From the President

In John’s Gospel (1:43-51), he relays a series of interactions between Philip, Nathanael and Jesus, where Philip tells Nathanael he has found the Messiah — “him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote.” Nathanael is incredulous, because Jesus is from Nazareth, a little town of no repute.
 
I love Philip’s response, because he didn’t make an argument or apologetic defense, rather he told Nathanael to “come and see.” He believed Jesus didn’t need to be protected or defended; rather He needed to be known and experienced. This approach is what Young Life does for kids around the world as we introduce them to Jesus and ask them to experience Him by becoming His disciples.
 
During my initial months as the sixth president of Young Life, I have been determined to follow Philip’s advice and “come and see” what Jesus is doing in and through our committed, courageous, and persistent staff and volunteers as they pursue unreached kids. This time of listening and learning has been invaluable to me.
 
The report is in — I have been blown away!
 
In visiting nine camps this summer, in trips to multiple cities in the United States and internationally, numerous meetings with leadership, meetings with our generous donors and board members, and in countless conversations and interactions with staff, I have seen and heard how Jesus is at work, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in and through our team of people.
 
Thankfully, the men and women who are drawn to Young Life increasingly come in all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, abilities and disabilities — but they all have a few things in common: they love Jesus, they have a passion for introducing Him to adolescents who don’t yet know Him, and they are like the “hounds of heaven” as they pursue all kinds of kids from all kinds of communities around the world.
 
What a privilege to be a part of what God is doing to redeem young people!
 
Over the past year, as the entire mission of Young Life has been getting ready to embark in January of 2017 on a new movement we're calling “Young Life FORWARD,” we have been listening to and learning from our global team in all 50 states and in over 100 countries. The feedback regarding the areas of focus has been consistent and faithfully incorporated into our vision for the future. Along with the rest of the leadership team, I have been pleased with the process of determining our direction for the next five years.
 
Given the opportunity to reach more kids for Christ, we need to have a holy sense of urgency like never before! In the midst of this new strategic campaign, you can rest assured that one thing will remain certain: we will be going to villages, communities and cities around the world to ask all kinds of young people to “come and see” who Jesus is, so they can know and experience His saving love for them.
 
Remember skeptical Nathanael, Philip’s friend? In his first interaction with Jesus he declared, “Teacher, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus told him that even greater things were in store for him as he became Jesus’ follower.
 
Indeed, throughout Young Life, we believe even greater ministry in the name of Jesus is yet to come! Thank you for joining us on this great adventure, and please keep praying that God will be glorified in all we do.