Friday, December 19, 2014

2 'Out Of The Box' Contact Work Ideas

The 2 Contact work ideas below were shared by by Zack Miller, intern with Young Life Expeditions, in Nazareth, Israel and by Delaney Kochan, a volunteer leader in the Tri-lakes Area in Colorado.


By Zack Miller

Contact work can be a challenge over in this part of the world as well as anywhere. To do Young Life with different cultures and belief systems has not come without obstacles. One of the difficulties is the students have varying class schedules throughout the week so contact work at the school is a challenge. Furthermore, there are not really any clubs or athletic teams associated through the school, so the ease of going to a football, basketball or soccer game is also not possible. However, that has not stopped our team over here in the town where Jesus was born!

One of the ways we get an extra hour of contact work is some free time before club. We are lucky enough to have a house to host club where there is a big basement with a pool table and ping pong table. All the leaders commit to coming very early to club (to plan as usual, but then also be there for free time for the kids to just hang). 

We set up the main games such as pool, ping pong, and have a basketball hoop outside. We've set up a table with cards and use pennies as "chips" to have some poker type fun. This time is great because we can hang with the high schoolers before club starts and continue to build friendships. Furthermore, the kids sometimes end up playing games with someone they don't really know and it ends up being a mixer before the mixer. Yes, coming extra early to club makes for a long night, but it's all about adapting and being creative in the ways we do contact work. 



By Delaney Kochan

Any leader will tell you there were days she sat in her car in the parking lot and prayed as students flooded out at the end of the day because it took all of her courage to just show up. And God is always good and honors such heartfelt prayers! But at some point, actually interacting with students becomes an essential part of ministry.

The high school is about ten minutes walking distance from where I live. I prefer to train running trails, but I have jogged by it a number of times, too. One day I was getting ready to leave for the school, dressed in work out clothes so I could hit the trails after. My Labrador, and faithful running partner, recognized my outfit and began howling with excitement. I told her, “No, you can’t come with me to the school,” but the whining continued. However, after I said "No," I realized a happy, tail wagging puppy is the perfect way to draw the attention of high school girls! I didn’t even need to go into the school! I just had to hang out in the parking lot with my lovable furry friend and wave at any kid who looked in our direction. “Yes, she’s friendly!” “Of course you can pet her!” The dog would do the introductions for me.

There are a lot of days I am unavailable during carpool and I end up at a game or a play on my own later in the evening. But the days I show up with the dog, we most definitely get a few smiles and make some new friends. Having a four-legged friend by my side makes me feel less insecure about stalking the doors of the high school, even if I’m stalking for the Kingdom. The days of showing up with nothing but God’s faithfulness and my willingness are never done, but the adorable appeal of a happy dog has been a welcome addition to my contact work routine!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Special Discount On Spikeball For All Young Life Leaders

As you may have heard, we're celebrating the 12 Days of Spikeball here on The Young Life Leader Blog. We've already had 7 winners and still have 5 sets to give away. You can still submit Run-On character ideas by tomorrow (Friday) at midnight for another chance to win. See Giveaway #3 below for details. 

If you haven't yet won a set, Spikeball is giving all of our readers a special deal THIS WEEKEND ONLY. If you enter the code YLLeaderBlog on Spikeball.com during checkout you will receive 25% OFF your total purchase. It makes a great Christmas gift and if you order by Saturday you'll get it in time! 


Thanks again to Spikeball for such generosity!


Giveaway #1 (Wednesday, Dec. 10th)

Check @YoungLifeLeader on Instagram   

WINNER: @Reid_Sansom, submitted by @R_Tulls. 

Giveaway #2 (Thurs, Dec 11th)

Retweet today's Spikeball tweet by @YoungLifeLeader.
WINNER: @ejkurfis. 

Giveaway #3 (Friday, Dec 12th)

Share your best Run-on/Program characters. Email us here with your ideas. Include names of characters, music, costumes, repeater lines, storyline, pics of you, etc... All submissions are due by December 19th. In early January we'll share the best run-on character ideas on the site so other folks around the world can steal your ideas to use in their own YL clubs. 
Winner: To be chosen from all entries on Dec. 20th. 

