Monday, October 24, 2011

The 7th C: Discipleship OR Evangelism

This Guest Post comes from Johnny May, YL Area Director in San Luis Obispo, CA. Johnny has been on the YL Staff for 10 years and comes from a YL family where his dad, brother, sister, and brother in-law all have been on staff. Johnny attended Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and could recite "Rendercella" from memory by the age of 4. He chimes in below as our first guest post in this new blog series, "The 7th C." How can YL & the local Church better partner together?

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus says, "Follow me and I'll make you fishers of men." Church language and Young Life language compartmentalizes this invitation from Jesus. We will say churches are supposed to focus on Discipleship while we (YL) focus on outreach! According to Jesus, to follow Him is to fish for people. There is no division between discipleship and outreach for Jesus.

Obviously we like to disciple kids through campaigners within Young Life ministry. Historically speaking though, Young Life is poor at plugging kids into churches. So much so that we've even started Young Life College! Young Life College is a wonderful ministry and is much needed, but we have to start building disciples that are plugged into local churches. Relationships between YL staff and local pastors is key. Volunteers need to be attending church and inviting their Young Life kids to attend with them. We can also invite youth pastors to speak at our clubs and announce their events! WHOA!

These aren't our kids, they're God's kids and we need all hands on deck to reach them. What if we encouraged kids to go on a discipleship camp with a local church instead of going to
YL camp for a second or third time? WHOA!

Your camp stats may falter, but your Kingdom building would grow. Churches would appreciate the efforts there. It will take small steps and some flexibility, but Young Life is an extension of the church. Yes we experience church through our Young Life experiences, but we need to put ourselves and kids into a position that enables healthy church relationships!

Please leave your comments for Johnny below. If you would like to write a Guest Post on this topic or others, please submit via email to YL1941 at gmail dot com.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I'm thankful this subject is being discussed as this aspect of disciple making is too often overlooked or feels like a weighty call for 1 Younglife leader who is also trying to reach news kids, plan club, etc. We need the Church. It is not an option to care for these kids alone.

    I love the ideas offered and bringing kids to church with us is also great accountability to make sure leaders are plugged into a church and going consistently. Most of my team goes to the same church and a lot of our committee is there as well so I can tangibly see the ties. This is nice for kids to feel safer as well.

    Something that I have started and can do a better job of is to be in touch with the Youth Pastors at my church. Make sure they know which Younglife kids are coming to youth group to be keeping an eye out for. Invite them to banquets. Tell them what Younglife is doing, etc. Youth pastors are often looking for ways to get their students thinking in more of a outreach mindset. Not to say Younglife does this better, but our mission is more geared in that direction.

    The Church was set up for the body of Christ to be sent out and to care for each other within. Younglife leaders/staff/kids will get worn out without a church that is instructing, caring, and sending them.

    Lots of scattered thoughts, but enjoyed the post and look forward to hearing more in this regard.