Campaigners Book

We hope you find this Campaigners Book useful.

Once you have completed the YL 101 course, you’ll have access to it as well in the Lesson: Resources.

Please note that these resources are Copyright to Young Life Australia; this means that you can use them for your use as a Young Life leader, but they can not be distributed to other youth or church organisations without first seeking approval from the National Office.

Download – Campaigners Booklet

The Follow-up Ministry

In seeking to discover a workable bibli­cal model for the ministry of follow‑up, the example of Jesus ‑ both with the twelve disciples and with other interest­ed followers ‑ needs to be closely exam­ined. Only as we first look upon the Master’s ministry of working with believers can we effectively seek to fol­low‑up with those He has entrusted to our charge. Let’s enumerate some of the outstanding principles of the Lord Jesus:

He embodied all that He taught (He was their example).

We live in a day of an ever‑increasing proliferation of disci­pleship manuals, periodicals, standardised studies, overhead projectors, verse memorisation packets, and so on. These are tremendous tools, but they do not take the place of what has been discov­ered by psychologists to be the most important method to teaching/learning that the world has ever discovered ‑the model. Jesus did not send them off with a program or a manual ‑ He asked them to follow Him. The bulk of his training consisted in His disciples being with Him. A disciple is a follower first. Then and only then can he be a leader of others.

Jesus allowed experience to be a very important teacher.

Whether it was His commissioning of the disciples to preach and heal (Luke 10: 1‑20, Luke 12:1‑6), His patience with their slowness to understand (Mark 8:17‑21, Matthew 28:17), or through their failures (John 21: 15‑23), Jesus understood the impor­tance of allowing them the opportunity to learn from experience, and most of all, through their mistakes. In short, while Jesus would not tolerate a lack of com­mitment, He granted them the freedom to fail. He knew that their errors would result in immense growth if the disciple was loved and encouraged to learn from his mistakes. Hence, we must recognise the primacy of individual experience as the second greatest method of teaching/learning. Too often, our follow‑up with kids is con­fined to a lecture‑discussion relationship once a week. We must challenge them to step out into positions of genuine dependence upon God, just as Jesus did, and responsibly supervise, encourage and evaluate them before, during and after these experiences.

He focused upon the obedient and teachable ones.

We find no record of Jesus entertaining a follower who was not teachable. With all the fallacies of the disciples, from the stubbornness of Peter to the doubting of Thomas, they still listened intently to Jesus and underwent considerable sacrifices to follow Him. Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler in Mark 10 gives us the clear impression that He would not spend His time entertaining a spoiled disciple. He continually focused upon the importance of obedience (John 13:17, 14:21, 15:14; Luke 11:28). His emphasis upon men who were too busy for the Kingdom of God (Luke 14: 16‑24) count­ing the cost (Luke 14:26‑33), the narrow­ness of the door (Luke 13:23‑30) and countless other situations indicate to us His clear pointing to the need to decide without reserve to follow Jesus. An internationally well‑known Bible teacher once remarked, “I wish I could recapture the lost thousands of hours that I have wasted teaching peo­ple who were never hungry.” We find no Biblical precedent for force‑feeding new believers.

Jesus expected reproduction from His disciples.

A natural function of a healthy body is reproduction. This principle is fundamental to the plant and animal kingdom, as well as all of human life. So often, we are surprised when a young believer leads his friends to Christ. Hence, it happens all too seldom. We should consider something wrong unless a young believer has a great desire to reproduce. The parable of the sower in Mark 4 not only warns them that not all will respond to the Gospel, but significantly concludes that “the men who hear the message and accept it … do produce a crop ‑ thirty, sixty, even a hundred times as much as they received.”

Jesus spent a great deal of time teaching them.

Earlier I mentioned the fact that a psy­chological study had indicated the exam­ple was the greatest method of teach­ing/learning, closely followed by experi­ence. The third greatest teacher is the didactic teaching method, whereby a teacher (Jesus) functions as an authoritative figure, but also as both a guide and a resource for students. In short, He fed them and taught them how to fish. A very important principle to note is that He kept it simple. Too often, we get carried away in waves of theological poignancy. If we can understand Jesus’ simple, picturesque language in articulating basic truths, we will not only be more effective disciple-­makers, we will also be more effective disciples ourselves.

Jesus articulated and exemplified the goal of every disciple: to love God.

