You are on page 1of 23


Young life Teacher Training
The Manual

A Teachers Forum to Share Christ

“You Were Made For This!”
No one knows adolescents better than teachers. Whether you have been teaching in a classroom for six months or 16 years, you have had a front row seat in the lives of your students. You know the joy and pain that makes up their everyday lives. High school and middle school kids often feel abandoned by the adults in their lives. Their symptoms range from a never ending pursuit of perfection to an absolute desire to be left alone. We see the pictures of parties involving alcohol on social networking sites. We know kids who hurt or cut themselves to deal with their emotional pain. We know you want to help! We know that you feel called to help hurting kids! Young Life offers you the chance in a professionally safe place to share the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. Young Life believes in “earning the right to be heard;” that building a relationship is the key to having an impact in a kid’s life. We know that kids don’t care what we know until they know that we care about them. Is there anyone who does that better than those of you who work with and care for teenagers every day? We want to join you as you make a difference in your students’ lives. We want to offer some effective and creative tools to help you bring your teenage friends a message of hope.


Education is Key
History 101
Young Life was started by Jim Rayburn and officially became an organization in 1941. Jim had a soft spot in his heart for high school kids who didn’t know Jesus. Early on, Jim learned that building a relationship with kids went a lot further than just preaching to them. Christian teenagers learned that Young Life could help their friends learn about Jesus too. In building on this tradition, Young Life currently has almost 5,000 ministries in more than 50 countries. We are involved with nearly one million kids each year. Young Life is in more than 800 communities across the United States. We have programs for urban, suburban, and small town teenagers. We reach kids with special needs and students on military bases. Young Life’s programs are tailored to appeal to kids throughout their adolescent years. Young Life is especially focused on those teenagers that are not easily reached. We want to reach those kids that have been missed by more traditional forms of outreach. We do not want to compete with church youth groups or other ministries; we want to help the local church community connect with kids who might never go to church. We have learned that to reach teenagers we need to help the people who already work with them and know them best ... teachers, coaches and other school personnel.

The mission of Young Life is to introduce teenagers to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.

Anatomy 101
The Bible refers to those of us who love and follow Jesus as “the body of Christ.” In this “body” YOU are very special! You are the part of Christ’s body who spends the most time with kids; especially unchurched, lost kids. Young Life believes that you are in the best position to point these teenagers toward a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are asking you to consider being a Young Life Leader. A Young Life Leader is someone who provides Young Life activities for the high school or middle school students in their community. What does it look like to be a teacher and a Young Life Leader? First and always, you are a teacher. That is your calling; we respect that and understand it’s value to you. We want you to be involved with Young Life at a level you are comfortable with. Maybe you can be at every Young Life Club, have a bible study with kids, and go to summer camp. Or, maybe you can only come to a couple of Clubs in a semester, or maybe do a bible study. The basic anatomy of all this is that a local teacher becomes a Young Life Leader to introduce kids to Jesus and help them grow in their relationship with God.

We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did. 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8


Chemistry 101
Chemistry with other Young Life Leaders: Every one of our Young Life teams has a team leader who organizes the ministry at a local high school or middle school. YL team leaders want to help each volunteer utilize their unique abilities. What are you capable of? If you know the answer, communicate it! Each teacher volunteering will look a little different than another because of their place in life. Let the team leader know about your interests and talents and positive chemistry becomes possible! Tell them the best means to communicate with you so that they are giving you opportunities to be involved when your schedule allows! Chemistry with Students: We are looking for teachers, coaches and other adults who enjoy young people. We are looking for those who are loved and respected by their students. If a teacher is respected by kids it is easier to balance the two roles. Young Life is not for every Christian teacher. If you like young people and they like you, if you would like to spend time showing kids who Jesus Christ is, if you like having fun with the students you know so well - Young Life might be for you!

e “Salvation is found in no on e else, for there is no other nam under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12

Home Room
Before we go any further, there is one essential you need to know. This is where we start each and every day. The focus of Young Life is Jesus Christ. Our own relationship with Him is the center of our personal involvement in this ministry. John 1:14 tells us that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us;” that Jesus “moved into the neighborhood” full of God’s love and truth. This is known as the incarnation. We imitate Jesus by entering the neighborhood where kids live. We call this “incarnational ministry.” You do this every day as you walk the same halls with students. As Young Life Leaders, we want to speak, act, love, pray and treat others like Jesus did. We are not capable of doing this outside a very real relationship with Him. Young Life is not about being funny, being good up-front, or being charismatic with kids. We are looking for people who have a strong relationship with God and who listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His leading in their ministry with kids. We do this because we are not the ones who save kids, only Jesus can do that! Our goal is not to make bad kids good; our goal is to introduce kids to Jesus Christ.


