September 2019 Global Volunteers

Stepping into their World

If you saw the news on July 20th this summer, you probably caught some nostalgic interviews and footage of the 50th anniversary of man setting foot on the moon. You may have also heard scientists and explorers talking about Artemis.


In Greek mythology, Artemis was Apollo’s sister. In NASA-speak, it is our NEXT attempt at putting an American on the moon (this time, fitting with the name, a woman). It is exciting to think about. It will also be unbelievably expensive – nothing less than 30 billion dollars, and likely more. So, sometime in the 2020’s, we’ll be doing a more modern version of exactly what we did in 1969.

How did we get in this position? Some people call it “lost knowledge.” Think of it like this – in the 1970’s, we decided to wind down trips to the moon to save some money for other projects. What might have been intended to be a “pause” became a “stop.” The scientists aged or passed away. The mechanical systems rusted. The factories and craftspeople who made components moved onto other work. We accidentally forgot how to get to the moon. 

I don’t know about you, but I think our moonshot in Young Life is “showing up” - contact work. We go to campus, to sporting events, and to neighborhood hangouts. We go in discomfort at being out of place, in solidarity with other leaders and Campaigners, and in hopes of being Jesus’ presence. It has gotten harder in many places to go – because of school rules, kids’ busyness, the administrative burdens of running Young Life, you name it. 

The temptation is to slowly stop going. To text a kid instead of saying hello in the hallway. To over-engineer the club skit at the expense of cheering at the field hockey game. My challenge to teams is to fight that. At your next team meeting, make a plan to:

  • Prioritize Contact Work – how can we each be at the school once a week this month?

  • Identify Distractions – what is eating up your time that we could be handling differently?

  • Recognize the Cost and Benefit – know what you’d lose if you stopped showing up the school. What fruit have you seen by the discipline of being “on their turf?”

It is easy to slowly stop doing the important things. And it is very hard to start doing them again. It will cost you time, money and energy that we don’t have the luxury of wasting. Kids are waiting for us to take that “one small step” into their worlds. Let’s never stop. 

Written by Josh Griffin