Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WyldLife Wednesday: A Helpful Object Lesson for Explaining the Gospel

Below is an object lesson for explaining the gospel. Thanks to Robb Schreiber for passing it along.

Items Needed
  • A plate or saucer
  • coin
  • candle
  • matches
  • one cup of colored water (any color can be used)
  • clear drinking glass
  1. Tell the kids that you're going to explain what happened at the cross.
  2. Hold the penny up and tell the kids that the penny represents us. Place the penny on the plate toward the side. Now take the colored water which represents sin.
  3. Pour the colored water over the coin until it is submerged, just as in life we are covered with sin. Experiment with the water to see how much to put on the plate for the experiment to work right. Next take the white candle that represents Jesus and put it in the middle of the plate.
  4. Light the candle, the flame represents the life of Christ. Tell the children to watch carefully as you take the glass and put it over the lighted candle.
  5. Within a few seconds, the flame will consume all the oxygen in the glass and be extinguished. However, it will have created a vacuum which, in turn will draw the water up inside the glass (thus surrounding the candle) and leave the coin dry. Tell the kids that on the cross Jesus gave up his life (the flame went out) so that he could take our sins on Himself and we could be free. A great illustration as you present the Gospel and give a salvation invitation.

First seen on Another Day in the Ministry blog.

Monday, April 16, 2018

She Never Quit Telling People About Jesus: The Jenna Henderson Story

Written by Scott Henderson.

There were no more treatment options left on the table for Jenna’s cancer. There were no more options left to fight it, yet we still clung to an unshakeable hope. It set the perfect stage for God to do His thing—to heal the unhealable. Oh, how incredibly powerful it was going to be to witness and share this great miracle. We would share this story over and over and over again, so people could see how amazing Jesus truly is! Five months later, I held my wife’s hand as she took her last breath in this world at the young age of thirty.

Heartbroken and defeated, I wrestled with how God could allow this to happen to Jenna. She absolutely loved and adored Him with everything she had, and now she was torn away by death. How could this ever be seen as “part of God’s good plan” or “used to glorify Him?” How could God ever justify taking away someone who gave their life to love Him and share His good news relentlessly. So many lost and broken high school friends would never again be loved by Jenna in hopes that they may see Jesus. So many questions and doubts. So very few answers or hope. And then I heard it. A quiet whisper to my broken, heavy heart. Jenna was healed. She was more alive than she had ever been, and I had to share it with everyone I could.

As Jenna walked through her battle with cancer, she often journaled. She shared how God was still good, even in the midst of her suffering. As the cancer progressively got worse, she still led Young Life (and even went to camp 3 months before her death).

She never quit telling people about Jesus. Her heart was so bold in her faith, that she would say “even if one person gains a relationship with Jesus through this, it’s worth it.” It was these words and these stories that I want to share with you. It is her strength and quiet boldness I hope you receive from her—to keep living and sharing the Gospel. For outside of this Great News, we have no hope to cling to.

Worth the Suffering is a book that was born out of the depths of this tragedy. Her words and her heart are raw as she clings to the Lord through her journey with cancer. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you all. It is my hope and prayer that Jenna’s words renew your faith and give you strength. That her words push you to keep showing up and loving your high school & middle school friends in the midst of their own sufferings, and in the midst of yours.

As camp approaches this summer for all of us, I am reminded of Jenna’s inexpressible joy for the week. She wrote this, even as she was physically weak from the cancer treatments:

Rockbridge is a magical place, y’all. What a great first week of not having hair. It is literally life as it’s meant to be. I didn’t even have time to focus on my new lack of hair. I got to live life intentionally with an entire cabin of teenagers and talk to them about a God who loves them and gave His life for them.

How often do we get to slow down and have deep, intentional conversations? I love camp because it creates that environment with ease. They got to hear why life is so hard and messed up, and they got to see Jesus clearly, the Jesus who came to offer them real life. I can’t think of a greater privilege God has given me than being able to lead Young Life, and that is always at its peak during summer camp.