Teachers & Young Life
Get Up and Go! Setting Boundries Winning the Right to be Heard Speaking the Truth in Love The Basics of Young Life page 6 page 7 pages 8-9 page 10 pages 11-22

h Jesus Chr ist. adu lts, kids nee d a relation ship wit , slee p and focused atte ntio n from “Mo re tha n food and I wor ked hard ; I could bring them a hea lthy snack; I could enc ourage kids to get goo d rest As a public scho ol teacher, san d.” like I was stac king stones on sink ing ntio n and posi tive rega rd. But I felt to give each student focused atte “Th at’s why I tha nk God for You ng ! Life .”

te kids to wal k doo r afte r scho ol eve ry day and invi of hop e. I could wal k thro ugh that “Yo ung Life was an ope n doo r nity l life. I could give them the opp ortu d spea k free ly wit h kids abo ut rea On the oth er side of that doo r, I coul wit h me. ough the yea rs, I saw many a firm foun dat ion in Jesus Chr ist. Thr the y nee ded mos t. I could offe r them to acce pt what m read y to build.” iveness and come bac k to the clas sroo student s rece ive God’s love and forg ng Life Lea -Jim Gum , Che mis try Teacher / You der


Get Up and Go!
Always get up and GO! By Jim Gum
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Jesus Christ was His compulsion to get up and go! He didn’t stay seated at the right hand of the Father. He got up and came to our side. As Young Life leaders, we believe Christ lives His life through us in the midst of kids today. That’s why we call Young Life an “incarnational” ministry. We believe The Word becomes flesh once again through our skin and bones. And as Christ lives His life through us, He brings with Him His get-up-and-go. He compels us to get up out of our adult “easy chairs” and go to kids wherever they are. We don’t wait for them to come to us. We can’t wait to go to them! There’s not a more powerful picture of God’s love than the get-up-and-go of Jesus Christ. When a Young Life leader shows up at ball practice for no other reason than to see a certain kid, God’s love is on display. That kid begins to sense the power of his or her own pull on God’s heart. The power to pull a grown adult out of an easy chair, out the front door, down the street, across town and up against the fence surrounding practice is simply a shadow of the power that pulled Christ from His Father’s side to ours. That’s why “going” is not an option in Young Life. We call it “contact work,” and it captures the heart of Christ. As a teacher, “going” is part of your everyday job. You go to school; you go to class; you might even go to the cafeteria at lunch. Part of the beauty of your job is the fact that you can do contact work several hours every day with every kind of kid on campus. The typical Young Life leader doesn’t have that option. On the other hand, it might be inaccurate to count all of this “going” as true contact work. The get-up-and go of contact work is “going for no good reason” — that is — no good reason except to get closer to kids. Much of the going you do at school every day is required. Kids know that. It will be those moments during the day when you go the unexpected extra mile that will communicate the heart of Christ. For example, Jim Gum often did cafeteria duty at his school. That was required and expected. But Jim went the extra mile. “One year I was in charge of one section of the cafeteria and, since high school students are creatures of habit, they would sit in the same seats every day. I made it a point to learn the names of every kid in my section — it might have been 200 kids. (It also made the discipline much easier for me to say, ‘Hey Mark, you forgot to pick up your tray.’)” One of the names on Jim’s list was “Scott.” Scott never came to Young Life, but through his contact with Jim in the cafeteria, he ended up coming to camp. That summer, at Frontier Ranch, Scott gave his life to Christ. “Scott eventually became a volunteer leader and is now on staff at one of our properties. Great things can come from cafeteria duty!”


Setting Boundaries
Set boundaries from the beginning and reinforce them as you go.
Teaching school and leading Young Life can create an identity crisis for both you and the kids. Are you a teacher or a friend? Are kids your students, or are they kids from club? Do you give grades according to merit, or are we saved by grace through faith? And the answer is: YES! It’s very possible to be a teacher and a friend, to treat kids as students and club kids at the same time and to fail your favorite Campaigner kid on a test. It’s simply a matter of establishing boundaries from the beginning and reinforcing them as you go. Jim Gum taught high school chemistry for several years and led Young Life at the same school. When he was in the classroom, kids called him “Mr. Gum.” But when he was at club or camp, they called him — well — Mr. Gum. “It worked fine. I told them, as soon as they graduated, they could call me Jim. But many never did call me Jim.” The fact of the matter is, kids don’t care what they call you if they are convinced that you care about them. But your title can serve as a subtle reminder of a real boundary that exists in your life. You are an adult, not a kid. And you are a teacher by profession. In Young Life, we encourage all leaders to lead — to act like an adult, even when you are wild and crazy with kids. Kids need to know that someone else is in control. It makes them feel safe and secure. Someone has said, the mark of maturity is being comfortable living within your own skin. We aren’t asking you to be anyone but yourself in Young Life. “Your skin” is the best boundary between you and kids. You can be sure, however, that kids will test the boundaries from time to time. They’re just kids. They’ll try to take advantage of your friendship at school. They’ll expect special treatment from time to time. They’ll try to bend the rules. They’ll try to get under “your skin.” Just expect it and be ready to gently put them in their place. One year, a club kid thought it would be a good joke to take my grade book between classes and hide it in her locker. She would never have considered pulling that kind of a stunt with another teacher. But I was her friend. And she was ready to prove it to the world by pulling the stunt that no one else would dare. I quickly discovered what she had done and rectified the problem. Then I sat her down for a face-to-face talk alone. I didn’t embarrass her in front of her friends, but I did let her know that what she had done wasn’t OK. With a firm but gentle touch, I put her back in her place as a student, and I could sense that she was relieved. I was still her friend who cared, but I was also her teacher who was in control. It was possible to be both.