If we cannot first grasp the prima­cy of loving God “with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind,” (Matthew 22:37) then certainly our young converts will never understand why Jesus pointed to this as the “greatest and first commandment”. It is apparent in the amount of time that Jesus took to be alone with the Father (Mark 1:35‑37), that the disciples very early came to understand without a word the truth of His total dependency upon the Father. The greatest gift we can ever impart to a new Christian is to show him by our lives and our words that the greatest blessing in life is to love God. Out of the being with Him, the doing for Him will come.

Download – The Follow-Up Ministry

What is Campaigners?

Campaigners (discipleship groups / small groups) are traditionally a group of students committed to growing in their relation­ship with Christ and sharing this rela­tionship with others.  Whilst going through this section, consider those young people you are currently working with.  Are there any that haven’t yet made a commitment, but are interested in finding out more?  Are there any you seen have leadership potential and enjoy being with you?  If you don’t have a group of young people who have made a commitment, consider starting a group with a group of young people who are willing and wanting to meet with you more regularly and model to them what a small group is all about – pray for them and see what The Lord does with you and them in the context of a small group.

Committed to a Group

God works through a group, a “body,” a team – His Church. We learn about our­selves and His love for others as we live and work together.

Committed to Growing

As leaders, we recognise that kids are in different places in their journey with Christ. Keeping this in mind, Campaigners is still for those who desire to grow in their faith. In club, we aim at the lowest common denominator. The club message is basic so the kid far­thest away might understand. In Campaigners, however, we are running with the big dogs. Although our Campaigners will be at various levels of commitment to Christ, this is still a time for those who want to be challenged to grow spiritually.

Committed to Sharing

Our growth in Christ will show itself in our love for others. Campaigners is more than simply gaining biblical knowledge, although it most definitely includes this. As we grow, we will want to reach out to others. Campaigners are our student leaders, the backbone for our club work.

Mark 12:28‑31: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘of all the commandments, which is the most important?’”

“‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.””

The heart and soul of Campaigners should be to help students (and our­selves) obey the great commandment:

  • to love God above all else, and with everything we have and are
  • to love our neighbours ‑ families, friends, peers, those of various backgrounds and cultures, the less fortunate ‑ as ourselves

But this doesn’t just happen.

Good teachers take time to design lesson plans.

Good coaches take time to prepare their strategy for game day.

Good builders work closely with their blueprints.

Good Campaigner leaders

  • are motivated out of their love for Christ and His truth.

  • are going somewhere. They have a plan and are working on it.

  • are developing their own leader­ship and discipleship skills.

  • are prayerfully dependent on the Lord to produce His fruit.

Begin With the End in Mind

  • Your discipleship will take the shape of whatever you believe to be your goal.
  • For some this goal is informational. “If we can just get Campaigners to read the Bible and learn biblical truths, we have succeeded.
  • For others the goal is sharing. “Our teenagers need adults who create a safe place for them to be able to talk about what they are feeling in a non‑judgmen­tal setting.”
  • Still others may see the goal of Campaigners as building the Young Life club at their school. “Kids need a form of outreach to learn how to serve the Lord among their peers and club provided the opportunity.”

Each of these goals is worthwhile. Our discipleship needs to be marked by bibli­cal teaching, open sharing of who we are and the challenge to walk our talk among our friends and family. But none of these is the primary goal of our time together.

The primary goal of Campaigners is to help students love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and to love their neighbours as them­selves.

This is the great commandment. The great commandment warrants our great­est attention. It is the end that we must keep in mind as we set out.

How does Campaigners help us love God and others? By giving us a true understanding of the One we worship and our need for God (biblical literacy). By allow­ing us to know the Lord’s healing and compassion (honest sharing). And by giv­ing us opportunities to live out our faith in an unbelieving world (service and mis­sion).

When setting out to lead a Campaigner group, remember the end we have in mind is to love God with all that we are and to love others more. Keep asking yourself, “How does this help my friends love God and others more?” Begin with this end in mind!

Taken from the Campaigner Handbook.

Download – What is Campaigners?

A Checklist for Running a Local Camp

Although Summer Camp is often seen and spoken about as the pinnacle of the Young Life calendar, each area should be attending or running 3 – 4 local camps / year.

The camps could be run with other nearby areas, they could be run with multiple clubs from your town or city, or they could be aimed at a few key teens you’re working work.

