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Young Life: Summer Frustrations

By: Cole Harper

I received this text from a student recently. He walked out of our small group Connections meeting a few weeks ago on a Tuesday night. We started off the summer very strong (a full

camp trip of 35 already booked and a lot of excitement), but we have seen numbers dwindle every week at our small group meetings. It's not that we live and die by the numbers, but this small group of kids is the one wanting to learn how to follow Jesus together and to reach their lost friends, so when those kids disappear, it's not good. I know myself and some of the volunteer leaders are both heartbroken and frustrated when our key kids lack vitality, growth, authenticity, excitement, and passion. Of course, as leaders, we take responsibility for our part in that. Where have we dropped the ball? Where have we failed to show up? What have we modeled poorly for our high school friends? Sometimes, even when we believe we are doing things well, kids still get busy, stumble with habitual sins, go through breakups, etc.

This student, who sent me the text message, and four of his friends, came over later that afternoon, and I was very much encouraged by their insights and hunger for something greater. We talked about two things:

1. What do we want our Young Life community to look like?

2. What can we (leaders AND key kids) start doing now to get there?

We opened the bible and looked back at Acts 2:42-47 (MSG): They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers...And all the believers lived in wonderful harmony... and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met...They followed a daily discipline of worship...every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful... Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.

It's simple (but not easy): Young Life exists to send caring adult leaders into the world of kids to build meaningful relationships, share Jesus and his way of life with them, and love them regardless of their response. Please pray that God will grow our missional community here both deeper and wider as we approach the beginning of another school year! If you'd like to be involved in any way, or know a teen who wants to join us, please feel free to reach out!


Facebook: Newberry YoungLife


  • @newberryyl - Newberry's club

  • @midcarolinayounglife - Mid-Carolina's club

  • @newberrywl - WyldLife (middle-school) club


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