By Thomas Sellers Jr.
How are you doing?
If that question was literally posted to the ministry of Young Life, the organization would answer, “Pretty good.”
On Oct. 30 in the Crystal Room of the Pat Thompson Building, Young Life brought together dozens of sponsors and supporters to give an update on the ministry’s outreach to Millington Central High School children and say thanks.
“A lot of people don’t know what Young Life is,” Young Life Area Director Luke Sadler said. “They think it’s life insurance or something like that. Or they think its associated with one church. We’re here to inform them that we’re a non-denominal outreach Christian Ministry and really use their school a mission field.
“We’re trying to help be something positive for kids and help them know what a real relationship with Christ looks like,” he added.
With the help of sponsors Reed Family Dentistry, Bethany K. Huffman CPA, Patriot Bank, Boatwright Pharmacy, an-iv Home Infusion (Joe and Tina Baltensperger), First Citizens National Bank and Home Superior Products, Young Life was able to put on a banquet featuring dinner and testimonies of how the ministry to helping area teens.
“We’ve been off to a good start,” Sadler noted. “We’ve had good crowds every Monday night at the Smith Investments green top building. We’re really thankful for them and Commodore Villages for letting us use that space. We’re excited to celebrate that tonight and give those who don’t know a chance join what’s happening here in their community.”
There are currenlty 130 MCHS students in the club. About 70 to 80 attend the weekly meetings. This past year 45 students went to the getaway camps with 17 forming a relationship with Christ.
Young Life has been in Millington for six years with Sadler entering his third fall as director. Sadler said Young Life is looking to expand to other area high school in the North Shelby County area like Bolton, Arlington and Tipton-Rosemark Academy. Young Life is even targeting South Tipton County with Munford and Brighton high schools.
MCHS sophomore McKenzie Morrow took to the podium during the banquet to tell her story of coming to Christ. The relationship Morrow is developing with Jesus helped her deal with the loss of her friend and classmate Dana Payne in August.
Payne died after sufferin interior injuries from a tackle at football practice. Morrow said her newly formed relationship with God helped her cope. University of Memphis junior and Young Life leader Katelynn Faulkner helped Morrow reach her new reality with her Young Life testmony.
Several stories of how Young Life helped teens develop a spiritual bond with God were shared with a video played on two large screens in the room. Started back in 1941 in Texas Young Life has been having a impact on teens for decades.
Sadler took to the microphone and outlined three points about Young Life from Matthew 9. He noted ‘Eye for the lost,’ ‘Heart for the needy,’ and ‘Call to follow.’
After encouraging words and examples of Young Life’s impact, Sadler asked the community leaders in the room to help support the ministry. The budget goal for this year is nearly $100,000. The work of Young Life leaders like Sadler, Faulkner, Luke’s wife Jessica and David Wilkerson depend on the donations.
The Young Life committee is made up of local residents Scott and Angie Percer, Bob and Dianne Baker, Joe and Tina Baltensperger, Dick and Nancy Barnhart, Mike and Linda Evans, Bethany Huffman, Sandy Keehner, Andy Faulkner and Luke and Jessica Sadler.
Young Life is looking to work with more schools in the area, all local churches in helping teenagers find Christ. Sadler said ask Young Life leaders or MCHS students, the six-year relationship has a strong bond.
“Both have mutually benefited greatly from it,” Sadler said. “Young Life is a place where kids could let the guard down and be themselves. They don’t have to put the front on or worry about what group of friends they’re with.
“It’s a place where all kids, all different types of kids from different groups, different sports, different hang outs and clubs come together,” he concluded. “From kids totally disinterested in God and kids they are maybe real Christians come together to have a lot of fun and hear about God and enjoy caring adults walk with them in life.”
For more information or to donate, call Sadler at 615-904-4479 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.