Giveaway #4 (Saturday, Dec 13th)

Share a pic of you playing Spikeball with your YL teammates or kids. Use the hashtag #YLspikeball and tag @YoungLifeLeader on Twitter or Instagram. All pics posted by Sunday, Dec. 14th at 2pm will be entered to win. 
Winner: Glen Ward in Tullahoma, TN

Giveaway #5 (Sunday, Dec 14th)

Win a set for your Area Director 1 of 2 ways. 
(Entries due by noon on Monday Dec 15th.)
  1. Post a pic of your YL AD on Instagram with a comment explaining why he/she deserves a Free Spikeball set. Tag @YoungLifeLeader in the pic and use the hashtag #YLSpikeball....OR
  2. Email us a pic of your AD along with a paragraph explaining why your AD deserves a set. 
Winner: Nick Dorsey via Eric Thomas

Giveaway #6 (Monday, Dec 15th)
Win a set for your Team Leader 1 of 2 ways. 
(Entries due by noon on Tues Dec 16th.)
  1. Post a pic of your YL Team Leader on Instagram with a comment explaining why he/she deserves a Free Spikeball set. Tag @YoungLifeLeader in the pic and use the hashtag #YLSpikeball....OR
  2. Email us a pic of your your YL Team Leader along with a paragraph explaining why your TL deserves a set. 
Winner: Josh Kindzia via @MegTownsend's submission.

Giveaway #7 (Tuesday, Dec 16th)

#YLTeamTuesday contest.  Post a pic of your YL team today using both #YLTeamTuesday and #YLSpikeball. A random winner will be chosen from all entires. Due by midnight on Tuesday.
Winner: @KelleyBurgess

Giveaway #8 (Wednesday, Dec 17th)

Caption contest on Instagram. Check @YoungLifeLeader on Instagram on Wednesday to enter.  
Winner: @KenzieFredrick

Giveaway #9 (Thursday, Dec 18th)

Win a set for someone in your Campaigners group. Post a pic of your Campaigners group on Instagram on Thursday, Dec. 18th. Tag everyone in your Campaigners group in a comment. A random winner will be chosen from all entries on Thursday, Dec. 18th.

Giveaway #10 (Friday, Dec 19th)

WyldLife leaders only. Email us with the details of your favorite WyldLife game or mixer you did this past semester. All emails received by Saturday Dec. 20th at noon will be entered to win. 

Giveaway #11 (Saturday, Dec 20th)

Sing it to win it. Share a 15 second song on Insta about why you or your YL team should win a Spikeball set. Tag @YoungLifeLeader and use the hashtag #YLSpikeball. All entries received by noon on Sunday, Dec. 21st will be entered to win.

Giveaway #12 (Sunday, Dec 21st)

Last chance to win! Everyone who tags @YoungLifeLeader on Twitter or Instagram on Sunday Dec. 21st and uses the hashtag #YLSpikeball will be entered to win. Make one last plea as to why the 12th and last set should be yours. Best beggar wins. 

*This contest is sponsored by Spikeball USA.

When Seniors Shared Their Stories

A guest post submitted by Eli & Stephanie Johnson, volunteer leaders in Trenton, Ohio

Senior Panel

Last week, three of our senior leaders were a part of a Student Panel that took the place of the club talk and it was one of the coolest nights of leading our team has ever had. In the past, we've asked one of our seniors to give a club talk towards the end of the semester and it is always encouraging. This year, however, we have a larger group of seniors who are following Jesus, loving their friends and using Young Life as the tool to bring their friends to the feet of Jesus. 

Because of this, my wife Stephanie gave a quick 3 minute introduction using Acts 4:13 as the base, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus." She explained she has seen Jesus in our three senior friends and we all hoped everyone at club is able to see that too. The seniors then came up and sat in front of 40 of their friends and shared their stories.

The three students (Hanna, Bridgette and Cole) were prepped by Stephanie with the five questions below they would answer:

  • You've been coming to Young Life for a long time - why do you keep coming back?
  • You each grew up hearing about Jesus in some way or another but in the past few years, you began an active relationship with Him. What made it "click" and what changed in your life after that point?
  • What's the most important piece of Scripture to you since you started following Jesus? Why?
  • What's the biggest way Jesus has changed you?
  • What's the one thing you want to tell your friends here about Jesus before you graduate in May?

