Everyone in Young Life would agree: we want to grow Young Life in new communities, believing that every kid deserves a chance to hear and respond to the Gospel and to be loved regardless of their response. We also want to start things in a healthy way.
But everyone in Young Life would also agree that launching a new Young Life Area can be daunting and exciting. Every step forward requires deep community support, sustainable fundraising practices, and committed/engaged leaders and staff.
There are plenty of stories – successful and unsuccessful – of new startup areas across the entire Young Life mission. Learning from these stories is extremely important, as helps us build on valuable practices and avoid common pitfalls.
As such, Jon Houghton and Annie Udell (Young Life Chicagoland) have compiled “Pathway to Healthy Young Life Launch,” a guide to establishing a healthy and sustainable new area. This startup strategy emphasizes the importance of a communication hierarchy (when to communicate what to whom, and how). It also gives helpful milestones to achieve along the way, leading you through the process of recruiting adults, securing financial support and, eventually, hiring a dedicated staff person. The purpose of this document and its resources is not to eliminate the need for guidance from someone who has the lead the start up process previously but to minimize the need for guidance and streamline the process. Our hope is that this will give you and the people you lead confidence that there is a coherent plan.
What does it take to get YL started?
- Prayer for a vision and guidance of new areas to reach
- The launching group must have an understanding of the mission of Young Live
- Establish a local Committee
- Understand the Financial Structure and Raise Money
- Hire Staff (some communities will choose to hire a staff person at this point and some will focus on recruiting
- Recruit and Train Volunteer Leaders
Learn more about the steps above in the full Pathway to Healthy Young Life Launch guide HERE .
By Jon Houghton (firstname.lastname@example.org)