Examples include running a Wyld Life Camp, or a Discipleship Camp, hiring a couple of cabins near a lake, taking tents and setting them up and going hiking for the weekend, doing a canoe trip … the list is endless! 

Why local camping?

  • Helps growth of relationships with the teens you’re working with
  • Novel environment and experiences strengthen relationships and understanding
  • Another avenue for discipleship without the many of the worlds distractions.
  • You can target a certain group of teens you’re working with.
  • You can target a certain need.
  • You can build closer community with teens / leaders in your club or area.
  • Costs can be greatly reduced

What are things you need to think about before you run a local camp?

Who?Who is your target group?
Why?What do you want to achieve with the group?
What?What kind of activity are you going to use?
Day trip? Camping? Activity based? Discipleship or Evangelistic?
When?When is it happening?
Where?Where is the best place to achieve your goals?
Transportation Needs?
Distance for time
How much?What are all the costs involved in doing the camp (accommodation, transport, food, activities, programme, equipment)?
What is my price range?
Other Factors to ConsiderHow are you going to publicise the camp?
Who is going to do program? No need to go big and flash (a simple programme doesn’t mean we skimp on doing everything we do with excellence), unless you want to, what type of program is going to meet your goals for the camp? The value is in spending time with the kids.
What equipment do you need and where are you going to get it? Plan your programme and go through it step by step so you know you have everything you need-don’t get yourself in the position of having to find things for a game after you are at camp
Who are the leaders who are committed to going? Give them jobs to do and they will be there. Delegate jobs in the planning and at camp so people are engaged in the process, more ownership of the camp if they have contributed and are contributing (they feel more needed because they are needed).
Transportation? What transport do you need? Whose cars are going? Who are the drivers? Do they know where they are going? Maps? Do they know what staying together means? Do they know what responsible driving means?
Have you done a risk assessment of the camp?
Are you equipped to do the type of camp you are planning? Don’t do something you are not equipped to do (difference between stepping out of your comfort zone and doing what you are not equipped to do) example: White water canoeing, canyoning, caving, etc… with no qualifications.
Who is going to do the catering? What is needed to make it happen? Who is cooking? Who is buying? etc…
Who is qualified to do first aid? Do you have an equipped first aid kit? Who is bringing it?
Do you need a Work Crew? Who is recruiting the Work Crew? Who will train them? Who will be the bosses?
Have you had everyone fill out a Young Life Indemnity form?

Downloads to help you plan:

Local Camp Planner

Download – Local Camp Checklist

Camp Sell Calendar

Below is a snapshot of a year and the things you can be thinking about each month to get as many young people as possible to Summer Camp.

Camp Sell Calendar Download – Camp Sell Calendar

Who’s Who on Camp?

The roles below are predominately seen on Summer Camp, however when you are running local camps or regional camps, the different roles may also be utilised.  This document will be really helpful for you to come back to in the lead up to Summer Camp if you are not familiar in the way that camp runs, as the roles are referred to often.

Just a note – when you sign up for Summer Camp, you will be assigned one role.  Please keep this in mind as well when you are recruiting other volunteers for camp.

Before any volunteer attends camp, they must complete camp training, which can be found here on the YL Hub.  You can click on any of the buttons below to be taken to the training for the different roles.  You can complete the training at any time.

Cabin Leader Training

Summer Staff Training

Work Crew Training

Camp Roles

Camp Director: The Camp director oversees the whole camp and is responsible for the smooth running of camp. The camp director ensures that all the elements of camp are working together.

Program Directors: Responsible for the total camp program. The P.D.’s run the social interaction and fun part of the program etc . At all times however this should enhance the spiritual impact of the camp allowing quality times of interaction between cabin leaders and young people. The program director should be a facilitator of fun and not the centre of camper’s attention.

Head Cabin Leaders: This is a male and female role and entails the task of encouraging and uplifting the group leaders in their task of being with the campers and facilitating cabins leaders to succeed during the camp week.

Cabin Leaders: The cabin leader’s role in camp as far as the campers are concerned is a most significant role. They are the closest person to the kids. They eat, sleep, and play with them and model Jesus Christ to campers.

Camp Speaker: The person who has the tremendous opportunity to direct kids’ thoughts to their relationship to God. The presentation should be enjoyable, reasonable in length and most importantly, clear in understanding. The messages should be a springboard for leader/camper discussion and it is often helpful for the speaker to pose questions to be discussed in the cabin time.