Two nights before club, Stephanie was struck by the way Hanna, Bridgette and Cole encouraged each other in the truth of the Gospel, pointing out ways God has changed each other and coaching one another in better ways to communicate their story.

One huge benefit was for the seniors themselves: Cole told us after that he felt more at peace with himself and what the Lord has for him in the rest of his high school days. While answering question #5, Bridgette began crying and later explained to us she realized she was explaining her love for Jesus to some of her friends who don't love Jesus yet and was pleading with them, "In high school and life, this is the best there is," and now has a new perspective of Jesus' heart for those not yet in a relationship with him. And Hanna had an increased awareness of the gravity of her influence on the underclassmen after seeing how engaged and interested in their stories the younger students were during the panel.

After club that night multiple students were tweeting about the discussion and spurred two students to ask leaders to talk more in depth about Christianity and what it's like to follow Jesus. These conversations led perfectly into Fall Weekend, where 12 students began a relationship with Christ!

We are thankful for the way the Spirit moved that night and highly encourage this to any school with a strong group of seniors!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Campaigners: An Identity Changing Idea

In late November we asked leaders around the world to share their best ideas from the semester. We received a ton of ideas and will share 7 of them over the next 7 days. 

Coming Up...
Wednesday- Campaigners: An Identity Changing Idea
Thursday- When Seniors Shared Their Stories
Friday- Alternative Contact Work Ideas
Saturday- Person of Christ Club Talk Idea
Sunday- A Fun Way To Fundraise 
Monday- How We Doubled Our Club Numbers In One Night
Tuesday- When A Kid Shows Up Without A Costume

Campaigners Lesson: Identity in Christ 
A guest post written by Lauren Harrison, leader in Gig Harbor, WA

This Campaigner lesson focuses on the lies our high school friends believe or tell themselves, and how we can counter those lies with biblical truths.

We started the lesson by asking what kinds of things people struggle with, or lies we tell ourselves and may or may not believe. Repeating issues that came up were

  • Negative self image
  • Peer Perception/Likability
  • Insecurity
  • Anxiety about the future, etc. 
Each girl wrote down one lie they currently struggle with. We discussed how Jesus doesn't want us to believe those lies, and all of the negative things we think or feel aren't coming from Him. When we finished discussing the lies we think we believe, every person took out a separate piece of paper for each girl at Campaigners. On each piece of paper, we wrote down words to describe each individual, or something we appreciate about them. We kept it short and simple, and wrote big enough so the words would be easily read from a distance. Leaders collected the papers from every person describing each girl in the room, and then took them individually into the other room and taped the words describing them on the wall behind them, so they couldn't see them.

Then, a leader took a picture of each girl with their words behind them and was given the picture at next week's Campaigners. All of the papers were written anonymously. In addition, our leaders read the lies each girl wrote down and found an encouraging verse in the Bible to counter them. When they gave out the pictures, the verse was attached. Overall, this lesson was a really good way to affirm one another. Since each girl received a picture and a verse, it gives them something to take home and put somewhere where they can see it and read it every day. It is a simple idea, but highly encouraging and a great illustration to remind our high school friends of our everlasting identity in Christ.


Here's another Campaigner's idea about The Lies We Believe

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

4 Leaders You've Seen Christ In This Semester

Over Thanksgiving we asked you to share about leaders in your area who had shown you Christ this semester. Here are 4 more! 

Jared Echevarria (shown on right) is an amazing guy. He has been a leader at Pickens High School in Jasper, Georgia for several years. I came to know him last year when I started playing guitar for Club. I am amazed by his willingness to put his life on the line for kids. He is currently in school at the University of North Georgia and has to drive an hour to get to club, Campaigners or team meetings. What I love most about him is his willingness to physically wrestle with guys. High school guys love this! Jared is not afraid to let it get messy by getting close to guys and sharing the difficulties of life. His willingness to listen and hang out with guys is simply awesome. Kevin Gantz – leader in Pickens Co, Georgia.



