Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Great Questions For The New Year

It's been a fun 2014. Stacey & I are taking the rest of December off from blogging and will kick it back off in January with lots of ideas for the new semester. 

In the mean time we've posted some questions below for you to think about as you enter the new year. Maybe they're questions you'd like to answer personally, with your significant other, with your YL team, or with your Campaigners group. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

-Drew Hill & Stacey Greene 
The Young Life Leader Blog team

Download 'Questions For The New Year' Here


Questions From 2014


-The most fun times you can remember
-Terms you would use to describe yourself over the past year
-Memorable things you heard people say
-Times when the Gospel came alive
-People you came to appreciate in a new way
-Music that touched you deeply
-What ways did you change
-Sermons/talks that rocked your world
-Movies that impacted you
-Things that books taught you
-The most compelling philosophical insights you encountered
-Times when you entered a place of mystery
-People who came through for you
-Ways you messed up
-Ways you were magic
-Times that God took you by surprise
-The most stimulating discussions you had
-Things you remember that you'd rather forget
-The most difficult times
-Something you're proud of
-Someone you're proud of
-People who poured out their souls to you
-Ways you were challenged
-A time when everything was going wrong and suddenly turned out right
-Your most significant accomplishments
-What spiritual practices generated the greatest benefit to your soul
-Was there any anger, guilt, greed or jealousy that needs to be resolved
-Did you honor God with your finances and give generously
-Did you cultivate your prayer life
-What did you do well as a dad/mom, husband/wife, son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter, brother/sister, friend
-What do you wish you did differently as a dad/mom, husband/wife,son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter, brother/sister, friend
-If you were to give this past year a title, it would be

Questions For 2015

-What hopes do you have for the coming year?

-What apprehensions do you have?
-What one change could you make in your behavior in this coming year that would help you to live in greater alignment with your values?
-What daring/thrilling things will you try?
-What would you like to change about yourself?
-If this new year is to have a title, what do you want it to be?
-If you knew now that this coming year would be your last year on earth, what would you do more/less of?
-What major things do you want to accomplish this coming year?
-Who do you want to get to know better this coming year?
-Any wild predictions about what will happen throughout this nation and the world?
-Who are the top ten relationships you intend to influence this year?
-How will you be more intentional with these people than in the past year?
-What has to happen in this coming year for you to label it “your best year yet?”
-What is the wildest, most unconventional thing you could do this next year to live with more passion?
-What out of the box thinking could you do in your job/ministry?
-How will you honor God with your finances this next year?
-In what specific areas will you give more generously?
-Who will hold you accountable to be at your best this next year?
-What are the most purposeful daily habits you could develop/upgrade over next 12 months?
-Identify specific messes or clutter projects you’d like to clean up in the next 12 months:
-Proverbs 22:1 says a good name is more desirable than great riches. Identify 3 qualities you’d like to see associated with your name as well as how you’d define each quality.
-How will you take better care of your health in this next year?
-What will you do to daily renew your mind?

Special thanks to Jon Stine, Bryson Vogeltanz, John Woodall, and others for crafting and sharing such thoughtful questions!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When A Kid Shows Up Without A Costume

Guest post submitted by Julane Dover, leader in Bend, Oregon

This idea was for our Halloween club, but I think it can be adapted to other holidays when costumes are encouraged. Earlier that day, I told a few girls and another leader to wear an M&M colored t-shirt. I also brought a few large and extra large t-shirts purchased at the local craft store. 

As kids showed up, if they weren’t in costume, I asked if they wanted to be part of our “pack of M&M’s." Every kid I asked, replied, “Yes." To complete their costume, I helped add a white ”M” to the front of their shirt. Before club, I cut the “M" out of white, sticky, vinyl. White cardstock with double-stick tape may work just as well. I also added the words: FUN SIZE to a couple of the guys’ shirts. This idea could be adapted for other holidays; red and green for Christmas or pastels for Easter etc. It was easy, fun, inexpensive and helped make every kid feel included.