Work Crew Boss: Oversees and has authority over the work crew team. The role also enables the “boss” to have a ministry to the work crew kids themselves in the serving capacity that this function entails.

Work Crew: The work crew serves the needs of campers from unpacking buses, serving meals and cleaning toilets. They are the engine room of camp.

Summer Staff Coordinator: Coordinates all Summer Staff positions on camp to assure the smooth running of all the extra activities. The coordinator plays a pastoral role with the Summer Staff.

Summer Staff: Summer Staff are responsible for the extra activities and may also serve in a supervisory role with Work Crew working in their areas of expertise. They often have jobs which include responsibility for camper safety such as abseiling, water sports, etc ….

Cooks: The all important task of preparing and presenting meals that kids will eat and enjoy. They have the task of obtaining the food required, keeping a list for future reference of food used and the cost.

Adult Guest Hosts: The Adult Guest hosts act as cabin leaders to any adult guests on camp. They ensure that the adult guests are having a great time and are getting involved in as many activities as possible.

Adult Guests: The Adult Guest program is used by areas to involve adults from the community in a Young Life camping experience. The adult guests may be people interested in supporting Young Life or who the staff would like to get interested in supporting Young Life, parents of kids in club, church members who want to know more about Young Life.

Download – Camp Roles

Why Go Camping?

Watch the clip below.  Alex served on the Young Life Staff and as a volunteer in Bathurst; Dylan is one of the young people we had the honour of walking with during his high school years.  The clip is based upon a discussion between Alex and Dylan; it shows Dylan’s experiences and highlights with us, and shows the importance of taking young people on camping and shared experiences.

Why Get Kids to Camp?? – by Alex Cuttiford

I asked Dylan to think about his last 3 years with Young Life and to write down his top 10 experiences. What he wrote revealed to me the fruit of the process Young Life has.

Dylan’s Number 1 experience was when Mel demonstrated how to go to the toilet in the bush on Newnes camp 2013.  Why? because it was hilarious!

His Number 2 experience was P’ish having to come get Dale out of bed every morning on Summer Camp 2015.  Why? because he used a different instrument each time.

Number 3 – when Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer” was played at summer camp 2015 and everyone sang along.

Number 4 –  picking John up in his swag at the Lake Lyell Ski Trip 2015 and dropping him on top of P’ish. Why? to start a prank war with John.

Number 5 –  the first time I came to club and met Alex, Heather, Josh, Lloyd, John, Rachel, Christie, Adrian, Eric, Sam and Tal. Why? because the relationships I have with the people mentioned above have been amazing even if some haven’t been for long.

Number 6 – having wrestling match with Tim C. at Newnes 2014 because it went for ages and I almost won.

Number 7 – fire breathing by the 2 Tim’s. Why? it’s not every day you get to see people do that.

Number 8 –  the amazon game at Summer Camp 2015 when the girl’s had to try and break the grip of the guy’s. Why? the team work of the guys was amazing until P’ish and Adrian came and pulled us apart.

Number 9 – me, Tal and Ty water skiing at Summer Camp 2014 on the back of the V8 boat and getting thrown 20m at near full speed.

Number 10 –  the leaders especially Alex, Pish, John and Heather because there always there when you need them, helping with things like education, lift’s, becoming a better person, leading me towards Jesus and helping me understand the Bible.

Number 11 – being baptised

Dylan has just mentioned 16 different people in 11 experiences, 9 out of 11 experiences happened on a camp, the other 2 where about the relationships he had with leaders and the support they gave him.

Why do we go camping? Because Young Life is a relational ministry and camping is the door we walk kids through to offer it.