Katie Bonura, the words intentional, Jesus-loving, selfless, and contagiously joyful, is just a glimpse of what I see when I think of Katie. She goes all out for kids because of her unending love for Christ, hoping that one day they will share the same love for Him. She truly knows what it means to pursue high school kids and to do life with them. She went with one of her pregnant high-schoolers to register for her baby at Target, her club talks make the Gospel attractive, and she shows her faithfulness to kids by consistently being in their life. I discover more about Jesus when I am around Katie. -Aubrey Bonura, leader in Louisville, KY


Michael Eugene (pictured left) is probably the coolest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s hilarious, fun, sings like an angel, has killer dance moves, but most importantly loves Jesus with everything he has and shares that love with guys at two high schools in Macon. When Michael graduated from college a little over a year ago he searched and searched for a job in Macon- simply because he felt God was calling him to stick around and continue loving high school guys here. Michael is more than an awesome leader, he is a great friend and team member. He is the team encourager and throws himself into everything he does. He also has the unique ability to share the male perspective with me I can then pass on to my girls who trust Michael; they know he’s always looking out for them. Michael is the type of leader that makes us all better leaders and I’m thankful for the privilege to serve with him! - Amy Kenney, leader in Macon, GA


Meghan Gallagher (pictured in the middle, wearing the red “I still believe" sweatshirt) is my roommate and best friend, has been a Young Life leader for just about two years. For two years I have watched her be a behind the scenes kind of leader. She is the quiet one, running the PowerPoints at club, taking care of details for everyone on her team, watching 3 hour long ballets her high school friends are in, and always heading to Starbucks to have deep conversations with girls. I happen to be the exact opposite. I am the type of leader that is loud and crazy, and often a lot of us think that is how YL leaders should be. However, watching Meghan lead her girls in a way that is so intentional, and watching her lead obediently even though she doesn’t get the spotlight has shown me who Christ is. Jesus never wanted the spotlight or recognition. For him, the small acts of service played a huge part in his ministry. Meghan never asks for recognition, she serves and loves kids obediently time and time again, no matter how hard it gets. There are times she questions her quieter methods and compares herself to her loud and crazy teammates, but little does she know I aspire to lead a little bit more like her because of the way she shows Christ. -Tierney Kearns, leader in Grove City, PA

Monday, December 15, 2014

4 Area Directors Who Deserve To Win Spikeball Sets

We're giving away 12 Spikeball sets over 12 days

One of the 12 contests was to share why your Area Director deserves to win a set. Below are a few of the submissions we received. A random winner was drawn and congratulations to Nick Dorsey on winning a new Spikeball set!

Written by Eric Thomas

Our area director, Nick Dorsey, moved to Bowling Green from his previous area directing job in Altoona, PA to help build and start a new area. Just a year ago, Young Life was nowhere to be found in Bowling Green. Since Nick got here we are now in 2 of the 5 high schools and he has played a huge role in getting everything rolling. I think he is very deserving of a Spikeball set!



Written by Patrick Doane

Matt Margaron, leads the Naperville & Aurora area in Illinois. The first club I went to, he introduced himself to me and there was something about him, and about Young Life in general, that had me coming back week after week. Matt helped me become the man I am today. He encouraged me to sign up for Young Life camp at Frontier Ranch in Colorado. That week I accepted God into my life and nothing has been the same since. I have grown so much personally and in my faith. Matt embodies something that makes everyone love him. He is one of my best friends. If I never met Matt, my life would be completely different. He is my role model and I hope to someday bring joy and happiness into kids' lives just like he has done for me and hundreds of other kids as well.

Written by Lauren Veil

Tim Carley deserves a Spikeball set because he drove a van full of girls to Winter Weekend at Southwind in November. He needs something "manly" to play with the guys in our Young Life area. Tim is newer to North Palm and he is a great model to the students in the community. Tim will do anything for the kids and always takes the extra step to show students how much God loves them. He is always in the schools; attending sporting events, volunteering for lunch duty, etc. The area of North Palm Beach is very lucky to have Tim as our area director!



