Re: Young Life?
Posted by: biggun223 ()
Date: April 28, 2011 01:04PM


I understand that you don't like Young Life. I get it. I assure you that what you assume is false. Young Life has no intentions of going behind people's back and telling their kids something that they don't want their kid learning. I can't speak for all Young Life areas everywhere, but I can speak for mine. We make every effort possible to work with the parents. If a parent doesn't want us working with a child, we will not pursue that child. We have many contacts with many parents. I can't say every one, but most. Young Life is well known in our community and people know who we are because we live here. Most of us are from here. I see the parents of my kids on a consistent basis whether it be at my job or around town. You act like there is something shady going on in every Young Life area, when you have heard of a few areas. You make your assumptions and you hate on an organization that not only loves kids, but looks out for what is best for them, even if that means them not coming to Young Life. I care about my guys. You may be right. Maybe we don't send a kid home papers the first time we meet him. Did you ever think that maybe we don't have an agenda? That our hope wouldn't be to tell kids about Jesus, but to let them see Jesus in us and let them ask questions. Honestly, I know where my heart is at. I know that I want what's best for these kids, not what some guy on the internet says I should do in order to follow his rules.

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: April 28, 2011 06:01PM

I have never heard of Young Life before seeing this thread and I also live in the UK so Im not sure how the law differs in the US, I will however say this. A number of years ago I was a youth pastor in my local church. One thing I did was give every minor a consent form to attend youth meetings. I made it clear that we were a church and I put my personal number on the form so that if they had any questions they could call me direct.

As part of the form I asked for permission for photographs to be taken and used for church publications and presentations and respected the wishes of the parent. I also asked about how the child would get home from the meetings. Was the parent happy for them to make their own way home or would they be collected. On top of all this I had separate forms for days out, youth camps and sleepovers etc. I also made sure all adult workers were referenced and CRB checked (A check on criminal records)

Yeah it took some work to set up and to some maybe it looked like red tape but my main aim was to keep kids safe. One of the reasons for asking for this was to get permissions and contacts in the case of an emergency and to know if the minor had any allergies, illnesses and was on any medication that I needed to be aware of. (If a kid had a bee allergy I needed to know if he got stung) I had nothing to hide and the door was open to parents if they had concerns. Some did and wanted to see what their child was getting into. I had a chat with one lady and she was welcome to sit at the back for a typical session and see exactly what we did. At the end of it she was more than happy for her daughter to attend our youth meetings.

I think what I did was beyond the requirements of the law. Yes we were a church. Yes we taught the bible and yes we were delighted when a young person decided to make a decision to become a Christian. However I didnt want this to happen as a result of high pressure salesmanship or manipulation. If they made that decision I wanted it to be the result of their own informed choice. At the end of the day I wanted every young person in my care to be happy and safe and to reassure their parents that I was doing my best to make sure this happened.

At then end of the day it should never be about "well its not a legal requirement so we dont have to do it." It should be about whats best for the young person and turning them against or causing them to lie to their parents is not good for any young person

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2011 06:05PM by CovLass.

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: Chris Morris ()
Date: April 28, 2011 07:51PM

I agree with you (big surprise). It seems as though all this banter has proved that Young Life is a stealthy organization trying to press their beliefs on minors, many of which are targeted because they are especially impressionable (read earlier article that specifically says the not-so-popular kids are targeted heavily) and will likely take what Young Life staffers have to say as the end-all, be-all. Almost like their preying on these kids. Two things would make this organization legit:
1. Change the name to accurately reflect their mission instead of hiding it.
2. Institute the use of parental consent forms. If YL cares about peope going to heaven then they should care also and respect the wishes of their parents.

My experience was most certainly with Young Life. It was at Lake Champion in NY if you've ever heard of it. My issue was how the whole thing was set up....seemingly fun times for the first two days with prostilizing during "chapel" and then culminates with the hyped up 30 minute silent period of "Asking Jesus into your life", where everyone goes to a quiet secret place. If you didn't you were going to hell. Of course we werent told about this...their real agenda in the beginning...only once we got ther did we find out that the weekend wasn't going to be very fun. I remember dragging my feet so to speak very much as I was a little angry that I had been "dooped" or "fooled" into thinking the weekend was one thing when in fact it was certainly another.

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: April 28, 2011 09:33PM


I have no personal animus regarding Young Life. And attempting to somehow impugn me personally doesn't change the facts.

You say, "Young Life has no intentions of going behind people's back and telling their kids something that they don't want their kid learning." And that the organization is not "shady."

You then claim, "If a parent doesn't want us working with a child, we will not pursue that child."

But you admit, "You may be right. Maybe we don't send a kid home papers the first time we meet him."

You are talking in circles.