One thing I noticed while at camp is that prior to hair loss, I felt like God gave me this story that was just bottled up inside, and unless you know me personally, you wouldn’t know to ask. I think losing your hair is a great way to share your story. People are more likely to approach you and ask. I am not one to walk up to a stranger and tell them my whole life. God knows this about me. So a silver lining of hair loss is that it makes you a walking testimony.

- Jenna Henderson, Worth the Suffering 

Thank you friends for everything you do. It is a privilege to serve alongside you in this ministry. If you would like to purchase a copy of Worth the Suffering, you can do so at

If you know another Young Life leader who has faced great suffering and could use some encouragement, email us their name and mailing address and tell us some of their story. We have a few of Jenna's books to give-a-way and Scott would love to bless some leaders with a copy. We will not be able to give a book to everyone whose name is submitted, but we will select a handful of folks and send them the books.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Family Feud Club Questions & Answers

Have you ever done Family Feud club? 

Manny Ruan, a Young Life leader at Canyon Lake High School in Texas, shared with us some Family Feud questions and answers (download below) that his YL team collected from a Google survey.

Download FF Q's & A's

Here are the details from Manny:
  • We came up with random questions, some of them had to do with the area our high school is in, but many questions were generic so anyone could answer them. In the Word doc above, the number next to the answer is how many people responded with that same answer.
  • Our team made a Google survey and posted these questions and then sent them out to our friends, other leaders on social media and we received over 100 responses. When we began we took only the 100 first answers and picked out the top 6-7 answers and that's what we would use when it came down to start playing. 
  • The kids arrived to club and we put them into "families." We went with 5 people per team but you can adjust that to the number of kids that show up to Club.
  • Once the game started we got two "families" up there and just like Family Feud we lined them up side by side and had one contestant from each side go towards the middle and our host "Cleve Blarvey" would read the question. We had a leader stand with her hands out as the buzzer and kids would slap their hand and whoever was first (according to the leader) would answer and essentially the rules followed the same, 3 X's, other team could steal once the other team got their 3rd X, etc... 
  • For our club we did two rounds per family, so one question was read we went through all the strikes and then another person from the family would step up for question 2. After two questions we would get two new families up there and do it all over again with the next two questions. We did it this way to involve as many high school friends up on stage and at the end of every round the family that won would get some candy.
  • We had a large whiteboard where one of our leaders was running our scoreboard. She already had all top 6-7 answers on a paper so our host would reiterate the answer given and point up at our leader and if it was on there she would write it down. Of course you could probably do this on a laptop/PowerPoint and have it slightly more tech advanced, but our kids thought this was hilarious, so it worked for us.
  • Oh and don't forget the buzzer sound. This will get the whole club room rowdy and yelling when someone gets an X. We just had an app on our phone connected to our speaker.

Here's an example question form being used by Richardson, TX.

How to make Family Feud Keynote slides.

Family Feud Club Ideas from

Additional questions you can use from

And here's a pic of YL staff folks, Matt and Leslie Sloan (Asheville, NC), when their fam competed on The Feud a couple years ago!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Senior Club: 10 Tips to Make it Memorable

The end of this school year is in sight. It’s become a tradition in many Young Life areas to end the year with “Senior Club,” giving the graduating seniors a chance to lead club and share about their experiences. Below are a few tips to help make the night a success. 

Senior Ownership
This could be your highest attendance club of this semester. If the seniors take ownership of it, they will get people there.

Personal Invites
Even if seniors have “checked out” of YL this is a club they will come back for... if personally invited. Not just a mass text, or an Instagram announcement, but a face to face invite or phone call. I’ve watched many kids come to a Senior Club that have never been to YL before. It's an easy invite because it’s the last club of the year and the seniors are speaking. Work hard to get first timers there! Who knows, they might even sign up for camp. It's happened many times!

8th Graders
This is a great club to invite current 8th graders, and give them a taste of what's to come in the fall when they become freshmen. Get parents and middle school teachers help in promoting that this club is open to 8th graders. If there is WyldLife in your area, connect with the WyldLife leaders and get their help in bringing their middle school friends.

