Global Committees August 2019

This should be required for EVERY Committee Member

When I was an Area Director I heard about an area that had term limits and a wait list for Committee members. I shared this at a Committee Meeting and you should have seen the bewildered looks – shock, awe, and disbelief. The conversation quickly turned to, “if only people could SEE what Young Life is doing, they’d be all in and we’d have a wait list, too.  How do we show them?”  

What if I told you that the most strategic way to build a vibrant committee, and let’s get crazy here – a WAIT LIST of potential committee members – was to do the same thing your area is already doing with kids, but with adults? TAKE THEM TO CAMP! We constantly tell kids that Young Life is something that they need to “see to understand,” and yet, we convince ourselves that describing what we do to adults will paint a full picture. Our words won’t do justice in translating the abundance, intentionality, connection, quality, sacrifice, and transformation we see at camp in the same way that being in the room for a Say So will.  

Jim Rayburn’s original vision is still the central focus of the adult guest experience: The adult guest experience is a window on the mission for adults to discover and further their understanding of the mission, both locally and mission wide.

Did you know…

  • We have 15 Adult Guest lodges in the U.S.

  • There are 154 Adult Guest Host openings every summer.

  • Adult Guest Hosts get to reserve TWO rooms to bring their friends!

  • With 918 guest rooms available in a summer, we can accommodate up to 1,836 adult guests for full week stays. 

  • Between 2016-2018, on average, an individual who participated in the adult guest program increased their annual giving by 21%.

Okay great, so you’re a believer – now, what? What if your area established and implemented an Adult Guest camping strategy? Here’s a quick timeline to follow:

  • September – With your Area Director, identify 2-4 people on your committee who have never been to a Young Life camp.

  • December – Convince them to attend camp as adult guests and work with your Area Director to sign them up.

  • Summer – While they’re at camp, encourage them to think about their prayer list, or the people in their community who should be “on this trip next summer.”

  • November – Have those guests serve as Adult Guest Hosts and bring their friends next summer.


What if someone on your committee pursued adults in the same way a leader might pursue students to go to camp? With intentionality and relational connection?  Not taking NO for an answer? Looking for “key” or “strategic” guests who could impact your local ministry? Praying to “fill a cabin (or guest lodge, in this case)” starting in August? 

It’s worth the risk – chase after adults, believing that seeing hundreds of lives transformed by the gospel in a week will impact them and turn them from a participant to an influencer or vision carrier! 

By Kristy Clifford (