Recently I have had occasion to spend time reflecting on my own personal history with Young Life. It was in 1974 at a Young Life club on a military base in California where I first experienced what I am calling the “Four H’s” of the gospel. Today I want to encourage you to help kids and adults around the world have their personal encounter with these four H’s within Young Life.
My Young Life club in high school was a place where everyone was welcome and personally known by name. It didn’t matter if you were rich, poor, civilian, military kid, child of an officer, enlisted or what background or color you were. Young Life needs to be a place where kids can be known.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” — 1 Peter 4:8-9, NIV
I love to laugh. While sometimes that was not rewarded in the classroom setting, at my Young Life club, laughter was a part of the ministry DNA. I experienced humor that did not cut someone down, but lifted everyone up and broke down walls that allowed me to hear the gospel.
“If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.” — 2 Corinthians 5:13a, NLT
My Young Life leaders exhibited this value of always taking Jesus seriously but never taking themselves too seriously. They were also humble as they dealt with all the attitude and shenanigans I brought with me as a high school teenager.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” — Ephesians 4:2, NIV
Regardless of the current reality, my Young Life leaders always communicated hope to me. Hope centered in Jesus. It was life changing for me to see this hope in Christ lived out.
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” — 1 Peter 1:13, NIV
Thank you to each of you who are out in the world making these four H’s come alive in your context of Young Life ministry. Whether you are walking alongside teens or adults, living out hospitality, humor, humility and hope centered in Jesus is life changing!
Speaking of humor, here’s a pic of Marty from 1978!