Principle number one for teachers who lead Young Life: Set boundaries from the beginning, and reinforce them as you go. 7

Winning the Right to be Heard
Win the right to be heard, with kids, co-workers & the community.
Unless you work for the National Enquirer, credibility is crucial to your success. It's particularly important when you represent Jesus Christ. Credibility means believability. It means you have "good credit" in your account. As a teacher, each time you treat kids with firm fairness, you make a deposit in your own credibility account. Each time you offer excellence to your students, you increase your line of credit. Each time you show unconditional positive regard toward a student, your relational balance is beefed up. So when you risk talking with a kid outside of class about Christ, your credibility will cover the transaction. You can avoid risking an overdraft in the delicate relationship balance by keeping a surplus of credit in your personal account. In Young Life, we call this process "winning the right to be heard." "I worked hard on my lessons and did my best to do a creative job in the classroom," Jim Gum recalled. "I was teaching chemistry, which is a rigorous subject, not for the lighthearted. I was determined to teach with the same creativity and integrity that Young Life used in presenting the Gospel. If I were to do a poor job in the classroom, it would reflect upon any witness I would hope to have through Young Life." The beauty of teaching and leading Young Life is you are constantly earning credit that covers you in both markets. You earn credit in the classroom as you are consistent and fair, offering excellence in all things. And you earn credit outside the classroom as you take time for kids on their own terms. As you take an interest in their activities, walk into their worlds, listen to their concerns, you continue to build up a bank account that you can cash in on — whether you're proclaiming Christ at club or explaining algebra in class! You might expect Young Life leaders to be soft on kids in class. Often the opposite is true. Teachers who spend hours with kids outside of school are able to expect even more out of kids in class. It has been well said that kids won't care how much you know until they know how much you care. As a Young Life leader, you will prove how much you care. As a teacher, they will care how much you know. You can put more pressure on kids in class because you are simultaneously providing support beneath the weight. And you can talk to kids about Christ outside of class for the same reason. They can bear the weight of your words because of the support of your friendship underneath. You have won the right to be heard! But credibility with kids is only the beginning. As a teacher and a Young Life leader — or, better said — as a teacher and a representative of Jesus Christ, you need to earn credibility with co-workers. Setting and reinforcing good boundaries is a first step toward earning and keeping good credit with other professionals. Demonstrate that you are an adult and a professional teacher at all times. Make it to your meetings on time. Set the example for excellence in all things. And maintain good rapport with administrators and staff. 8

"It was always good to make the administrators aware of what I was doing in Young Life," Jim said. "As a teacher, I always took the opportunity to introduce other leaders to the rest of the faculty and administration. It really helped the leaders gain credibility at athletic practices." In some situations, parents might be concerned to learn that a teacher at school is involved with kids outside of school in areas concerning faith. If you sense or hear that this is the case, be proactive. Speak to concerned parents directly. Explain to them that you do not impose your beliefs on any student at any time, particularly in the classroom. Consider giving them the "Going All Out for Kids" brochure from Young Life. Tell concerned parents that your door is always open and that you welcome their questions at any time. In general, people fear the unknown. Dismantle the fears of concerned parents by making yourself available and known. One year I had the son of the superintendent in my class. The superintendent was a religious man, but did not believe in Jesus Christ. His son, however, came regularly to club. I worked hard to make sure my conduct in class was above reproach so that the superintendent would have no reason to question my professional commitment. I hoped my credibility in the classroom would spill over into credibility in the club room with this dad and son. At one point, maintaining credibility in the classroom meant I had to fail the superintendent's son on a test because I caught him cheating. But the son continued to come to club. Eventually he met Jesus Christ, grew in his faith, served on summer staff and became one of our family's best friends. Today we still joke about that test. Over the years, God granted Young Life good standing in the eyes of this superintendent. We won the right to be heard. The superintendent eventually came to camp as an adult guest and continues to support Young Life personally as well as through his position in the district. As a teacher who represents Jesus Christ, you are in a powerful position to influence, not only kids, but fellow teachers, administrators and parents. As Christ lives through you in and out of the classroom, you will build up a bank account of good credit. And when God gives you an opportunity to talk about your faith — to kids, co-workers or members of the community — you will have won the right to be heard. One last word about earning credibility: Everyone is watching to see how you treat the "least of these" in your midst. To a large degree, your treatment of the least attractive, least attentive, least whatever, is the ultimate test of your credibility as a follower of Jesus Christ. Do you give it your best for the kid who cares the least? Do you talk to the kid who is least likely to earn you points in the popularity polls? People instinctively know that whatever you do to the least of these, you are capable of doing to them, too. Caring for the least of these proves that we are here to serve people, not use them. When you give your best to the least, you earn credibility with the most.


