On Monday nights, starting at roughly 7:30 p.m., a fresh wind of relief, joy, and excitement blows through the hearts of many Blanco County teens; vibrations from energetic music dance through town; and it all radiates from the Second Mile teen rec. center. The very same thing happens for pre and early teenagers, every other Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
YoungLife and WyldLife leaders such as Stephen Mackey have dedicated their lives to this very event that changes lives week by week. But just what is YoungLife? And what is its purpose?
“The purpose of Young Life is to introduce young people to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith by going where kids are, building personal relationships with them, providing experiences that are fun, adventurous and life-changing, and loving them regardless of their response,” says Mackey. “In short, we believe that all kids have the right to know about God, to hear the truth about Jesus Christ and who He said He was. Young Life leaders communicate that truth in casual conversation, at weekly club meetings and through our camping program.”
The Mackeys, as well as all the leaders, try their best to portray God’s messages through building relationships with students that continue throughout the week, not just on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
Mackey explains, “What I love about YoungLife and what I think makes it so great, is that we are a relational ministry. What we do doesn’t start with a program. It starts with adults who are concerned enough about kids to go to them, and build bridges of authentic friendship. I think that is what makes YoungLife so great, is that our sole focus is on reaching young people for Christ in a fun, engaging and loving way.”
This message is clearly intercepted by all of the students attending YoungLife. There is something that brings them back for more.
Presley Savarino, senior at Blanco High School that has attended YoungLife since her freshmen year, tells us, “I come to YoungLife to learn about God. Mackey makes it fun and teaches about the Bible in a cool way. He makes you want to come learn more each Monday.”
Presley then happily informs us, “My favorite thing about YoungLife is being with my friends, dancing around and acting crazy. But then things calm down and you learn about someone who loves you no matter what. It’s something that will always be one of my favorite things about high school. I love it!”
Ryann Hardwick, proud YoungLife enthusiast and WyldLife leader, shares, “What I love about YoungLife is that it is a place tohave fun and learn about Jesus in the process. Also, no one judges you. Everyone is there to have fun together, no matter who you are! In this way, I try to make every kid that comes to WyldLife welcome and help them to fit in and have fun! WyldLife is great because it’s a safe place for kids to have fun and learn about Christ.”
Students begin at WyldLife when they’re in junior high, and then grow into YoungLife once in high school, nevertheless learning the importance of Christ through each. They’re both about a relationship, a mutual standpoint, and an incredible, unfailing love. They’re changing the world one body at a time.
For further information, check out www.younglife.org.