Monday, December 22, 2014

How We Doubled Our Club Numbers In One Night

A guest post by Jason Talley, leader in Garland, TX

More Than Just a Giveaway


Three years ago we started Young Life at a Garland High school in Garland, Texas. Young Life had not been in this school in over 20 years, so aside from some amazing committee members in the area, we were starting from scratch. 

Our first semester began with around ten kids. After 1.5 years we started to get into the school and see a larger impact being made. We started passing out flyers, getting on the school announcements, and building a social media presence. All of our leaders were trying our best to do contact work and meet our present kids' friends, but it seemed like we weren’t seeing the growth that I wanted to see.

Just Once

One thing I noticed was if kids would come to club just one time, typically they would come back. I distinctly remember one Monday before club walking around and hanging out with kids. There were several new faces and I was eager to meet them. In the midst of conversation I asked some of them - “How many times did you hear about Young Life before you actually came?” The typical response was, “tons of times”. That led me to ask them, “Why did you wait so long to come?” The majority of kids told me it was because they weren’t sure what it was all about or if it was “their thing”.


That night after club and for several days after I couldn’t stop thinking about what those kids said. This led me to think about how I could get as many kids to club as possible – even just once – because I knew if I could get them there once, they would come back.


It was this thought process that led me to the Parable of the Great Banquet that Jesus gave in Luke 14:16-24. When the master’s servants and friends wouldn’t come to his banquet he opened his house and told one of his servants, "Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” (v. 23b) and that’s when it hit me; I have to give something ridiculous away, I have to “compel” the kids to come!


So, I went to friends and family and asked them to help me purchase an iPad 2 to give away (this was right after it came out so it was the newest hottest thing). I was able to grab it for $300.00 and saved $100 by buying it on Black Friday.


I advertised on Twitter and with flyers for several weeks that we would be giving away an iPad. 


That night we had a record of 88 kids show up at club! Before Club I had leaders stationed at a table signing kids up for the drawing. This, of course, gave me all the kids contact info so we were able to start plugging them in and building relationships with them.

We waited until the very end of club to give away the iPad. Now here’s the cool part – The kid who won, Devonte, it was his first time at club. He told me afterwards – “this kind of stuff never happens to me!”
Devonte ended up going with us to Frontier Ranch last June and has fully committed his life to Christ. I have the privilege of baptizing him in the coming weeks!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

2 Fun Ways To Fundraise For Young Life Camp

The two guest posts below were shared by Tori Shine, volunteer leader in Rainier, Washington and Andrea Paton, volunteer WyldLife leader in Gloucester County, NJ.


Clean Fundraising by Tori Shine


For the past couple of years our area has been blessed with an amazing fundraising opportunity that I'd like to share. This fundraiser is by far one of our top fundraising events in our area- and responsible for sending multiple kids to camp each summer. For a few years I worked at the local Safeway grocery store in our area. Safeway has four months out of the year where they raise money for a specific organization such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Rather than asking to sit out front of the doors and ask customers to donate, we decided to try something different.

We asked the Safeway manager if during one of those fundraising months, we could team up! Almost every Safeway has an affiliated gas station right next door, so we used that to our advantage. Safeway raises money for Prostate Cancer during the month of June, which also happens to be a critical YL fundraising month. Each weekend of the month, 4-8 of kids and leaders throw on a bright orange safety vest, grab a squeegee and start washing! We made a deal with Safeway that allow us to wash car windows for donations, and at the end of each day we would split the proceeds; half for Young Life, and half for the Prostate Cancer fund. By the end of each day we would make between $200-$600. I'd say that's a pretty good deal!


The best part is the kids are working hard and having fun. We usually let different kids work each day so everyone has a chance to raise money, and the students who worked that day simply split the total. Kids and leaders will always remember the one time they raised money for camp by washing windows.



