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.