it works together, what we do here at the Service Center in relation to the field. It makes me personally conscious of how I spend money here at the Service Center. I want to be a wise steward. 

How work at the Service Center informs your efforts in the field: It’s encouraging to know we have an organization supporting us that can assist in dealing with issues far too complicated for us. For example, we have had to deal with issues with the police and our kids, insurance, etc. These are things I can look to the Service Center to help deal with, so I can focus on reaching the next kid. 

Some of the greatest lessons/principles/etc. … learned by working in the field: As pious as this might sound, the greatest thing it has taught both me and my wife is our need to constantly be growing in our relationship with Jesus as our whole ministry is an outflow of that. I love Jim Rayburn’s quote, “If anyone grows tired of Christianity, it’s because he has become preoccupied with something else in the Christian faith besides Jesus Christ.” It has to be about Jesus.

What brings joy to your role at the Service Center: I love my job, pulling in and troubleshooting cable, fixing phones, etc. My passion, though, is leading the Bible study here at the Service Center and ministering to people as God leads and they allow.


Mark Poindexter

Mission Services Title: Director of Construction
Department: Camping
Years at the Service Center: Eight
Role in local area: Rampart Range Young Life committee chair two years, committee member six years.


How service in the field inspires work at the Service Center: It definitely enables me to see a bigger picture of Young Life and the direct impact the mission is having on kids. It’s much better to see and hear it in person than read about someone else’s experiences.

Some of the greatest lessons/principles/etc. … learned by working in the field: Don’t be afraid to plan events because you might think no one will attend …  just plan the event; make it happen and see what the Lord does with it.

What brings joy to your role at the Service Center: Being able to tangibly see the results of my work while visiting the camps and seeing kids having a blast while using the camp facilities.


Joe Boncha

Mission Services Title: Lawson and Oracle database administrator
Department: Information Technology (IT)
Years at the Service Center: 14
Role in the local area: Volunteer leader, 26 years (the last 13 at Air Academy High School).


How service in the field inspires work at the Service Center: I somewhat understand the crazy schedule and demands of what field staff attempt to do with limited time/budget, but with a very big God. Thus, I try to make things run as smoothly as possible.

How work at the Service Center informs your efforts in the field: It’s a huge encouragement to be at the Service Center; it keeps the bigger vision in mind when talking with kids one on one.

Some of the greatest lessons/principles/etc. … learned by working in the field: Don’t be surprised at obstacles you’ll face when you’re doing what God calls you to do.

What brings joy to your role at the Service Center: Hearing of changed lives, ministry growing in new areas/countries — and being a volunteer leader.

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