Also, offer prizes for the high schoolers who brings the most 8th graders. We typically give away "Lunch With A Leader" or bring kids lunch from their favorite restaurant to school.

If scheduled in May, often college students are back home and would love to come back and visit their former club.

If not carefully monitored, this club could run too long. Consider starting 30 minutes earlier than usual. You could also do a cookout, grill hot dogs, and start at 6:37 instead of 7:37. Check the sports schedule and make sure to not conflict with a big home game.

Will the seniors run music, games, skits? If so, help them prepare. They can do classic YL skits, make fun of leaders, pick their favorite classic songs to sing, and make videos to show at club. It's also fun to play a 'Guess that Senior' game using baby pics. 

It's a fun opportunity for the seniors to film a video together. Check out this video from the seniors at Overton Young Life in Nashville.

Senior Share
Allow enough time for every senior that wants to share to have a turn. Coach the seniors ahead of time on WHAT to share. If they know Christ, ask them to speak clearly of what He has done in their life. If they’ve been to camp or plugged into Campaigners, ask them to share of those experiences. Their words will carry much weight with the underclassmen. Although it is fun as leaders to hear kids tell us how great we are, encourage them to use this time to tell how great Jesus is instead.

Coach the seniors ahead of time on how long to share. If you have 15 seniors that each talk for 4 minutes, that will take an hour. Consider warning them ahead of time that after a certain predetermined length of time you will raise a sign in the back letting them know to wrap it up. Set the seniors up for success.

Think outside the box about ways to make this evening special. Will you have a time when the leaders pray for the seniors? Will you give the seniors any gifts, notes, etc…Will you have a special surprise 24-ft long Gutter Ice Cream Sundae waiting for the kids out back when the night ends? If so, ask some parents to help prepare it so its ready and still frozen when everyone runs outside. Also, prepare to get sticky. Ice Cream fights are inevitable.

What other ideas have you seen work well? Comment below or email us here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"Lean On Me" and "Cold, Cold Water" Club Song Mashup

Looking for a fun new club song mashup?

Ryan Soderberg, YL Area Director in Wauwatosa, WI shared with us this mashup they recently did at club. 

It combines the classic "Lean On Me" with "Cold Water." 


If you have any new songs to share, email us here.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Promposals and the Young Life Leader's Guide to Prom Season

Prom season is upon us and below are a few ways Young Life leaders can serve our high school friends, parents, and school administrations.



Some of your high school friends are asking dates to the prom and would love your creative help thinking of a fun promposal idea. 

One of my high school friends wrote a letter to Roy Williams, coach of the UNC Tar Heels basketball team. He asked Roy to write a letter to the girl he wanted to ask to prom. Roy did it!

Dress/Tux Shopping

Go shopping with them. Do you think your high school friend would rather go to Men's Warehouse with his YL leader or his mom? It's a toss up, but for female YL leaders, it's for sure a great contact work opportunity.

Pimp That Ride

Offer to pimp out your Rav-4 and dress up as a limo driver to escort your high school friends and their dates to dinner and prom. Maybe even check with committee folks or adults at your church who have nice vehicles they'd be willing to let you borrow.


Offer to cook/serve an elegant candlelight dinner for your high school friends. Do it at your house, their house, the YL house, or outside at a park. It'll be much cheaper than a steakhouse and much more memorable! 


Show up at the pre-dinner photo spot with a super-nice camera that you borrowed from your rich uncle. Take pics, edit them, post them on social media and tag your high school friends. They'll appreciate having some quality, non iPhone pics! 


This is a night full of regrets for many of our friends. Let's beg God to protect them and to give them courage and wisdom when making tough decisions.


Help your high school friends think through the evening ahead of time. Tell them you know the temptations they will face. Tell them Jesus knows those same temptations (Matthew 4). Tell them to look for a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13)because Jesus always provides one. Who else is having these important conversations with them? It's one of the reasons we work so hard to earn the right to be heard. 



