Young Life isn’t just about teen moms. YoungLives is a branch of Young Life that loves on young people in all different life stages (high school, middle school, special needs, teen moms, college aged) in over 90 countries!! We get to be a part of a BIG work that the Lord is doing. I want to introduce you to Luke Bright, the Area Director of Young Life South County. It has been so exciting to see God working through him to build up some incredible ministry in Ladera Ranch and San Juan Capistrano. I like how Luke explains what Young Life is all about…
“What do you do?”
I get this question a lot. It is usually followed by, “What is Young Life?”
If you look at the mission statement of Young Life, “Introducing adolescents to Christ, and helping them grow in their faith,” it
seems pretty straight forward… Young Life seems to be like any other youth ministry. We are trying to share Jesus with kids, and help them develop and grow in relationship with
To a very large degree, this is correct. We are like most church youth groups. We try to develop an atmosphere that is attractive to kids, and will foster their growth in Jesus.
But, at the same time, we are different than most local church youth groups.
We primarily seek the lost sheep that don’t see
m to have a flock, or have wondered away from home. We are going after the kids that aren’t going to one of the many amazing youth groups that are all over South Orange County.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells a few stories of lost thing
s. He tells the story of a lost sheep, and then a story of a woman who lost a coin, followed by the story of a father who loses a son. In the first two stories, the shepherd and the woman drop everything they are doing and seek after what they have lost. Jesus says that the shepherd would leave 99 sheep to just find the one that got lost.
Young Life is this shepherd. We are a part of the arm of the Church that goes out from the pen in search of the lost sheep. We do not have a building, and when we go out doing Young Life, we are leaving the flock behind in search of sheep that have gotten lost, or even sheep that just never seem to have found home. We go to these sheep, meet them where they are, earn their trust by showing them that we like them just the way they are, and then begin to bring them home through a loving and caring relationship.
This takes a lot of time, and, often times, it doesn’t look pretty, doesn’t look flashy, and can be incredibly hard work. More times than not, it might not be much to look at, there might not be a huge crowd, flashy program, or loud music. Sometimes it might just look like someone surfing with someone else, or getting coffee, or going to a movie, or weird adults showing up at freshman games. It can be exhausting and
can test the patience of even the best leaders… but just like in the stories Jesus told, when we get to bring one of these sheep home… ITS TIME TO PARTY!
So, what do I do in Young Life? I get to search for God’s lost sheep, his kids that seem to have wondered away, and begin the journey back home with them…
even if it takes years, and even when its costly.
If you want to read more about Young Life South County check out their website.