Friday, December 13, 2019

The Top 10 Books of 2019

When I was a brand-new Young Life leader in college, our Area Director instilled in us the belief that "leaders are readers." Thank you, Bart Scarborough! In our world of podcasts and streaming video, it's becoming more difficult to develop a discipline of reading, but it's a practice that still remains so important for the formation of followers of Jesus, and especially for Young Life leaders. 

As you enter the "Christmas break" I wanted to share with you ten books that have recently been personally shaping for me. These books didn't all come out in 2019, that's just when they landed on my bedside table. I have a tendency to only read selected sections and rarely make it all the way through an entire book, but these ten below are ones I found particularly insightful and challenging. I don't necessarily agree with every sentence in each book (and I haven't even read every sentence), but I think they're all worth thumbing through with a pen and journal by your side. - Drew

Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image by Philip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand

This book is FASCINATING! It reawakened me to the wonder and mystery of God's thumbprint on the human body. To anyone who loves science or is in the medical profession, this is a must-read! 

The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman

Emily's words are profound, yet accessible. This book is a gentle companion through the process of discernment and Emily's wise voice will kindly guide you in the process of any decision you're trying to make.

Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon by David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock

A researched-based guide to essential practices for reaching the next generation. A practically helpful and insightful resource for Young Life staff, leaders and anyone in youth ministry.

The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Dale Bruner

This is the most helpful book you can own when it comes to preparing Young Life talks! It's by far the most expensive book in the list, but you get way more than you pay for. I actually own both the hard copy and the Kindle editions ($43) because I like the ease of copying and pasting from the Kindle into my Word doc when preparing talk notes. Buy it and use it the rest of your life!

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip and Dan Heath

This book is just so fun! And while it's not a "Christian" book, it's custom made for Young Life leaders! It will remind you of the "whys" of Young Life camp that you learned in the leader lounge during your first weekend as a leader at camp. Full of captivating stories and inspiration, it'll make you want to start brainstorming club ideas for the spring!

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren

I want to re-read this book every year. It's a needed nudge to view every moment we experience as sacred. It's a reminder of God's presence with us. These words will change the way you live.

Heart Cries of Every Teen: 8 Core Desires That Demand Attention by Jackie E. Perry

Written by a seasoned counselor who shares true stories of the kids who have sat in her office. Insightful guidance for anyone in relationships with teenagers. Needs to be required reading for Young Life leaders! 

Adorning the Dark: Thoughts of Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making by Andrew Peterson

I think we'll look back in fifty years and consider Andrew Peterson the C.S. Lewis of our day. He's a craftsman with words and these pages will be a friendly soundtrack for anyone with a creative bone in their body.

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird

Anyone else have a hard time sitting still? Me too. This book isn't fun to read. It feels more like navigating a map that leads to a deep place within you - one you've never visited before. When you finally get there, you'll look back and say "thank you." Read with caution. Your relationship with God will never be the same. 

The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How it Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between by Gregory Koukl

A modern version of "Mere Christianity." This book will help you both understand and explain the gospel. If you're looking for something to go through with your Campaigners group- look no further. I wish every high school senior could read this before heading off to college.

What books shaped you this year? I'd love to hear your recommendations. I'd especially love to read some books by authors of different ethnicities. Shoot me an email and I'll add them to my reading list! -Drew

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

600 Young Life Leaders Could Make This Happen Today!

A video message from the Hill family
(Drew, Natalie, Honey, Hutch and Macy Heart)

Young Life staff and leaders, 

We need YOUR help! Did you know that over the past 9 years there have been more than 1500 articles published on The Young Life Leader Blog? The website has been visited over 6 million times. As it has grown, it's taken more and more time to manage- thousands of hours. 

This year, for the first time ever, we finally hired someone to serve part-time as a site administrator and we're so grateful for the help that Alexis Howard has been! We're also incredibly thankful for Sam Scott and his social media prowess!

When The Young Life Leader Blog began in 2010, it was started on a website platform called "Blogger" that is now a digital-dinosaur and not very user-friendly. Over the Christmas break, we’d love to move it to a much easier-to-use Wordpress platform that is searchable and mobile-friendly.

In order to fund our small part-time staff team and to upgrade the website, we need to raise $15,000

If The Young Life Leader Blog been a gift to you, would you consider giving a gift to help it continue to serve Young Life leaders everywhere?

This is the first time we have ever asked for donations. 
If 600 leaders would each give $25, we could reach our goal today! 

#1164 - Volunteer Leader Resourcing 

You can also find the giving link on by searching my name: Andrew Hill. 

Every single donation goes towards improving the site and to helping serve and resource Young Life leaders around the world! 

After doing Young Life for almost twenty-five years, I'm still excited to share the good news of Jesus with even more kids. So grateful to be in this with you!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me

I can't thank you enough...and I can't wait to get the website updated to make it easier for you to use! 


Monday, December 9, 2019

The Greensboro Fellows

Are you a college senior wondering what's next after graduation? Do you wish you had more time to discern your calling and career? Do you want to build a deeper foundation in Christ to launch well into the season after college? 

If so, consider joining us in Greensboro, NC for the Greensboro Fellows Program. 

The Greensboro Fellows
 is a 9-month program (Sept-May) focusing on spiritual and professional development. Dozens of Young Life leaders have gone through the program after college and have loved it! 

You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Work a part-time job in a field of your interest
  • Meet weekly with a Godly mentor
  • Take seminary-level classes in Bible, Church History, and Theology
  • Volunteer with Young Life
  • Learn weekly from community business leaders 
  • Immerse yourself in a holistic approach to vocational discernment
  • Gain top-notch insight into your self through professional leadership development
  • Attend conferences, retreats, and a mission trip to Rwanda
  • Experience a life-changing year that will impact the rest of your future!

Check out this video from three of last year's fellows who have come from different Young Life areas around the country.

Find more information on

If you have questions or interest, you email the fellows directors, Dodd and Becky Drake. They are former Young Life committee chairs and their son is on Young Life staff in Charlotte, NC!