Sunday, March 4, 2012

Campaigners: 4 Weeks On 'Relationships'

This guest post is from Mackenzie Matthews in Ft. Collins, CO. Mackenzie has written previously on The Young Life Leader Blog about How To Get Your Friends To Go To Sleep At Camp.

For high school kids, dating relationships are of utmost importance. Listening to a girl talk about her dating history is, I think, the most telling in her opinions of herself. It's fascinating to me how coveted a relationship is in high school. I talked about Valentines Day from a perspective of a high school kids last week with excerpts of what kids said about it on twitter. They are dying to be chosen, to be loved and accepted by someone of the opposite sex, but at the same time have the hardest time believing that they actually could love them. It truly breaks my heart.

For the last few months, almost every time I've hung out with a high school friend, I asked them, “What do you think your friends and peers at school need to hear?” I got responses back about drinking, about gossip, about bullying. But the one common thing I heard every time was relationships. How do I honor God in my relationship? How far can I go physically ? Why are there so many rules? Why aren’t there more rules? I don’t know how to find this in the Bible… On and on.

So at Fossil Young Life we decided this semester to really pray about it. And that led us to wanting to answer questions that kids were actually asking. We decided to dedicate the month of February in campaigners to be about Relationships.

My initial reaction was somewhat uncomfortable. Knowing none of us are really qualified to teach on relationships. My fear is that it would open a huge can of worms. There is so much feeling wrapped in the topic of relationships: hurt, anger, bitterness, pain. But we still felt very strongly that it needed to be talked about.

So here is what we did... Read the 4 week plan Fossil Ridge Young Life used in their campaigners here on Mackenzie's blog.

My favorite nugget I took from their Relationship series came in week three. Mackenzie writes, "At the end (of the night) we had a response time. You could respond in three different ways starting with either:
  • Thank you
  • I’m Sorry
  • I will/ I will Commit to
This was an incredible thing to watch. Guys that never share speaking to the girls and apologizing, committing to be different, thanking one another for vulnerability.

Has your club addressed relationships in club talks or campaigners? Any good ideas to share? Please comment below.


  1. My home area also has done campaigner sessions on relationships for the month of February. I really enjoy the layout and agree that it is something incredible to be able to talk about with high schoolers and how to honor God in relationships.

    If any other leaders out there are interested in doing this, I definitely recommend" Uncovered, True Stories of Sex, God, and Grace" by Young Life leader, Julia Pearson. It is a short book and contains stories from 30 different people about sex. I definitely think it is a great read and it was originally compiled for their campaigner talks about relationships.

    1. Too Cool! We used to be leaders there from 2008-2010 until we moved to New York. I am leading Campaigners this week and came across this post. We heard the ministry is thriving and really miss being there. Thanks for leading! ~jen (I think we may have met, briefly :)).