40 Ways to Get Kids to Camp

  1. Develop prayer list of possible kids.
  2. To get 35, you need 100 on list.
  3. Pray by name for kids daily.
  4. Get local “pray-ers” to pray for kids.
  5. Enlist previous campers to bring friends.
  6. Announce summer camp in club all year.
  7. Talk to kids one on one.
  8. Inform sports coaches, or school administrators about camp, camp dates, etc.
  9. Have parents give down payment as Christmas present.
  10. Have signup sheet for every kid remotely interested at club.
  11. Be prepared to answer key question: “Who is going?”
  12. Be aware of competing activities.
  13. Build year‑to‑year tradition.
  14. Build camp price around 30 paying kids if it is a trip of 35.
  15. Keep an on-going list of who has been asked. A kid who says no in October may become available in December.
  16. Keep selling camp until trip leaves.
  17. Show video in homes one on one ‑or to groups of non‑club kids.
  18. Go to homes to pick up deposits.
  19. Kids are not signed up until you have a substantial deposit.
  20. Find out what activity kids are inter­ested in and highlight that activity at camp.
  21. Get Campaigners praying for lost friends, younger students.
  22. Find out what lies behind a “no.” If a kid says he/she can’t afford it, ask if he/she would go if the money was raised. Remove obstacles in an imagi­nary fashion first, and if he or she responds affirmatively, then work with him/her to remove the obstacle. Remember, only 10% of kids who say they will go next year actually do.
  23. Summer camp looks great when the winter weather is miserable.
  24. Never allow money to be an issue. Plan effective camp fundraisers.
  25. Tell kids sincerely, “I am looking for­ward to being with you.”
  26. Get camp dates to kids early to beat holiday and family vacations.
  27. For kids to go, you must go.
  28. Have pre‑camp get-togethers for signed‑up kids and potentials (BBQ’s, pool parties, volleyball, etc.).
  29. Kids sell kids better than we do.
  30. We must believe it will be the “greatest week in kids’ lives.”
  31. Committee and other parents must be sold on camp for their kids to go.
  32. Plan and pray with the goal that Young Life camp becomes the most attractive kid’s activity in your com­munity.
  33. Never sell camp to the point of jeopardizing­ your relationship with that kid.
  34. Personally talk with five kids per week about camp.
  35. Sell summer camp on a weekend trip.
  36. With Campaigners, give vision:
    • you can affect lives for eternity
    • you can be like junior leaders before, during, after camp
    • you will see God do great things
    • pray for friends by name starting now
    • develop their own “yes, maybe, no way” list.
  37. With leaders, give vision:
    • what will this mean for their lives?
    • how will their ministry look next year?
  38. You are the camp manager for your kids.
  39. Show camp video after club for new kids.
  40. Don’t ask for commitments to go from kids in a group situation. Always ask for a commitment one on one.
Download – 40 Ways to Get Kids to Camp

General Suggestions and Principles for Contact Work

Practice the discipline of learning names. Use whatever system will help best.

Look for ways to serve young people – taking a group home (but only those of the same sex!), keeping charts for games. Caution must be used, however, to prevent giving the impression of buy­ing their friendship.

Do not attempt to be one of the kids. We are leaders aware of our age, yet loving and genuinely interested in them and in their affairs. They need to see adult models.

Through established friendships, seek to know others. Sometimes we can receive a lot of help from those we know. But be careful to love kids for who they are and not what they can do for you or the club.

Do not force your way into certain social situations where you would not be wel­come, such as parties or some group dis­cussions. Pray always for sensitivity here.

Avoid making fun of young people. This is the most dangerous kind of humour.

Be careful about talking too much of your accomplishments or your own high school prowess.

Be yourselfDo not try to impress with overdone or clever antics, or by imitating others.  You don’t have to be a comedian, athlete, personality‑plus, to love them.

Ask questions about school life when in conversation with high schoolers. Most people enjoy talking about these things.

Ask God for a sincere interest in young people. They can spot the feigned inter­est. We might not like all they do, but we can appreciate them as people.

Be casual. Don’t work too hard at being friendly, with a lot of hand shaking or rapid patter, unless this is natural to you.

Develop a sense of humourFind what fits you best.

Be adaptable. Expect to have to change pace from time to time. We cannot pre­dict the adolescent behaviour.

Keep close personal records of significant contact, including the adult community. Some sort of diary is of great value, especially in our prayer life.

Seek to gain friendships with all types of young people, both school leaders and fol­lowers. Many of them will have great potential for leading their friends or par­ticular activity group.

Cheerfulness and enthusiasm are conta­gious.

In many areas, adults are not welcome in the halls of a school. Study the situa­tion carefully.

Have a valid reason for being there. You may have to forego any contact work in the buildings.

Every school situation or neighbourhood is unique. Work out a plan or strategy that fits your local picture.

Pray for those you have met, or want to meet. Enlist prayer support from inter­ested adults or Christian young people.

Contact work is never finished. There are always new ones to get to know. It is this continued effort to be their friend that wins the right to be heard with our message of Jesus Christ. Once the right has been won, work on the right of continued hearing.

Realise contact work is identification with people in a real way in the sense that Christ “the Word, became flesh and dwelt among them.”