If Young Life functions the way you say it does than a simple written parental notification and consent form would be no problem.

In this way every child's family would be notified and their signed consent on file.

End of problem.

You ask, "Did you ever think that maybe we don't have an agenda? That our hope wouldn't be to tell kids about Jesus..."?

See []

Young Life states on its Web site the following:

Our Vision

Every adolescent will have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him.

Our Mission

Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. We accomplish our mission by ...

* Praying for young people.
* Going where kids are.
* Building personal relationships with them.
* Winning the right to be heard.
* Providing experiences that are fun, adventurous and life-changing.
* Sharing our lives and the Good News of Jesus Christ with adolescents.
* Inviting them to personally respond to this Good News.
* Loving them regardless of their response.
* Nurturing kids so they might grow in their love for Christ and the knowledge of God's Word and become people who can share their faith with others.
* Helping young people develop the skills, assets and attitudes to reach their full God-given potential.
* Encouraging kids to live connected to the Body of Christ by being an active member of a local congregation.
* Working with a team of like-minded individuals -- volunteer leaders, committee members, donors and staff.

Our Values

* Living according to and communicating the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ.
* Carrying out our mission under the authority of Scripture and relying on the Holy Spirit to empower our ministry.
* Encouraging the welfare and spiritual health of those who do this ministry, that they may minister out of a consistent and growing relationship with Christ and His followers.
* Researching and developing innovative approaches to reaching uncommitted, disinterested kids around the world.
* Reaching adolescents of all social, cultural, economic and ethnic backgrounds throughout the world.
* Working with followers of Christ from a variety of traditions and local churches around the world.
* Welcoming all those whom God calls to our mission -- men and women of all races, staff and volunteers -- who are linked to a common purpose of introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ.
* Observing the highest standards of stewardship of all the resources placed in our trust.

It seems to me that the Young Life's approach is to use "relationships" and "experiences that are fun, adventurous and life-changing" with adolescents to advance a specific religious agenda.

You say, "I know that I want what's best for these kids, not what some guy on the internet says I should do in order to follow his rules."

Again you ignore the point.

It's not up to you to decide what's best for these kids, but rather their parents. And it's their rules, religious choices and sentiments you should respect.

The practical way to do this is implement a mandatory parental notification and permission procedure for all the minor children Young Life works with, which is set into motion upon first contact. In this way you can objectively demonstrate that you really do respect family values.

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: biggun223 ()
Date: April 28, 2011 10:01PM

I know exactly where that is and exactly what you're talking about. It's a weekend camp if I'm not mistaken. Most groups will take one once, maybe twice a year. The one thing that I see different about your weekend experience and what I try to do as a Young Life leader is the pressure on kids. There is no pressure from me to believe one way or the other. Do I give them an opportunity to hear about the Bible? Yes. Do I feel any different about them if they don't accept it? No.

I'm not sure of all of the official policies of Young Life. There may actually be a system set up for parental consent forms. I do Young Life in a rural area and sometimes it takes us longer to receive these policies. If it's kid safety you are worried about, then I understand. I want kids to be and feel safe. I believe we portray that and also I feel that we respect parents' wishes more than you realize. I may have gotten defensive about certain subjects because I know my heart, but you obviosly can't see that. You don't know me. Parental consent is wanted from Young Life.

The name of Young Life is that way for a reason. We are reaching out to kids who are intimidated by a church and think that they wouldn't be accepted. The ultimate goal is not to turn these kids into Christians. We simply can not change their minds for them. Our goal is to hang out with kids and let them see what Christian life can be like as an alternative to the life that some of them have. I am not talking about the kids who have a great home life, and their parents care about them. I'm talking about the kids who's parents are drug dealers. The ones who have been abused by their parents, but don't tell anyone. The misfortunate and the unloved. We are there to let them know that someone will care for them, even if they don't accept Jesus. That's why the name is Young Life. We hope to give life to them.

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: April 29, 2011 04:13AM


You are talking in circles again.

First you say "There is no pressure to believe on way or another." Then you admit that you "hang out with kids to let them see what Christian life can be like as an alternative to the life that some of them have."

Read the mission statement of Young Life.

The mission statement explicitly states that the foremost purpose of the organization is "Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith."

You are confusing the methodology of the group, which is to approach children as friends and confidants, but always with an ultimate religious purpose and agenda. The process is to gain their trust and confidence first, and then begin insinuating and discussing the religious message.

The most obvious explanation regarding why the organization has chosen not to disclose its core purpose openly through its name like "Youth for Christ", is so that kids won't know what they are getting into, at least not initially, until they become more involved.

Frankly this approach can be seen as deceptive.

