I realized a few minutes ago that I’m going to need to make a YL category tag, because I am going to be posting quite a lot about YL this year. When I started the blog, I was just finishing up with school, and YL was coming to a graceful close in my life. I had just been sorted and put at Travis High School, but due to my dumb schedule I was unable to attend almost anything. The school year ended and I barely knew what it meant to practically “do” YoungLife. I talked about it and had the right notions and ideas, but I’d invested very little of my time and went off into the summer, abandoning Travis High School and the kids there until it was convenient for me to return to them.
As this year starts, I know that I will be much more involved with YoungLife, and I know that because I intentionally planned it. Because I knew what YL entails and what I wanted to give to it, I was able to plan my schedule around it, instead of vice-versa, which is what happened last year. I planned my school schedule around it, and as my schedule develops this year, I will place YL in the center and make other activities revolve around it.
This morning was Travis High School’s first day, which is almost more important for us than it is for them. Almost, but not quite. I got up early to get breakfast with my friend and chaffeaur of the day, Tyler. We went to Denny’s at seven and then rolled over to Travis by eight so that we could get the whole team together before we went into the school. We prayed and then leaked into the school through every possible entrance. School doesn’t start till nine, but the kids get there really early on the first day. And only the first day. A lot of the older YL Travis leaders had a bunch of kids that they had developed relationships with this summer at camp, or even just because they continued to YL at Travis this summer instead of going home like I did. Regardless, they have a lot more fruitful relationships than I do, but hopefully I can change that by investing more time and love into the school.
I’m excited about this year because now I can start to try and get a group together for Campaigner’s. Basically, the freshmen guys at Travis are my target disciples, because the older grades were targeted by older YL leaders. Last year this bureaucracy really upset me, and I was indignant that leaders “had kids” and you really didn’t “need” to talk to them, just focus on your “own kids.” I thought that it should be an open playing-field, and any kid that I could establish a relationship with, I should. Now I realize that it might be a little bureacratic, but the way we’re organized is done because it’s the most efficient way to get kids to learn about Jesus the Christ. If Tyler and I both were pursuing one kid and he felt like he had to choose between us then that could jeopardize all our work with him. By organizing by grade, I get to grow older with a specific group of guys as they grow older. I learn them and mature with them, and I can constantly talk to more kids in that grade to get them to come to Club and Campaigner’s. I still will talk to anyone I can–I don’t ask if they’re freshmen and leave if they’re not–but I’m going to focus on getting freshmen guys to come to Club and Campaigner’s.