Pray for kids as your eyes touch them. Ask God to lead you to those He wants you to meet. Make it a trusting experi­ence. God’s timing is not always ours.

Pray that God will lead you into deeper, relationships with specific kids. Ephesians 3:18, “That you, firmly fixed in love yourselves, may be able to grasp how wide and deep and long and high is the love of Christ, and to know for your­selves that love so far beyond our com­prehension.”

Be a person of integrity as so beautifully cited in 2 Corinthians 6:3‑10.

Do not draw people to yourself and keep them for your security reasons. Give friends every possible opportunity to grow. You are building the kingdom of God, not kingdoms unto yourself.

Remember the whole person, the family they come from, closest friends.  Take opportunities to introduce yourself to the parents / carers of the young people you’re working with and their friends.

Steve Chesney shares a story as to why meeting young people where they’re at is important. 

Download – General Suggestions & Principles for Contact Work

Contact Ministry

Adapted from articles by Neil Atkinson, Dick Langford and various other Young Life veterans

Contact work is the foundational principle behind Young Life’s ability to communicate the Gospel to disinterested teens. It is the platform from which uncommitted adolescents can experience the Gospel. Contact work and Young Life go together like a hand in a glove.

Yet for both experienced and new staff alike, contact work can be a difficult, even frightening experience. It is a term that is used handily, but many are not quite sure what it means, or know conclusively that they are doing an effective job of it.

Contact work builds a bridge of unconditional friendship that often stretches from a concerned adult to an “I couldn’t care‑less” adolescent. It is the movement of an individual into another’s life for the purpose of bringing an awareness of God’s love.

Unfortunately, many avoid doing contact work, saying, “I don’t have the time,” “That’s not my gift,” “I don’t relate as well at the school as I do at club,” “Let’s just concentrate on making club great,” “We’ll have Campaigners do it ‑if each Campaigner would reach just one person.” These excuses ultimately lead in the wrong direction. Club attendance either declines or, worse, becomes a youth group filled with evangelised teens who are looking for something more attractive than their local church.

Contact work is the beautiful gift God gave to Jim Rayburn and passed on to the rest of us who have been called to be a part of Young Life. It is what has made Young Life unique and has served as a model for several other ministries. Developing relationships with adolescents in their world is a key element of Young Life.

What is Contact Ministry?

The name contact work does not seem to be a fitting title for the job we are going to discuss. Actually, it is Christian leadership, and every minute we spend in this work we spend as Christian leaders. Paul set the norm for our contact work in 1 Thessalonians 1:5b‑6 (The Message), “You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master.” We intend to lead young people to the place of following Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

What is the Aim of Contact Ministry?

The ultimate aim is to lead each young person to the Lord Jesus Christ. The intermediate steps in this plan are:

  • Winning the right to be heard.
  • Building a bridge of friendship and trust.
  • Identifying with people where they are.
  • Understanding and penetrating a culture. Demonstrating Christ’s love for people.
  • Active listening.
  • Being the instrument God can use in another life.

Ideally, we go to young people for the same reason that Christ came to humanity: to reveal God to them with no strings attached. To love them in order to get an opportunity to preach to them is a string. We should love them because they need love, because God loves them and wants to love them through us. This concept is one we may have to grow into, but it is included in the idea that with Christ in us the incarnation is still in process in the world‑ today.

Contact work reminds us of our dependence upon Jesus Christ. If it weren’t for Him, we would stay in some comfortable setting with friends our own age. But Christ says go and we go in His strength, with His blessing. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you,” John 20:21.

“Jesus will not allow true religion to exist in comfortable little circles of its own. The new quality of life is love in action, and that may mean coping at firsthand with the difficult, the messy, and the unpleasant.” JB. Phillips

Personal Preparation

1. Our walk with the Lord is paramount. A close relationship with Christ and with His people is essential so that when we are with young people our actions, words and attitudes will be His.

2. A growing spiritual understanding of what it means to go to a person who is without, such as Jim Rayburn envisioned, as God taught him:

  • Walk in wisdom toward them that are without.
  • Have a good rapport.
  • Judge not.
  • Walk honestly.
  • Walk in love.

Acceptance by young people depends primarily upon our love for them and our ability to communicate this love non‑verbally and verbally. But physical appearance and health should be carefully observed. First impressions are often formed by physical appearance. Leaders do not have to conform to teenage styles, but rather should observe the styles of their own age group.

Download – The Signature of Young Life