You might be surprised how grateful the high school administration will be to hear an adult ask if they can help supervise the prom. It's not like a ton of adults are lining up to referee boogie-dance wrastlin'.

Prom Alternative 

Some of your friends didn't get asked to the prom. They say it's not a big deal, but no one enjoys being left out. Imagine how excited they would be if you offered them another hangout option during prom. You could do something low-key or even create an event like "MORP" (Prom backwards.) Instead of the dance, you could create an evening of a fancy meal followed by video scavenger hunts, rolling houses, ice blocking, movies, and even your own little dance party. That's the stuff memories are made of.


If your high school puts on an After-Prom event, volunteer to help. A few years back our YL team would film music videos of kids during the event. We used the YL skit closet and had kids dress up and lip-sync the song of their choice. We got some construction lights and designed a lil stage. After we shot the music videos we uploaded them on the YL YouTube page for kids to view. It was a big hit. If your school doesn't offer an After-Prom consider offering your friends a late night alternative.

Do you have other ideas that have worked for you? Email us here and we'll add them to the post.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

What Has Newt Been Reading?

We asked Young Life president, Newt Crenshaw, to share a list of books he has learned from over the past year.  It’s impressive and gives insight to the heart of our leadership and the direction of our mission.  Enjoy!


I confess that I am a “reader” in kind of an extreme sense of the word. I read because I like to learn, because I am curious and want to know “why.” I read because I believe it helps me know God, understand the world we live in, and be a better follower of Jesus and leader of others.

I also like to read in the context of community. So, I have chosen a sample of books that I have read over the last 18 months, and in most cases books that were recommended or given to me by others. I suppose in a broad way, I am now passing them along to you. Let’s learn and grow and follow our Lord together – for His glory!

I first encountered this book while reading the Gospel Coalition blog, as it won Christian Book of the Year in 2017. Reverend Rutledge does a beautiful job of describing the meaning of the cross, biblically and through the history of the Church, and exploring and explaining the different theories of atonement. ($25,

A wonderful devotional passed along by Lyn Ten Brink, Capernaum Coordinator for the MW Division. Thanks, Lyn! It is scripture-based, follows the Christian calendar, and leads you to deeper reflection, meditation and prayer.($26,

Eliot’s poetry is deep and inspiring, especially as he became a Christian later in life. His “Four Quartets” are probably my favorite poems of all time. This easy-to-travel-with volume was given to me by Peter and Grace Baughan, wonderful friends of the ministry. Peter loves Eliot’s poetry, too! ($25,

Jeff Cole, Young Life Area Director in North Alabama, sent me this book. It is a short but powerful allegorical reflection on the kingships of Saul, David, and for a moment, Absalom. ($7,

Genghis was fierce, fearsome and ruthless – not characteristics to be broadly imitated by leaders. However, he was also brilliant, innovative and adaptive in his methods of war, negotiation and rule. Joe Leininger, a friend and partner in Young Life, recommended this historical fiction series to me. ($13,

I heard of this book before coming to Young Life, but saw Pam Harmon’s (VP Capernaum) recommendation in an email and ordered it. Debby Irving does an amazingly honest job of telling her story of privilege and relating it to how to live responsibly in a society that has been shaped by race.($18,

Thanks to Marty Caldwell (EVP of YL International) for recommending this book! Hirsch studies periods of intense growth in the Christian church, and then insightfully distills the core DNA of these movements into a helpful lens through which to view our FORWARD movement in Young Life. ($13,

The first two books in a soon to be finished trilogy of the Battle of the Pacific in WW2. Toll is a thoughtful historian and wonderful story teller with an eye towards the importance of key leaders and those who sacrificed in this pivotal series of battles, set into motion by the attack on Pearl Harbor. (PC- $14, || TCT- $12,

This book was recommended by Hal Merwald, who served Young Life faithfully for many years. It’s a prophetic work written in the early 1900’s about the right focus and persistent pitfalls of foreign missions work. His next work, The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church, is also good and more refined. ($11,