Speaking the Truth in Love
Speak the truth in love. By Jim Gum Setting and reinforcing good boundaries, getting up and going to other people and winning the right to be heard are the bricks and mortar of a bridge we are building with kids. We are building a bridge of friendship so that we can cross it with the Good News. What a waste it would be to build such a great bridge and never walk across it with the truth. As a teacher in the public school, how do you cross that bridge once you build it? First, you are obligated to respect the laws and authorities that govern the school system within which you work. If the law says you may not discuss your religious beliefs in school, then you must abide by that law. Just consider it respecting good boundaries and winning the right to be heard — later. And remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel and, when necessary, use words.” Your life is God’s Word in action. Besides, you have an open door after school at club. Young Life club provides the perfect opportunity to speak the truth in love to the kids you’ve been befriending every day at school. At a traditional club, we sing songs that kids like; we laugh a lot; we do skits, play games and generally have fun. And, at the end of each club, a leader stands for the last 10 to 12 minutes to talk about Jesus Christ. We use terms kids can understand in a style that is easy to hear. We tell stories; we paint pictures; we share personal experiences, until we’ve clearly presented the Good News of God’s love to kids. In addition, we take kids to summer camp. At camp, club is repeated every night and the Gospel is presented within the context of one week. Club and summer camp are two ways teachers can cross the bridge of friendship with the Good News. But what if club isn’t underway at your school? How do you start club where it doesn’t exist? Jim Gum can tell you his story. “By the end of my first semester of teaching, I had a good reputation with the administrators as a quality teacher. I had great relationships with students and would even go to some of the dances or games just to hang out and be with kids. I did this even though this wasn’t my required extra duty. I just genuinely enjoyed kids. “A few weeks later, I took eight kids over to visit a club in another part of town. They seemed to enjoy it. We began to meet up at the school and caravan over together to club. After the third time, I was driving back with a few students, and one of the girls said, ‘I think we should start our own Young Life club. Mr. Gum, you play the guitar. We can have it at my house, and I’ll get my mom to make treats.’ And then she asked me, ‘Mr. Gum, could you speak?’ “Before I knew it, we decided where we were going to have club, who was going to make refreshments and who was going to speak. A junior girl planned our first club.” (Jim’s story underscores a couple of important principles in leading club. First, club works best when kids own it. Whatever you can do as a teacher to help make club the kids’ idea will add energy and enthusiasm to the group. Second, it’s often said that Young Life is “caught” more than “taught.” Jim took kids to a club and let them catch a vision for what could be. Help kids catch a vision for Young Life by exposing them to an existing club.)


The Basics of Young Life

Lesson Plan
The Young Life Family Being a Young Life Leader Young Life Club Leading Music at Club Leading a Skit at Club Talking about Jesus at Club Planning Campaigners Young Life Camp Contact Work Ways to Make Contact Contact Work Guidelines

Page Number

12 13 14 15 16 17-18 19 20 21 22 23

The Young Life Family
You are not alone. Do NOT try to do this on your own. The Young Life Family: 1. The Body of Christ. Young Life is part of the Body of Christ. There are people in your local church family and the other churches in your community who care about unchurched teenagers. Pray that the Lord will raise up and pull together colaborers for this Young Life outreach. 2. Young Life Supporters. There are people who want to pray for and financially support your work with young people. There are those who want to work behind the scenes. A Young Life Committee can be formed to meet these needs. 3. Young Life Leaders. These are the people who are connected with kids and provide the Young Life program and activities for their community. 4. Young Life Staff. Young Life staff people provide leadership, support, supervision and resources for those who want to reach teenagers in their community. The involvement of staff can vary based on the needs and resources in your community.


Being a Young Life Leader
Objective: Introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. Materials/Resources Needed: A growing personal relationship with Jesus. A passionate heart
for kids who are not in a relationship with Jesus Christ. A calling and prompting from the Holy Spirit to make a personal sacrifice to invest in kids’ lives.

