Young Life tonight was really great. Leadership was tiny, just five of us eating dinner together upstairs. It was cold and it was dark outside and it just felt like it was going to be a quiet night.
Little did we know that when we came downstairs we'd be greeted by 75 kids bursting with energy and so dang ready for some Campaigners. Ryan led us in a group prayer activity which was really cool before we broke up into small groups. I met with Sophomore and Senior girls in the cubby room and I wish our conversation could have lasted another hour or two. It was just really, really good.
The first year that we started HSE Young Life Jon Houghton gave us some questions to have kids answer after we'd been meeting for about a semester. We got so much awesome feedback that I thought I'd try out those questions again. I can tell you that YL is awesome, but it's so much more effective to hear what our kids are saying.
How has Young Life impacted you?
YL has impacted me since the beginning of 8th grade. I am always relieved to know I have a group of kids and adults that are there for me 24/7, to know that I can rely on them at any time and that they will always be welcoming with open arms. -Sophomore girl
It's given me a second family. -Junior girl
Young Life has made me the person I am today. I used to go to church every now and then and hardly pay attention because I didn't understand very much. But in YL I understand everything and truly believe that I was made for this. -Sophomore girl
Young Life has impacted me in numerous ways. Not only in my relationship with Him but my relationship with leaders as well. I've met with leaders and had some deep, solid, heart to heart talks about Christ, my life and my journey to Christ. The leaders are there to listen and help you stay on the right path to Christ. YL has helped me go to church more and continue to strengthen my relationship with God. -Senior guy
Saying YL has impacted me would be an understatement. Before the summer going into 8th grade I would have claimed that I had a relationship with God. Looking back now I realize I would have only said that because every one else did. I've learned that God has put me on this earth with a purpose and knew me before I was ever alive. He created me. -Sophomore girl
Young Life has impacted me in way that I can't explain. I came to YL looking for something to give me hope and a refuge from the dark place I was in. I've learned so many new things about myself and I've learned them through Christ. YL brought me to the reality that God has a plan for me and things are only going to get better. I've made amazing friends along the way and I'll never forget how much YL has shaped me into who I am today. -Senior girl
I have realized and seen how many different people can come together in fellowship and worship, despite the struggles that you, or the person sitting next to you, have been through. -Sophomore girl
It's changed me as a whole. I have created a family, I have found Christ and it's made me much happier. -Senior guy
Before YL I didn't really have a personal relationship with God. Going to church on Sundays was just something we did as a family. YL has made Jesus an important part of my life. -Sophomore girl
It allows me to worship in a setting with my peers from school different from church. -Sophomore girl
What's something you've learned about Christ/God/yourself?
He's waiting for me all the time and he's always got my back even when I think he's left me. He's still there waiting for me to say I need him too. -Junior girl
I'm learning more about my true self and who I want to be. YL opens my eyes to who God wants me to be. -Sophomore girl
Christ will always pursue me. I've learned that the road will not always be easy and my faith will often be questioned, but God has already blessed me with opportunities and blessings. It's just up to me to take advantage of them. -Senior guy
I have learned that God loves us all no matter what, unconditionally. -Sophomore girl
God has a purpose for my life no matter what challenges he may throw my way. -Sophomore girl
God lives through people and it is beautiful. -Junior girl
Christ always has my back. When no one else is there he is and no one can tell me differently. -Sophomore girl
He saves people. -Senior guy
I now have a relationship with God. I don't think I would be in the place I am now if it wasn't for YL. I've been introduced to so many loving people that I care so much about. -Sophomore girl
Why do you keep coming back to Young Life?
I can't picture my life without going to the barn on Monday nights and worshiping God with all of my friends. -Sophomore girl
Every time I am there I am so happy. It comes from being surrounded by so many good people who spill their love for Jesus. -Senior girl
The people there have become a second family and I love seeing them. I love getting to have intelligent conversations about God and getting to ask questions. -Junior girl
YL is a fun way to start out my week. I love meeting new people and everyone there always has a positive attitude which makes me feel welcome. -Freshmen girl
I have grown close to so many people and I feel like I continue to grow in my faith every week. When I come to YL I feel like I have no worries and it makes me so happy and grateful that I have it to look forward to every week. -Sophomore girl
I call it home. -Senior guy
I keep coming back to YL because it's such a positive light in my life. I continue to get to know Christ better as well as building lasting relationships with friends through him. -Sophomore girl
The talks and lessons are all so easy to relate to. Sometimes in church it's hard to relate to and understand what the pastor is talking about. At YL I feel like I get it. It's an awesome environment to be in and I feel like I can trust people. -Freshmen girl
I keep coming because it makes me happy, it makes me feel like home and it's the highlight of my week every week. -Sophomore girl
I think YL represents so much of what God pictures when He set the foundations for worship. Love, laughter, tears, song and His presence. It's all there and I love that. -Senior guy
I keep coming back because it's such a fun and laid back environment where I know I can say whatever and nobody will judge me or hold it against me. I love the people there and have built friendships with people I never thought I'd get to know. -Junior girl
Whenever I go to YL I leave feeling renewed. I am reminded why I am here today by what we talk about and the amazing people around me. -Sophomore girl
I used to think ___________ but now I think ____________.
I used to think of God as a distant or unknown figure but now I think of God as a great friend. -Junior girl
I used to think Wyld Life was going to be about nature, but now I know it's about God. -Sophomore girl
I used to think that being open to people that I hardly knew was hard, but now I think that it doesn't matter what I share because every girl in my small group wants to listen. -Sophomore girl
I used to think YL was for partiers and first time Christians but now I think YL is for anyone who wants to be closer to God and the people in their community. -Junior girl
I used to think that Christ isn't anything special and I could believe what I wanted. Now I believe that he is in everything great and that I need him to survive. -Senior guy
I used to think I had to be perfect to follow Christ but now I think that he accepts all of my sins. -Sophomore girl
I used to think I didn't have time to go to YL and for God, but then I got my priorities straight. -Junior girl
I used to think God was boring, but now I think God is my life. -Senior guy
I used to think you had to do everything right to go to heaven and you couldn't mess up. But now I think you just have to really love Jesus. -Sophomore girl
I used to think that I was alone and didn't have anyone. But now I know that I have God and my YL family. -Sophomore girl