Everyone Drinks Coffee

By Andrea Paton

One of our favorite fundraisers we do here is partnering with Crescent Moon Coffee and Tea. It's super easy for kids to sell packages of coffee/tea to their families, family friends, and teachers! (As well as leaders). They get 30% back of what they sell! Ask around to your local coffee shops, and see if you could partner with the places you know kids and leaders hang out at. We give a lot of coffee places business between team meetings and one on ones, and most places are happy to accommodate.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Person Of Christ Club Talk Idea: A Guest Post Fom Meghan Morris

A guest post from Meghan Morris, volunteer leader in Chicago's North Shore area and student at Northwestern University. 


Person of Christ Club Talk
(thesis: Jesus experienced a lot of the same things as us - but with one important difference!)

Intro to vid: what Hollywood says makes stories great vs beauty of ordinary life- video. (1:47)

The daily lives we just watched in 2-second clips showed a lot of universal experiences- breakfast, love, hope, family, fear.

This semester we’ve been talking about a God who’s present in all of those things, in morning chores and in cliff-jumping, in the hallways and at sports practices. God can be in all those places because He actually lived here on earth, with ordinary people, two thousand years ago.

Here’s what the Bible has to say about God’s presence
John 1:14- The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth...No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

The capitalized Word in this passage means Jesus, so it reads “Jesus became flesh - a real person - and made our world His home.”

This is a CRAZY statement that has changed world history, because there are no other religious figures in major faiths who claim, as Jesus said, to be 100 percent, bleed if they get a papercut, human. Other religions have human leaders who said God gave them a special orders or powers, or they have god-figures who are only gods, never human.

Christians believe Jesus literally walked the earth and did normal, human things, rather than being a god-figure who sat on fluffy clouds and threw lightning bolts. Here’s just a sampling of what the Bible says Jesus did. I’m not going to give specific verses, but I’m happy to talk about it after with you. For now, listen and see if anything sounds familiar to your life:

  • Jesus grew up - He was born a baby, and the Bible talks about Jesus as a kid giving His parents a bit of trouble
  • As an adult, He got tired of daily life, so He went on vacation with His friends to rest in both in the mountains and in the countryside
  • He traveled and encountered difficulties along the way, like bad weather.
  • He paid taxes
  • He loved kids
  • He went to parties - in that time, the biggest parties were weddings
  • He had a family - the Bible mentions his mom, dad and brothers, and some people who study the Bible say Jesus probably experienced His adopted dad’s death
  • This one rings true for me as an athlete: Jesus got hungry, and the Bible separately records Him eating breakfast, lunch and dinners with His friends
  • He had different circles of friends, some of whom He was closer with than others

Jesus didn’t just walk around doing normal things like eating and paying taxes. He also experienced life the same way we do emotionally, full of highs and lows. Jesus felt:
  • Deep friendship
  • Misunderstood by His closest friends
  • Violently angry at other people
  • Tempted to disobey God
  • Betrayed when His friends talked behind His back
  • Internal turmoil as He wrestled with doing God’s will when it was hard
  • Annoyed with His friends
  • Deep grief when His friend died and He saw His other friends mourning. The shortest line in the whole Bible are the two words “Jesus wept.”
Earlier in the Bible, and after Jesus leaves earth, God appeared through wind, fire and other ways. But by becoming fully human, a person who could be hangry and go to weddings and cry - God can understand our lived highs and lows because He’s been there.

The phrase “made His dwelling among us” means the difference between telling a friend “sorry, you had to be there” to explain a situation and laughing about the same inside joke because something happened when both of you were there together.

So Jesus was exactly like us, but with one big difference: He’s the only person who’s lived without sin, without doing one single thing wrong His whole life. His perfection seems like an impossible standard for us, because like Tim talked about last week, nobody can go a day without doing something that separates us from God.

Jesus did one major thing that none of us can ever do to fix the issue of His perfection and our inability to live up to His standard. We’ll talk more about how He fixed the problem of sin next Club, but if you want some spoilers, talk to any of the leaders after Club.

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!