Anticipatory Set: Engage every kid through relationships with caring adults; earn the right to be
heard. Use Young Life club as a safe forum for kids to hear about Jesus from these caring adults. Engage their desire to personally grow closer to Jesus through bible studies known as campaigners. Take kids to Young Life camp every year! Camp is where many kids will start a personal relationship with Jesus.

Objective/Purpose: Every student that encounters Young Life would feel loved regardless of their
personal belief. Students who begin a relationship with Jesus would be nurtured by YL leaders, encouraged to share their faith in action, and reach out to their friends who are not in a relationship with Jesus.

Input: Students need to know in advance that they will have a lot of fun, always be welcome, and
that they have personal ownership of Young Life at their school.

Model: SHOW kids what it looks like to have a relationship with Christ. Practice the kind of grace
that Jesus did when he said “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.” John 12:47

Closure: The goal is for kids to have experiences with you that leave them asking questions like,
“Why are they so different from other adults?”, “Why do they care so much about ME?”, “Why do they want to spend their free time with me?”


Young Life Club
Objective: In 50-60 minutes allow kids to have fun and hear the gospel. Materials/Resources Needed:
1. 2. 3. ! ! ! 4. 5. 6. 7. PLANNING: Make time to plan your clubs at the beginning of a semester. LOCATION: Have club in a location that is friendly to all. MUSIC sets the mood. Start with high energy songs. Finish with more contemplative songs. a. Group singing is a time-proven method for breaking down barriers. b. Project words on a screen or blank wall. c. Make it their Young Life club with music that kids know and love. ICE BREAKERS are fun and help kids who are at club for the first time become involved. SKITS AND GAMES might include funny characters and/or funny competitions. ANNOUNCEMENTS help transition to a lower energy level and communicate upcoming events. TALK ABOUT JESUS: end with a short talk by a leader who has earned the right to be heard.

Anticipatory Set: Kids should experience organized, fun chaos. Kids should hear music they
recognize from their everyday life. Kids should feel included through music. Kids should hear about a God who loves them and is pursuing them!

Objective/Purpose: The purpose of club is that every kid would get the opportunity to hear about
Jesus Christ in a safe and fun place. Club is the “store front” to the Young Life ministry. If it is good, then more students are likely to become involved. Club needs to have 1. a message about Jesus. 2. Club needs to have movement - fast pace to slow. 3. Club needs to have momentum. Transitions should never linger. Keep things moving at all times. Preparation is key!

Input: Club is the most dynamic place for student leaders (campaigners) to take ownership of the
ministry. Allow them to give announcements or be funny characters who interrupt club to sell a trip or an upcoming event. Challenge them to bring their friends. Kids should feel like you are helping them with their club, not that they are helping you with your club.

Model: Club should be fun for kids AND leaders. If you are not excited about club you have
probably not prepared well. Have fun with kids at club!

Closure: There are so many working parts to club not everything will be perfect! Have some grace
for yourself and your team! Always judge club by asking this: 1. Did we present the Gospel clearly to the farthest out kid? 2. Did kids have fun? 14

Leading Music at Club
Objective: Music is a critical part of the Young Life club because it immediately unifies kids, makes
kids feel comfortable, and establishes the tempo of club.

Materials/Resources Needed: A guitar player is preferred (if no one is able then use an iPod
and lead music in karaoke fashion). A sound system if the group is over 50 kids. Song lyrics displayed on video projector or overhead projector. Keeping up with current music on radio (use, iTunes top downloads, and to find lyrics). Practice, practice, practice.

Anticipatory Set: We want kids to LOVE the music at Club. When appropriate, use their music. Objective/Purpose: Music, more than anything else we do in club, unifies the group. There are
some songs that kids will immediately know and be able to follow. We also do Christian-content songs that they have never heard before but need someone to teach them. We often choose both secular and Christian songs based upon the message that evening. Music sets the tempo for club. A typical club might have two high energy songs, then a skit (or game), two medium paced songs, then announcements, two slow songs (Christian-content songs), and finally the talk. Never expect kids to listen attentively to a talk if you’ve just had a high energy song or event. Set kids up to hear the talk by allowing music to set the tempo. Since our target audience are unchurched kids, we save worship songs for our campaigner groups. We want to sing about Jesus, rather than to Him, during our Young Life clubs.

Input: Inform your key high school kids and other leaders that the way they sing will impact the
whole group. Share with them that music is a tempo setter and that they help that as well. The more high energy they are during a song the group will respond accordingly. Remind them that they are the example.

Model: The key to good song leading is confidence! Although a great voice helps, it is only about
20% of song leading at a Young Life club. Lead songs with your FACE! 1. Can kids see it? 2. Use eye contact and facial expressions to communicate fun & energy. 3. Never turn your back to kids when you are song leading. If you need to see the words, then use a music stand but keep your eyes up as much you can! 4. Have fun! Fun is contagious.

