Our hope as Young Life leaders is to bring kids face-to-face with Jesus.
And as we look at Jesus, it’s pretty clear that his strategy for transforming the world involved a band of ragamuffins. After Jesus ascended into heaven, this community of disciples went on a mission together. Jesus gave them a vision for a life filled with community, work, and worship. It was a vision they longed to share.
These apostles went out and spread the good news of Jesus to anyone they could find. They created communities of people who were transformed by the grace of Christ, communities that developed into local churches. These new believers learned how to love God and how to love others. They practiced walking in the way of Jesus. People were mesmerized by the selflessness they saw modeled and in turn, others were drawn into those communities. That’s how we got to a place where more than 2 billion people on the planet claim to follow Jesus. It all started with a small group of people committed to loving God and others.
We all long to be a part of something that is full of life.
And life is found when we give it away. (Luke 17:33)
Spending time with kids in the summers can easily stay inwardly focused. The initial “contact work” ideas that come to mind usually are driven by the question “What is the most fun we can have for as cheap as possible?”
What if we asked a different question?
What’s the most fun we can have this summer while giving our lives away?
Instead of just going to a movie or playing disc golf, how could we spend time together while sharing the love of Christ with others?
Brainstorm that question with your middle, high school, and college friends. Send us any ideas you have and we’ll add them to the list below.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Cook dinner for someone.
- Visit a shut-in, a hospital or a nursing home. (ask your local church who is someone that could use a visitor)
- Raise money to sponsor a Compassion child.
- Offer to babysit for single moms with young kids, or Young Life staff/leaders or pastors in your community.
- Start a garden and give the food away to the hungry.
- Read books to children at a local library.
- Fundraise to help send someone else to camp.
- Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
- Offer to mow someone’s yard.
- Go to a coffee shop and write notes to mail to people.
- Clean someone’s home.
Written by Drew Hill.
Drew is a pastor in Greensboro, NC and also on staff with Young Life in the Global Innovation and Training department. Drew started the Young Life Leader Blog in 2010 and has written a best-selling book for Young Life leaders called “Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel.“