Written by Shayan Faradineh

Cody Strange, (area director and my Young Life leader) has had the biggest impact on my life as well as influences most of Frisco, TX. Cody has always been the type of leader to offer opportunities to help me grow closer to Jesus in a way that's fun and exciting. From letting me give a WyldLife talk to hosting 8th grade Campaigners at my house once a week, he is always right beside me. Even with all of his work, he still finds time to hang out with the area's leaders. I have no idea how he makes so much time to always be with us in spite of all he has to do, but he makes it work. Cody is the reason I have decided to go on staff and if you want an example of an Area Director who does it all, then meet Cody Strange!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

We're Giving Away 12 Spikeball Sets!

Find out below how you can win 1 of 12 Spikeball sets over the next 2 weeks. 

Giveaway #1 (Wednesday, Dec. 10th)

Check @YoungLifeLeader on Instagram   

WINNER: @Reid_Sansom was chosen at random after being tagged on Instagram by @R_Tulls. 

Giveaway #2 (Thurs, Dec 11th)

Retweet today's Spikeball tweet by @YoungLifeLeader on Twitter to be entered to win.
WINNER: @ejkurfis. Congrats Emily!

Giveaway #3 (Friday, Dec 12th)

Share your best Run-on/Program characters. Email us here with your ideas. Include names of characters, music, costumes, repeater lines, storyline, pics of you, etc... All submissions are due by December 19th. In early January we'll share the best run-on character ideas on the site so other folks around the world can steal your ideas to use in their own YL clubs. 
Winner: To be chosen from all entries on Dec. 20th. 

Giveaway #4 (Saturday, Dec 13th)

Share a pic of you playing Spikeball with your YL teammates or kids. Use the hashtag #YLspikeball and tag @YoungLifeLeader on Twitter or Instagram. All pics posted by Sunday, Dec. 14th at 2pm will be entered to win. 
Winner: Glen Ward in Tullahoma, TN

Giveaway #5 (Sunday, Dec 14th)

Win a set for your Area Director 1 of 2 ways. 
(Entries due by noon on Monday Dec 15th.)
  1. Post a pic of your YL AD on Instagram with a comment explaining why he/she deserves a Free Spikeball set. Tag @YoungLifeLeader in the pic and use the hashtag #YLSpikeball....OR
  2. Email us a pic of your AD along with a paragraph explaining why your AD deserves a set. 
Winner: Nick Dorsey (Bowling Green YL) via Eric Thomas

Giveaway #6 (Monday, Dec 15th)
Win a set for your Team Leader 1 of 2 ways. 
(Entries due by noon on Tues Dec 16th.)
  1. Post a pic of your YL Team Leader on Instagram with a comment explaining why he/she deserves a Free Spikeball set. Tag @YoungLifeLeader in the pic and use the hashtag #YLSpikeball....OR
  2. Email us a pic of your your YL Team Leader along with a paragraph explaining why your TL deserves a set. 
Winner: Josh Kindzia @Josh_Paul94 via @MegTownsend's submission.

Giveaway #7 (Tuesday, Dec 16th)

#YLTeamTuesday contest.  Post a pic of your YL team today using both #YLTeamTuesday and #YLSpikeball. A random winner will be chosen from all entires. Due by midnight on Tuesday.
Winner: @KelleyBurgess

Giveaway #8 (Wednesday, Dec 17th)

Caption contest on Instagram. Check @YoungLifeLeader on Instagram on Wednesday to enter.  
Winner: @KenzieFredrick

Giveaway #9 (Thursday, Dec 18th)

Win a set for someone in your Campaigners group. Post a pic of your Campaigners group on Instagram on Thursday, Dec. 18th. Tag everyone in your Campaigners group in a comment. A random winner will be chosen from all entries on Thursday, Dec. 18th.

Giveaway #10 (Friday, Dec 19th)

WyldLife leaders only. Email us with the details of your favorite WyldLife game or mixer you did this past semester. All emails received by Saturday Dec. 20th at noon will be entered to win. 

Giveaway #11 (Saturday, Dec 20th)

Sing it to win it. Share a 15 second song on Insta about why you or your YL team should win a Spikeball set. Tag @YoungLifeLeader and use the hashtag #YLSpikeball. All entries received by noon on Sunday, Dec. 21st will be entered to win.