Closure: The key to leading music is selecting music that has applicable content for that night’s talk
and placed in an order of high energy to finishing with songs of content. 15

Running a Skit at Club
Objective: To add fun, laughter, friendly competition and energy to club. Expect the unexpected! Materials/Resources Needed:
1. PREPARATION: Plan the skit or game. Shop for it. Try it at home first! ! Every Young Life club should have a tarp! Leave the place at least as clean as we found it. 2. “VOLUNTEERS”: Always choose the participants right before club begins. " a. You want to see who is there so that you don’t call a kid up who isn’t in attendance. " b. It is fun to surprise kids by saying, “It’s now time to bring up our volunteers.”

Anticipatory Set: A great skit or game will be the talk of the school the next day. This is often the
best promotion for Young Life among students.

Objective/Purpose: An organized skit or game that allows a kid to be a star at club. Input: Be loud enough for everyone to hear you so that you can control the room! Often skits fail
because the kids participating don’t understand what to do. Kids are already a little nervous about being in front of their peers so make sure you control the noise in the room and be clear on what they are expected to do. Try not to have the same kid in a skit more than once a semester. Where do you get skits? There are many skits at the staff/volunteer website. Ask your Young Life staff person to get you a username and password. Young Life also has a skit book called the “Humor Resource Guide.”

Model: If you are doing a skit that is complicated, partner with another leader and have them model
what the kids should do.

Closure: Skits are intended for fun and must be uplifting. In Young Life, our leaders are
comfortable with kids laughing at them, but we never set kids up to be embarrassed. Make sure to celebrate every kid who participates in a skit.


Talking about Jesus at Club
Objective: To present the good news that Jesus loves us and wants a relationship with us.
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Over the course of a semester we want kids to hear that: a. We can know who God is and how He loves us by learning about Jesus. b. That we are separated from the God who loves us by sin. c. That Christ died and rose again to provide forgiveness of sin and a new life. d. That God wants us to understand and personally accept what Jesus is offering.

Materials/Resources Needed:
1. ! 2. 3. 4. ! 5. ! THE BIBLE: No leader should ever give a YL talk without a Bible. Speaking and teaching out of the Bible demonstrates that our faith is in the Word of God. FOCUS ON JESUS: We tell stories from the gospels, inviting kids to take a close look at Jesus. ONE MAIN POINT: Keep it simple. What is the one thing we want kids to understand this week? FUN AND PERSONAL: We believe it is a sin to bore kids with the gospel so we use humor and personal stories to draw kids in. PREPARATION TIME: Spend enough time preparing, and talk about Jesus in such a way, that kids know this is the most important part of Young Life.

Anticipatory Set: We earn the right to be heard by being present and active in kids’ lives outside of
club. These caring relationships become the foundation for an effective Young Life club talk.

Objective/Purpose: Our purpose is to talk about Jesus Christ in a way that kids hear clearly who
He is and how they can have a personal relationship with Him.

Input: Guiding Principles: HOOK, LOOK, BOOK, TOOK
1. FIRST THINGS FIRST: Your first thought for a talk is, “What do I want the furthest-out kid to take away with them about Jesus.” (We’ll call this our “TOOK”) Once you have identified what that is, find a passage of scripture (BOOK) from one of the four Gospels that demonstrates that truth. Spend time with that scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to show things to you that he wants one of your high school or middle school friends to hear. We want kids to see and hear Jesus in action. 2. “IT’S A SIN TO BORE A KID WITH THE GOSPEL.” This has been a core value since Young Life’s inception. Personal stories, humor, events in kids’ lives and the culture around them, music, video, and movies can all be used to grab, or HOOK, a kids’ attention and move the conversation toward Jesus. 3. ASK QUESTIONS: We want kids to take a LOOK at Jesus. We want them to take a close LOOK at their lives; the good and the bad. Ask questions that get them to think about where they are and where they want to be. Consider how Jesus asked questions to draw people in: “What do you want me to do for you?” “Who do people say that I am?” “Do you want to get well?” Asking good questions can prompt kids to think about and understand their need for Jesus. 17

Talking about Jesus Continued
4. PUT IT TOGETHER: HOOK, LOOK, BOOK, TOOK. Our Young Life Club Talks ought to have a conversational tone to them. We are not lecturing. We are talking about our closest Friend with our high school or middle school friends. Plan your TRANSITIONS. There ought to be a comfortable flow: from humor or a personal story, to questions about their life, to a story about Jesus, finishing with a question or a thought that gives them something to DO with what they have heard. If you use notes, keep them to a minimum. A simple outline with your main thoughts and transitions can help you stay on track. 5. KEEP IT SHORT. Less can do more. A good Young Life club talk is about 10 minutes long. Ask the Lord to make it the best 10 minutes of the week. For everyone in the room ... including yourself!

