oung Life began in the early 1940s in response to an emerging adolescent subculture, the center of which was the world of the high school. Kids’ lives revolved around their school; the first Young Life leaders realized that to reach kids who had no interest in organized religion, they would have to understand and be present in that world.
The high school years are still a time when most teenagers make important life choices, including what they believe about God. And so Young Life is there in the world of high school — learning kids’ names, hearing their stories, having fun and sharing with them the great news of a God who loves them.
What is it about Young Life club that makes it the best night of the week for thousands of kids every week? We like to think of it as a party with a purpose. It’s controlled chaos that’s almost impossible to describe, but kids know it when they see it. And before the party ends, we share a simple message about God’s love for them. After all, that’s what the celebration is all about.
All about kids
In Young Life, we give kids the first word. We go into their lives with open ears and listen. We know that kids don’t care what we know till they know how much we care. In Young Life, we call that earning the right to be heard. It’s not hard to pick up what kids are saying. They want to be respected and feel safe. They want to live life abundantly — and that means having massive doses of fun, but it also means discovering who they are and what they were made for. So, in Young Life we invite kids into respectful relationships and into more fun and adventure (at club and camp, for example) than they can imagine.Young Life programs translate well into any culture as local adults invest hours with teenagers. Teens’ lives are dramatically impacted, whether they are Czech, Nicaraguan, Kenyan, Japanese or German, when adults come alongside them, sharing a message of hope.
Out There in the World of Kids