This week on UniteBoston, we have Sarah Lovinger and Christian Grant as our guest bloggers to share about Young Life Boston. Young Life Boston re-emerged after many years in the Fall of 2016 when a group of people got together and began to pray about the idea of bringing YL back to Boston. Ministry to kids began in the 2017-2018 school year and was volunteer lead. Sarah and Christian came on staff with Young Life in September 2018 and ministry continues to grow. Sarah is a member of Mosaic Boston Church in Brookline and is on Young Life staff in downtown Boston. Christian Grant is on staff with Young Life and the Boston Project in Dorchester. He is a member of Hilltop Church in Cambridge.
It is 5:00AM on a Wednesday morning. A 16-year-old girl is frantically finishing her pre-calculus homework before rowing practice. A few miles away, a 14-year-old boy rushes out the door to catch the bus- starting his 90 minute commute out to the suburbs to the METCO school he attends. She, filled with anxiety; he, with an empty stomach. One, putting her hope in a future imposed on her by her parents and peers that will never fulfill. The other, struggling to find an ounce of hope, questioning his purpose in life.
These two stories represent thousands of kids in the city of Boston. These are kids that desperately need hope outside of themselves and their circumstances; kids who need to hear about a Creator who loves them regardless of their performance and a Savior who will provide for their every need. These kids need to hear about the life and the freedom that is theirs in Jesus Christ.
Every day, Young Life leaders work to do just that- introduce kids to the life-changing message found in Jesus Christ. We are ministering to kids from Dorchester to Beacon Hill, from East Boston to Brookline. We go where they are, earn their trust and the right to be heard, invite them into relationship with Jesus, and love them regardless of their response.
The mission of Young Life is to introduce kids to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. The method by which we do this is something we call “The Six Cs”: contact work, club, campaigners, camp, committee, and church.
- Contact work: Young Life leaders show up in the lives of kids, rather than asking them to come to us. We go to school events, volunteer at Boys and Girls clubs, tutor, coach, you name it. If kids are there, Young Life leaders want to be there too.
- Club: Club is a party with a purpose— music, games, laughter, food, skits, and a message about the person of Jesus in terms that kids understand.
- Campaigners: This is short for “campaigners for Christ.” Kids that have decided to follow Jesus or want to learn more about Him gather in small groups to dive deeper into Scripture and prayer.
- Camp: The best week of their lives. Seriously. Kids get to play, laugh, relax, eat great food, and hear about Jesus in terms that they can understand. The best part? Kids go to camp and come home from camp with leaders with whom they already have relationships.
- Committee: Committee is a local team of caring adults that offer guidance and support.
- Church: As kids begin following Jesus or express interest in faith, we want to get them connected to a local church. We know that faith takes root and flourishes in the church and we communicate and demonstrate the importance of being part of a local congregation. We serve a diverse group of kids in a city with diverse congregations that beautifully represent the Kingdom; we pray that more and more kids will pour into each and every one.
Throughout the past year we have seen the Lord move in amazing ways in the lives of kids in Boston. Here are three stories. J became a follower of Jesus at camp just last week. J believed that there was a God but did not believe in Jesus. Being at camp allowed him to hear the message of the Gospel clearly for the first time and process through it with his leaders. By the end of the week J stood up and shared that he began a relationship with Jesus. P, a foreign exchange student from China, gave his life to Christ last fall. P said that he had heard the Gospel before but he actually saw it being lived out by his leaders and it became real to him for the first time. He is excited to return to China to tell people about Jesus. Last, at this time last year, C did not believe God could exist with all of the brokenness in the world. She had no interest in Jesus. Through Young Life, C found a safe place to ask her hardest questions and share her doubt in Campaigners. She now regularly meets with her leader to talk about how Jesus enters into and redeems the most broken parts of life. What a gift it has been to see the Lord advance His Kingdom in Boston through the lives of teens and we cannot wait for more!
This summer we are taking kids from all over the city to camp to have the best week of their lives. Many kids cannot afford camp but have the opportunity to go because of scholarships generously donated by people that love Christ and love kids. There are a total of three camp trips this summer with around 40 kids registered, 40 kids that are going to hear every single day how much God loves them and see that love demonstrated by leaders and camp staff. We want to take more! Camp is $675 per kid. If you want to help us bring more kids to camp, you can make a camp scholarship donation here: Select the “Camp” tab and select “Saranac” or “Lake Champion” under Camp Selection.
If you want to learn more about Young Life, how to get involved or how you can support us, email Sarah Lovinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.