Model: Because of current media outlets like youtube, cable TV, movies, and music we have

an amazing opportunity to point out imitations of God’s truth in the world around us. The thing to remember about using these models is that they are not the Gospel. Please remember, we don’t take a youtube video and squeeze the truth of God out of it. Instead, we identify God’s truth and then call out the truth in the model. (Thank you Bob Davidson!)

Closure: Jim Rayburn said, “Jesus Christ is the most attractive person who ever walked the
earth, so we present Him in the most attractive way.” However, it is not our humor, charisma or persuasive words that change lives. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to draw kids into a relationship with Jesus. Our job is to present Jesus in a clear, relevant and relational way. " Have fun with this. This is your chance to share the most important message with the students you care so much about. “You were made for this!”


Planning Campaigners
Objective: Hold a small group bible study for kids who want to grow in their relationship with Jesus
Christ. Help them take some ownership of the Young Life club at their school.

Materials/Resources Needed: Semester Planning Guide (see resource library). Extra bibles
that are all the same translation. Snacks go a long way.

Anticipatory Set: This will be a new experience for many kids. They may be too shy or overly
talkative. Be prepared to show them how to interact in a small group environment. Campaigner lesson and group questions in advance. Prepare the

Objective/Purpose: The purpose of campaigners is two fold: 1. Give kids the opportunity to grow
stronger in their relationship to God through fellowship, conversation, and studying the Word of God. 2. To give leadership opportunities to kids. Young Life Club can be their outreach to their friends!

Input: Campaigners is all about DISCOVERY. We don’t lecture the bible, we create an environment
for kids to discover spiritual truth in the Word of God. We do this by planning a semester’s worth of studies as a team. " “What do our Campaigner kids need to know to take the next step in their walk with Christ?” Make a list! This list of truths, themes and topics becomes your plan for the semester. Build your Campaigner plan around what they need to know. Your Campaigner kids may not be ready for, or interested in, the message that recently impressed you. Campaigner leaders read the Bible with their young friends and ask questions like, “So who is in this story?” “What is happening?” “Why would this be significant to them?” “Is there anything like this in our high school?” “What can we put into action from this?”

Model: Show kids how to enjoy Jesus together. Have fun in campaigners. Kids will remember that
meeting, reading and learning together was FUN!

Closure: In Campaigners, as in Club; it’s a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel. We want our
Campaigner kids to discover real applications that they can immediately put into practice. It’s also important to stress confidentiality, meaning, what’s said in the room stays in the room (the only cases that things leave the room are for any type of personal abuse that should be reported by law). Share this with your campaigner friends; let them know that it is a safe place to share but if these things are talked about you are legally bound to share them. Also, remember that boys are likely to be more open around boys and girls are more likely to be open with girls. 19

Young Life Camping
Objective: To spend a week (or week-end) of fun, adventure and life-changing conversation with a
group of high school or middle school students so that they can clearly process the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the adult who has earned the right to be heard.

Materials/Resources Needed: A week or week-end spent with kids and other leaders. Lots of
praying before, during, and afterward. A great camp. Good food. Laughter. Open hearts and minds. Activities and a message designed especially for kids who don’t know Christ.

Anticipatory Set: Amazing things happen to EVERYONE who goes to Young Life Camp! Young
Life camp has proven especially effective with the furthest out kids.

Objective/Purpose: Young Life Camp may be the biggest adventure these kids ever have. We
promise them that it will be the best week of their lives. The most important thing to know about Young Life camping is that it is leader-centered. There will be a speaker, a team that plans everything and makes it fun, a work crew that will do all of the grunt-work; but the key is the leader that brings their young friends. The fun experiences that leaders share with each camper are the most important ingredients in Young Life camping. Kids hear the life-changing message as their leader lives it out before them.

Input: Camp is an important part of what we do. So, we talk about it and promote it year-round.
Kids want to be where the action is. Getting a few key kids signed up is often the way to build excitement for the trip. Ultimately, kids go to camp with us if they like us and trust us.

Model: In some cases Young Life will use a fall week-end camp to demonstrate the amount of fun
that can be had on a Young Life summer trip.

Closure: “You have to see it to believe it!” “That was the BEST week of my life!”
Young Life Camp is unlike anything else you have seen before. Please make sure you plan your year with Camp on your calendar. Begin thinking and praying about who you would like to take with you. You, and your young friends, will never be the same!

For more information, refer to Young Life’s camp training manual called: “How to Thrive at Camp.” 20

Contact Work
Objective: Contact work is spending time with kids where they are. It is the “incarnational” piece of
the Young Life ministry; we as leaders go to teenagers instead of expecting them to come to us. We go to the places where kids are most comfortable. We leave the comfort of our environment and we submerge ourselves into theirs. As a teacher, you have a head start. You already spend much of your time with teenagers!