This is a must-read for every YL staff person, as it is deeply personal and always pointing to Jesus. Rayburn was a man of great vision and passion who was used by God to change the course of millions of people’s lives who were introduced to Jesus and grew in their faith through Young Life. Bless the Lord for Jim! ($22, White Caps Media)

This seminal work, written now close to twenty years ago, sheds light on the role that evangelicals have played and continue to play in the area of race in America. It catalyzed an important conversation and further scholarship that needs be rooted in practice in the church and in ministries like Young Life. ($17,

This book was recommended to me by Ann Shackleton (VP of Human Resources) as we have been prayerfully and humbly navigating the issues of sexuality in our ministry. Wesley Hill, who has consulted with us on numerous occasions, writes a book that is sensitive, real and faithful in so many ways. ($11,

This short and deep treatise on humility was recommended most recently by Terry Looper, a longtime friend, former board member, and supporter of Young Life. Terry and I have had time to discuss how the Lord wants us to imitate our Savior in being humble servants. ($6,

Jerry himself sent me a copy of his book about a year ago. Jerry met the Lord through Young Life, went on to become a staff member, a pastor of multiple churches and is the founder of “The 40 Day Prayer Covenant,” which as been a big blessing to me! ($12,

I was inspired to read Mandela’s profound autobiography prior to my visit to Africa and the Middle East in early 2017. It did not disappoint! His may be the best modern example of long obedience and sacrifice in the same direction that I have ever encountered. ($12,

Winner of the 2007 Templeton Prize, this life’s work by a leading social philosopher provides the foundation upon which we understand how our western societies have become more secular and less believing in God over the centuries. My wife, Susan, gave me this to me for my birthday! ($16,

As we remember the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4th, I would recommend everyone read (or re-read) this account of his life and work as the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. ($11,

Raise $ for Summer Camp with Customized Karama Cuffs

Written by Raychel McKinney, Young Life leader in Evansville, IN.

Are you looking for a way to raise funds for camp this summer?

My name is Raychel McKinney and I work with a social enterprise born out of the Young Life Africa Committee called Karama Collection.

Karama, an Arabic word meaning dignity, has a mission to alleviate poverty by restoring dignity through purposeful work for artisans, beginning in Africa. We focus on working with artisans in East Africa and Haiti and donate our proceeds to Young Life campership.

Campership Cuff Program
  • You purchase brass, hammered cuffs in sets of 50 to 100.
  • For every cuff you sell at the $20 price, you make $10 for your area!
  • Every 50 cuffs you sell allows us to donate and send 1 kid to camp in Africa!

Our brass cuffs come with a stamped phrase which is up to you! These phrases are limited to 9 letters/spaces on each side. Our "YOUNG LIFE" stamped cuffs are available for shipment now, but additional phrases require an average of 3 weeks for shipment.

Since 2006, Karama has partnered with Young Life Africa by donating a portion of our proceeds to send more kids to Young Life camp and work alongside artisan-led businesses in order for them to provide for their families.

When you purchase from Karama, you are taking part in what we call our Swirl of Good. This Swirl provides a visual for the impact that Karama provides. These impacts include our artisans who handcraft each product, sending more kids to Young Life Africa camps, Karama staff stateside and in-country, as well as our team of volunteers we like to call our Karama Mamas.

What I love most about this fundraiser is the transformative impact this product has for its creators, and how this impact does not stop with benefiting artisans. The beauty of this program is that with just one purchase you are sending kids to Young Life Camp both in and out of the states.

I have grown up inside of Young Life and it has been this organization that Jesus has used to break generational cycles off of my own life which is why I can’t help but testify and share of the fruit this Campership Cuff Program has had on the lives of young people.

I’m looking forward to partnering with you in support of your Young Life area, our artisans, and Young Life Africa!  

Will you partner with me in paving the way for more young people to hear about how they are fully loved and fully known?

For purchasing inquiries, email Raychel here