What you call a "Christian life" is specifically based upon an evangelical theological perspective, which might not be appreciated by Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox or more liberal Protestant denominations. And it certainly would nto be appreciated by non-Christian families such as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or Jews.

Frankly, providing "care" and giving "life" to children is not your role outside of your own family. Parents traditionally give life and provide care for their children. And if children have been abused they should seek help from a trusted relative, friend, school counselor, teacher, local authorities or perhaps clergy at their place of worship.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2011 04:16AM by rrmoderator.

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: Supedawg05 ()
Date: July 01, 2011 11:06PM

Can anybody offer me any advice? (This might be in the wrong thread)

I have two brothers who have been heavily involved with young life in the past 3 years. Now they have misconstrued notions of faith and how to live out their faith.

One - a brilliant student will be attending Moody Bible School in Chicago instead of pursuing more promising studies at a real university. I was very disappointed with his decision as he would have made a really good science researcher (he accompanied me a few times on some environmental science fieldwork).

The other now thinks that the only way to live christian life is to be a nurse missionary to a third world country - even though he has failed most of his first year nursing classes. He keeps poking his eyes out trying to pass these classes in a field he may not enjoy or even excel at. He also is now reading "Answers in Genesis" books and says that they "make really good points".

Another of my friends has a younger brother who was going to "come out" as gay to his family (he had already told his older brother, sister and me). But then Young Life got involved ( a "leader" in particular) and he is now back in the closet. I believe there is a lot of self hating and destructive feelings festering inside of him now.

Basically my question is how do you undo the harms of christian fundamentalist cult manipulation as shown by Young Life? Where do you start? I am sure I will be met with extreme hostility if I even question the purpose of Young Life. How can I go about counteracting this spiritual violence?

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: RTEzvjess ()
Date: October 01, 2011 11:14PM

My mind is all over the place with this topic and I hoped someone can help me bring my thoughts together on this.

My daughter is in middle school. We have an acquaintance who is very involved in Young Life. She is in her mid 30s, yet spends one day a week bringing treats to the kids at middle school lunch (despite the fact that parents have to sign a form at the beginning of the year stating they will not bring large amounts of food to school to their kids at lunch, because it is against health code and also disruptive). She used to live in our neighborhood and was way beyond what I would call 'neighborly' the kids candy, inviting them over. At first I thought she was just being very nice but then it got to be a little over the top. I discovered she was in this organization about 2 years ago and have been keeping an eye out since I knew my daughter would be in middle school this time and that is the age the organization seeks out. Sure enough, a few weeks ago, she contacted my child (did not contact me) and invited her to Club. I messaged her that my daughter would not be participating in YoungLife/Wyldlife activities and she hasn't asked again.

HOWEVER, my daughter's best friend is now involved, and says it is 'awesome'. Although my daughter seems to understand my feelings about this organization (I have discussed with her the fact that their religious agenda is not one we follow, and we choose to follow another path) I worry that peer pressure is now really going to kick in. How do I keep my child away without causing it to become her form of rebellion later?

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: October 01, 2011 11:18PM


This seems to be fairly typical for "Young Life" volunteers and staff, i.e. contacting and working minor children without written parental notification and signed consent forms.

The goal is to teach children to become fundamentalist Christians.

Unless a family subscribes to these beliefs it's a problem.

You should explain this to your daughter.

Re: Young Life?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 01, 2011 11:28PM

If your daughter and her best friend go to the same school, this might be a very good thing to check with other parents about and also with the school authorities.

Whoever that YL recruiter is, is very skilled. Use fun and sweets and good times as the enticement.

Make it seem that the recruiter can offer more good times than ones own family can.

Its called 'grooming' -- setting people up and doing it so gradually one doenst even realize it.

The wiliest cult recruiters create appealing social networks and work through existing friendships. And friendships are passionate and of the utmost importance and especially with young girls.

The conster's cleverest trick is to make it seem that friends and family who have true love and genuine concern for ones welfare are oppressive joykillers and the only way to have real fun and adventure is to sneak away from ones concerned friends and family and slip off to the Only Person and Place Where You Can Have Fun.

The recruiters who know how to work this angle are very hard to contend with, because your daughter and friend are right at the age when kids are looking for freedom apart from family.

Am not a professional. I chose my own ways to work my parents' nerves. You should talk by PM with Mr Ross.

This would be a very good topic--how to help your friends and schoolmates tell the difference between legitimate persons offering genuine opportunities for adventure vs wily recruiters who claim to offer adventure but are signalling entry into the social equivalent of a Roach Motel, using adventure and good times as bait.

(Note the way they do it with boys and young men is to dare them to take risks and con them into thinking they are wimps if they hesitate or fact check.)

The best and long lived explorers and adventurers were brave and gutsy people who also took care to research as much as they could beforehand.

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