Materials/Resources Needed: The desire and ability to talk with kids and have fun with them.
Time spent with kids outside of the classroom is priceless!

Anticipatory Set: Kids won’t expect you to do this. They might even be a little confused by your
presence or your desire to hang out with them. Your conversation with a student may be the most important part of their day.

Objective/Purpose: The objective is to show kids that you care for them outside your job! They
will feel like you are interested in them even if you weren’t their teacher or coach. We impact kids’ lives when we take time to get to know them and have fun with them.

Input: We build a team of people who want to know kids and share Christ with them. Contact Work
is our strategy for “earning the right to be heard” with young people. It is the process we go through as we build relationships with teenagers. The Three Levels of Contact Work: 1. “Be Seen” by kids. ! -We go to games, concerts, local hang outs; where ever the kids are. " -We “move into their neighborhood” just as Christ came to ours. ! -By showing up, we offer friendship. 2. “Talk” with kids. ! -We call kids by their names because we like it when people know ours. ! -In a Facebook world, real conversation is priceless. 3. “Have Fun” with kids. ! -We enjoy shared experiences that grow the friendship. " -Look for ways to “let your hair down” and just hang out with kids!

Model: As teachers, some of you already build friendships all day, everyday. Others would like to
show more personal interest in the students you know. This is your opportunity to show kids how Jesus loves us. Love kids regardless of how they act towards you!

Closure: Contact work can be the beginning of a kid meeting Jesus Christ!

Ways to Make Contact
Things to Do
While the following list is long, it is not exhaustive. Use it to help you generate your own ideas for how to find and spend time with kids.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. Run with the cross country team in the morning or football team at night Be a substitute teacher or do after-school tutoring Take a group of guys hunting Play flag football Plan sleep overs (works better with girls) Have a hair dying party (with parental permission) Attend varsity and JV high school games Take kids camping Take kids out for a Coke Go to a movie together Attend the high school theater department’s productions Play football, frisbee, tennis, golf, basketball … with them Do a "kidnap" breakfast Have a cookout Go to the fair (school or state) Help decorate for homecoming, prom or pep rallies Help kids with their homework Chaperone a school trip Help coach a sport Take your spouse and a kid "couple" out on a double date Go to a professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey game Drive kids places as their “chauffeur for a day” Go swimming Go cross-country bicycling, skiing Go rock climbing, hiking, camping Play miniature golf Let a kid teach you a new sport Play tennis, handball, racquetball Go bowling Go skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, sailing Go on a fishing trip with a kid Have a scavenger hunt Have a pizza eating contest Have a "board game night" Invite kids to your house Go shopping with kids – thrift stores are fun Cook them a meal Have a camp reunion Put on an after-prom "breakfast" Go to the zoo, amusement park, national park, tourist place Volunteer at a charity, soup kitchen, orphanage Take them to church Take them to breakfast, lunch or dinner Hang out at a coffee shop together Go to a concert featuring local bands, maybe even some of your high school friends Bring kids into your home – let them share a meal with your family Find out what they like to do and go do it with them


Contact Work Guidelines
Contact Work Guidelines
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Begin with your own prayer life (and that of your support group). You cannot be successful without connection to God and a desire that His will be done. Go where the kids are. Learn names. Use whatever helps you: notebook, yearbook, etc. Pray for opportunities. Ask God to give you a sincere interest in the teenagers in your area. Use mutual interests as stepping stones (music, sports, etc.). This isn’t about you, so focus on their accomplishments. Be yourself. Kids can spot a fake a mile away. Allow your own personality and gifts to draw kids. Don't talk about yourself too much. Strive to be an expert on your school by subscribing to the school newspaper and get a copy of the school yearbook. Study them to catch up on campus events and to learn names and faces. Don’t play favorites. Seek to gain friendships with all types of kids. Show attention not only to the leaders and the easily lovable, but to the followers and the “unlovable” as well. Be a genuine friend. Don’t just promote your meeting. Be available. Strive for the reputation of always having time to talk and be sincere in your willingness to do this. Spend time wisely. Quality over quantity. You are an adult leader. Don’t put yourself on a kid’s level. Be a servant. This doesn’t mean buy a kid’s friendship, but be willing to serve and do things to show you really care. Keep an up-to-date record of significant contacts. This will help you get to know kids and be on top of things when you see them. Enthusiasm and cheerfulness are contagious, but be genuine. Be a person of integrity. Be above reproach in your behavior. Opposite sex leader and kid should never spend time alone. Remember that contact work is never finished. There are always new kids to get to know. Faithfully pursuing their friendship is what “wins the right to be heard” for our message of the Good News.