From the President

We often find it helpful to communicate about Young Life through our Mission, Vision, Value​s and Methods. Allow me to share how I like to think about the foundational elements of our ministry:

Mission – answers the question, “Why do we exist?” Essentially, it is our statement of purpose.
Vision – answers the question, “Where are we going?” It describes our deeply desired future state.
Values – answers the question, “Who are we?” It describes the people we aim to be at our core.
Methods – answers the question, “How do we act?” These are the ways we want to behave every day.

In the left margin below, we have displayed our first value and method in Young Life.

Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and hel​ping them grow in their faith.

Together we have set our eyes Forward, joining in a movement that compels us ​to go deeper in our walk with Jesus while helping young people grow deeper in their faith; to welcome a diverse team of men and women to all levels of leadership; to innovate new ways to reach and teach; and to grow — building relationships with more young people all over the world.

The gospel — Living according to and communicating the whole gospel of Jesus Christ.

Praying for young people.​
This first value is at the core of who we are, and directly relates to our mission of “Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.” The gospel is Jesus Christ Himself and what He has done for us in His perfect life, sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. Our commitment is to never, ever tire of living out this good news with our whole lives and telling young people about it in ways they can understand.

It is first and foremost a gospel of God’s love for us, beautifully, tangibly and undeniably made real when Jesus took on flesh and dwelled among us. The gospel provides the remedy to heal a broken relationship with our Creator God because of our sin and waywardness, have new life by the Spirit today, and live eternally with Him.

We need only take Him at His word, trust in Christ alone for our salvation and entrust our lives fully to Him as we seek to live by the power of His Spirit (the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead!). Jesus has given all to us, and all to Him we owe. This whole gospel is “truth” understandable to our renewed minds, and “new life” to be lived out by the Holy Spirit’s power in accordance with our Creator’s image and design deeply imprinted within each of us.

Our founder, Jim Rayburn, was fond of saying, “Jesus Christ is the most exciting person who ever walked this earth!” Indeed, He is! What a privilege we have to follow our risen Lord and Savior and tell young people about His wonderful, life-changing love for them.

Our first method is “praying for young people.” Why is this our first method? Our ministry’s history instructs us on this one — Jim Rayburn’s call to ministry in Gainesville, Texas and his pastor’s approval of his outreach to unchurched kids, were both an answer to the prayers of Clara Frasher and her friends, who lived in that town.

Prayer is our lifeline to the greatest power source in the universe, the Spirit of the Living God, available to each one of us and the kids we love and serve. Here’s the gut-level truth about what we do — we cannot do it without the Lord! We cannot change one kid’s heart to see Jesus for who He is, to see their sin and separation from God, understand the gospel and have a believing heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do these things. We are in desperate need of His power, help, guidance and encouragement in Young Life.

Young Life is full of fun, adventure and beautiful relationships. But, make no mistake, it is hard. It is often lonely. There are times we may feel like giving up or playing it safe. We need the Lord and the courage and encouragement only He can give. You see, prayer is not only essential for turning young peoples’ hearts to Jesus, but also for us to be about our Lord’s work with glad and brave hearts.

Thank you for living according to and communicating the whole gospel of Jesus Christ. And, thank you for being faithful in praying for all kinds of kids in all 50 states and around the world — and for one another, too!