Giveaway #12 (Sunday, Dec 21st)

Last chance to win! Everyone who tags @YoungLifeLeader on Twitter or Instagram on Sunday Dec. 21st and uses the hashtag #YLSpikeball will be entered to win. Make one last plea as to why the 12th and last set should be yours. Best beggar wins. 

*This contest is sponsored by Spikeball USA.



A guest post by Thomas Summers, volunteer Young Life leader in Williamson County, TN and the General Manager for USA Spikeball. 

As most of you know, Spikeball has become quite popular in the Young Life Community, as a contact work tool, a club activity, and a Campaigners tradition. Most of our Young Life camps have multiple sets onsite for kids and leaders to play.

If you've never played, just imagine what would happen if volleyball and 4-square had a baby...that's Spikeball.

My first interaction with Spikeball was at a Young Life leadership retreat for Williamson Co. leaders in 2012. As I approached the lake house I saw this magical, round, hula-hoop sized net sitting just off the ground. I couldn’t stop watching as my friends spiked the ball off the net, sending it 15 feet up in the air. At first, I literally had no idea what was going on, but the rest is history. Eve Sarrett gave me her Spikeball set as a gift, and I soon formed the Nashville Spikeball League. I started running a few Spikeball tournaments and now it has become my career. 

Our goal at Spikeball is to make Spikeball the next great American sport. What’s awesome is that Young Life has been such a huge part of that from the beginning.
  
Want to get your hands on a free set or purchase one at a discounted rate? Keep your eyes on Instagram, Twitter, and YoungLifeLeaders.org for the next 12 days! Merry Christmas from the guys at Spikeball!!!

Watch this video to see Spikeball at it's best!











Saturday, December 13, 2014

4 Ways To Find New WyldLife Leaders

A guest post from Julie Clapp, YL Regional Initiatives Coordinator, North Central Texas.

It’s almost Christmas and while I’d love a new sweater, what I really want is some new WyldLife leaders. Maybe you and your team are in the same boat? I want more people who get excited about hanging out with middle school kids and pointing them to Jesus. Our high school Campaigners friends play a huge role in our WyldLife ministry, but we also need college students and adult leaders.

Santa probably won’t bring any new WyldLife leaders down the chimney, but here are four groups of people to think about this holiday season:

YL ALUMNI 
Are there Young Life alumni attending community colleges in the area who are not plugged into YL College? Maybe there are YL alumni who recently graduated and moved back? Host an alumni reunion over the holidays and find out who is in the neighborhood.

TEACHERS 
As you’ve spent time at the middle school, have you met any teachers or coaches who love Jesus? Grab coffee with them over the break and give them a vision for WyldLife. They have a unique opportunity to do contact work and love kids.

PARENTS 
Moms and dads of WyldLife kids can make great WyldLife leaders. What parents have been enthusiastic about the ministry this semester? Help them see how they can be intentional about the time they are already spending with kids. If they don’t want to work directly with their kids, assign parents to a group that doesn’t include their own kids.

CURRENT LEADERS 
People who ARE leaders do the best job finding new leaders. When you’re excited about what you’re doing, you can’t help but tell others how they can join the fun. So talk to people about your involvement in WyldLife and let them know you need more people on your team.

Of course, our most important conversations should be with God. Are we praying for WyldLife leaders? Jesus told us we could. “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:38)

Much better than sending a letter to the North Pole.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What Are You Doing After College?

If you're in college and heading home for the holidays, odds are you'll be answering the million-dollar question, "What are you doing when you graduate?"

Would you like the opportunity to:

  • Experience deep community and friendship after college?
  • Gain experience working in the marketplace?
  • Experience working in a church?
  • Take seminary classes?
  • Get world renowned Leadership training?
  • Be a Young Life leader?
  • Experience a Mission Trip to Africa?

For many college students, it's a big jump from earning a degree to actually applying it to a career. Dream jobs don't happen overnight - and that's if you even know what your dream job is. That's where the Greensboro Fellows Program comes in. The Greensboro Fellows Program is a 10-month (September – June) program for those who desire and are committed to the pursuit of spiritual, personal, and professional growth. It is intended and geared towards young adults who have recently finished college or grad school. The curriculum, planned excursions, internships, volunteer work, and community all work together to inspire and empower a Christ-centered life.

