Younglife was an important part of my high school career: it introduced me to friends and transformed my Christian life. Younglife is a worldwide Christian organization for high schoolers, it is designed for those who would never go to church. It is divided into two parts club (a party for Jesus) and campaigners (let’s talk about Jesus and the bible). It is essentially college students and adults pursuing high schoolers, befriending them, having fun with them, and only once a relationship is built, sharing the gospel with them. The leaders there are incredible, unpaid, and life changing.
Thus, this is my letter to thank them,
Thank you for making a presence at my school. You could frequently be seen volunteering at school events, teaching, attending sporting events, or coaching. By spending time at our school you befriended students and personally introduced them to younglife.
Thank you for being a second set of parents to us. You always made sure we were doing okay. You took us to appointments when our parents couldn’t. We opened up to you about issues our parents didn’t know about. You encouraged us, supported us, and cheered us on.
Thank you for being our personal chauffeur. Every time you arrived at younglife, all the seats (and sometimes floor) in your car were filled. You picked up everyone who needed or wanted a ride, no matter where we lived. Oftentimes, you would take home five students who lived in five different directions. Thank you for giving up time and gas to make sure we had rides to younglife.
Thank you for opening up to us. Thank you for sharing your darkest moments and being vulnerable with us. You sharing your story allowed us to feel comfortable sharing ours. It’s encouraging to see that people who go through challenging circumstances can still be successful. You shared issues that your own family doesn’t know about! Thank you for trusting us.
Thank you for letting us into your family. You periodically invited us over for dinner, introduced us to your family, and, if we didn’t have a great family life, you invited us to your family events. Thanks for making us feel included.
Thanks for becoming part of my family. You came to school award banquets, graduation parties, games and performances. My whole family knew you and loved being with you.
Thank you for letting us do weird stuff with you. You frequently got pied, drank disgusting concoctions, had ice cream topping spread over your face, drank mouthwash, drove backwards through drive thrus, the list goes on and on. Thank you for taking one of the team and making us laugh.
Thank you for the sacrifices you made to be a leader. I am sure you needed to work and to study or just hangout with friends and relax, yet you chose to spend your free time with crazy high schoolers. When your life became busy and hectic, you still had time for us. Thank you for sacrificing for us.
Thank you for being a personal counselor. Thank you for always listening to us vent about our problems, insecurities, and drama. When I was upset you would always find time to get coffee with me and have a 1-on-1. Thank you for always offering advice, and then when we don’t take that advice and the situation worsens, thanks for still being there. Thank you for getting me through all the troubles of high school.
Thank you for letting us ask questions. At church you enter, hear a message, and leave: any discussion is not in the normal church service. Younglife provided a much needed place to ask questions about the Christian life and interact with the gospel. Thank you for listening and responding to my questions.
Thank you being accepting. One of younglife’s unofficial mottos is “come as you are” and the leaders of stark county embraced it. There were atheists, muslims, lesbians, addicts coming to younglife, and you cared for them all the same. Before you shared the gospel with them, you befriended them, made them feel important, and asked you believe in. Thank you for valuing everyone.
Thank you for showing me that the life with Jesus is never boring. From crazy club games, to sleepovers, parodies of pop songs https://youtu.be/c-Wdrfxco-A and literally every second of camp, you proved to us that being a Christian is not an invitation to a mundane, boring life. Thank you for making me realize that a life with Jesus is the greatest adventure you could ever have.
(If you want to watch some of this craziness here’s a couple links to games we have played
Thank you from all of us.