In Young Life we are constantly operating in the tension of working for an organization and answering God’s call to a Mission. We have a great privilege to be a part of Young Life and all the administration that goes along with it. We also have an amazing opportunity to be front and center as we see God’s Spirit work, to bring “Deep, Lasting Life” (see John 3) to teenagers. One of my great struggles is to carry this amazing perspective forward as a part of our area’s training throughout the school year.
The warm glow of kids at a “Stand-So” can cool off considerably by the time budgets are turned in, camp numbers are submitted, and Christmas gifts are ordered. When training new leaders about Young Life’s beginning, I always turn to a section from Dance Children Dance , a book written to describe how Young Life was founded.
In it, we read of a group of “elderly women” who met every Monday for six years, praying for students at Gainesville High School. Six. Years. On their knees in prayer, calling out to God to do something to reach these students with the Gospel of Christ. They didn’t know Jim Rayburn, had never heard of Young Life and yet they were instrumental in helping those students hear the Gospel. When the first club started, Jim passed over several other schools in the Dallas area to start Young Life at Gainesville.
This is a part of OUR Mission’s history. Next I link it with an account of how I have seen God work through answered prayer in my own work in Young Life. It is linking the history of God’s faithfulness to Young Life in the past, with my own past, that helps to open up our trust in God’s continued faithfulness in our areas today.
The final step is to gather together, in some way, the prayers you are asking God to answer in your area today. Some ways of doing this are:
- Buying an Area Journal in which you write prayers, passing along to each Leader to pray for and write in for a week before passing it along to another leader. Then at year’s end you read all the ways God has answered your prayers.
- Have an Area Prayer Night, pray for YL around the world, pray for other areas in the region, pray for one another, have Committee give out communion.
- Have a Prayer Wall in your office, where leaders write prayers on sticky notes that are put up and prayed for each week.
Whichever way you decide, make a concerted effort to remind your area that they are part of a mission with a legacy of depending on prayer and God’s faithfulness to carry you forward; watch your leaders come alive with passion and excitement to reach more kids for Christ.
Contributed by Justin Hayes, Area Director with YL Clark County in Vancouver.