This program is based out of Greensboro, North Carolina, and serves as the ideal springboard for entering into professional careers and adult life. Here are just a few of the many things the Fellows Program offers:

  • spiritual growth through mentorship and discipleship
  • world-renowned leadership training through the Center for Creative Leadership
  • weekly networking with local business owners & ministry leaders
  • internship and volunteer opportunities
  • partnership with local Young Life
  • close-knit Christian and church community
  • free housing with a host family
  • opportunity to take accredited seminary classes
  • special trips and excursions
  • 2 week trip to Rwanda, Africa

If you're interested in learning more about this program, or applying to be a part of the 2015-2016 program year, you can visit the Greensboro Fellows website, watch this video, or email gsofellows@gmail.com.


Written by Stacey Greene, a current GSO Fellow and an intern with YoungLifeLeaders.org.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Camp Musician Of The Month: Andrew Osenga

Our featured camp musician for December is Andrew Osenga. Andrew first connected to Young Life as a high school student in Normal, IL. He did Work Crew at Castaway way back in the late 90’s. Since then Andrew has worked extensively with Andrew Peterson, Caedmon’s Call, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Jars of Clay as well as pursuing his own work as a solo singer/songwriter.

He has always stayed involved with Young Life, having done 7 Summer assignments over the past ten years and being a part of the last two All Staff Conference bands. Andrew achieved Young Life super stardom with his program character “Gordy the pig” at Frontier and he broke a rib at Sharptop when he was thrown off a golf cart during tableau. He’s all in.

Last month, Andrew, and his sweet wife Alison, led worship at the staff marriage retreat at Malibu. They live in Nashville with their three adorable daughters where Andrew currently oversees Christian artists and their songs at Capitol Records. He and his family passionately believe in the work of Young Life and are often available for weekend camps.

His latest projects are the Heart and Soul EPs. Available here on iTunes.
Visit Andrew’s website here: http://andrewosenga.com
Follow Andrew on Twitter here: @AndrewOsenga
Download music from Andrew here.
Email Andrew to play at your Young Life camp or banquet

What other Area Directors are saying about Andrew:

Andrew Osenga is obviously incredibly gifted musically, but that’s not necessarily what makes an outstanding Young Life camp musician. When it comes to camp musicians, Andy has the unique ability to bring his own memories and experiences from adolescence into his songs. He relates to his audience on a deeper level- really pursuing them from the stage. He writes beautiful lyrics that dig deep into your heart, while still being totally aproachable and relatable. On top of all that, Andy’s sense of humor and willingness to try anything programatically are refreshing (ask him about Gordy the pig sometime). Andy and his family are so passionately committed to the mission of Young Life, that they are willing to sacrifice their time and resources to spend time at Young Life camps and events. They have staff friends across the country, and genuinely love and care for them. Andy and his wife Alison are some of our biggest fans, and the feeling is completely mutual. - Chad Green, Young Life Area Director, Manhattan, KS

Andy Osenga is a treasure to YL. Not only is Andy a top notch songwriter and performer but he has YL DNA. I have had the pleasure of serving on assignment at YL Camp with Andy while he was the camp musician. I have also had Andy come and lead music and perform as the camp musician on our annual Leadership Weekend. Andy’s servant heart and “all in” attitude is a blessing to any team. Andy has handcrafted songs that are the perfect complement to the way YL presents the Gospel to teenagers. His YL DNA makes him a valuable piece of the proclamation of the Gospel for any YL setting. Above all Andy’s passion for Jesus and commitment to excellence makes his partnership with YL priceless. Teenagers and adults alike connect with Andy and his creative style of sharing Christ’s love through song. - A BIG Andy Osenga Fan-James Rockwell, Regional Director, Greater Houston Region, TX

Andy Osenga is one of the best camp musicians we have in our mission, hands down. On two assignments, I had the pleasure to watch Andy use his gifts and talents to help our program team share Jesus with kids. While he is an incredible musician and kids love his music, it’s his willingness to serve the team in any capacity and his ability to relate to kids, which makes his impact great. Andy’s desire to see kids come to know the Savior is what drives him on assignments, and I think that’s what makes him one of the best. - JD Dillender, Young Life Area Director, NW Austin, TX