Contact Work by Tom Hammon
If there is a NON-NEGOTIABLE in Young Life (apart, obviously, from the absolute centrality of Christ), it is CONTACT WORK. Real contact work is hard…draws us to Christ…is lonely…is uncomfortable…costs in time and reputation…can be misunderstood…takes tremendous tenacity. Real contact work is not an occasional visit to the school…not hanging with familiar friendly Christians kids (this is important, but this is discipling, not contact)…not passing out fliers for club.
As we enter our high schools, I want our emphasis to be on loving and reaching out to the lost. There are no short cuts or easy ways to do this. Contact work challenges every security we treasure. We are awkward, can question why we are doing it, can feel rejection, are out of place and often unaffirmed. We are usually going to a hostile group of kids who have horrendously negative views of Christ and His followers. Why do we keep doing this? Isn’t there an easier or better way? Simply, it is the method of Christ! Read Philippians 2:5-11 and John 1:14.
All of these difficult experiences we have as we go pale in comparison to the depth of alienation Christ must have felt. Not only do we go to reach lost kids, but we also IDENTIFY with Christ. There are riches of knowing Christ that can only be known as we walk in His steps. By definition, Contact work (i.e. awkwardness, rejection, feeling alone) means having only Christ to trust in. It is a great privilege. It is highly spiritual. Let’s go…daily, for weeks, months, years…The impact on our walk with Christ and on countless lost kids is universal.