Young Life is an international outreach ministry for junior high, high school and college kids of every race, gender, ability and socio-economic background. The ministry began when a young seminary graduate living in Gainesville, Texas, was burdened by the unchurched kids he saw at the local school. He decided to reach out to them with the good news that God loved them, in a way that would be relevant to them and their culture.
That man, Jim Rayburn, started a weekly club with just 10 kids, who were mostly disinterested in God and church. Songs, skits and a simple talk about Jesus Christ were the staple. Thus, the “Young Life Campaign” was born. And it wasn’t long before hundreds of kids were feeding on the Living Word of Jesus Christ — and enjoying it! In the words of Jim Rayburn, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel.”
Incorporated in 1941, Young Life helped define the term “relational evangelism.” And their approach hasn’t changed over the years. Convinced they must earn the right to be heard, staff and volunteer leaders seek to befriend teens, in order to most effectively share the Gospel with them. Young Life is committed to incarnational ministry in more than 60 countries now — expressing the love of Christ through relationships with young people!
Young Life's camps are just one of the tools used to help facilitate a relationship between a caring adult and a teenager. The properties are used exclusively by Young Life during the summer, then opened up to church, parachurch and non-profit organizations the rest of the year.