INNOVATION FINDING A WAY TO REACH THE NEXT KID
FALL 2019 BOARD REPORT
Table of Contents FINDING A WAY TO REACH THE NEXT KID Presidentâ€™s Report.........................................................................................3 FIELD MINISTRY Latin America Caribbean/Former Soviet Union/Europe/Global Cities.............8 Africa, Middle East, India, Asia/Pacific......................................................... 14 U.S. West. . ................................................................................................... 20 U.S. East...................................................................................................... 26 DEVELOPMENT Development............................................................................................... 34 Foundation and Corporate Relations. . .......................................................... 35 Field Development...................................................................................... 36 Young Life Foundation................................................................................. 37 TRAINING and DISCIPLESHIP Discipleship................................................................................................. 40 Training....................................................................................................... 41 FINANCIAL SERVICES Financial Services........................................................................................ 44 Administrative Services. . .............................................................................. 46 HUMAN RESOURCES and COMMUNICATIONS Human Resources and Communications....................................................... 48 OPERATIONS Operations.................................................................................................. 52 Camping. . .................................................................................................... 53 Strategy and Marketing.. .............................................................................. 54 Information Services.................................................................................... 56
GLOBAL INNOVATION Young Life College and University, WyldLife, MCYM, Small Towns, Innovation . . ................................................................. 62
FOCUS MINISTRIES and DIVERSITY YoungLives, Capernaum, Multiethnic, Diversity............................................ 58
President's Report Newt Crenshaw
Many of us recognize the name “Baby Jessica” and associate it with the dramatic rescue of an 18-monthold toddler from a well in Midland, Texas. It was October 14, 1987, when Jessica McClure (now Morales) fell into the well and became wedged in an 8-inch casing, 22 feet below the ground. Fifty-six hours later, the whole world cheered when Jessica was finally pulled from the well, virtually unharmed. What you might not recall was the innovative strategy and technology that was required to rescue Baby Jessica as she sang “Winnie the Pooh” in the dark for two days. The rescue team used a relatively new technology, waterjet cutting, to cut a tunnel parallel to the well casing in order to keep the walls of the well from collapsing. Then workers drilled a right-angle tunnel to reach Jessica and pull her through the parallel tunnel to the arms of a paramedic above ground. It was a radical rescue that might have never succeeded without a dynamic team of determined workers willing to risk a new approach to save a desperate child. What a powerful metaphor for our mission in Young Life. New “wells” are opening up daily in our rapidly changing culture and are swallowing kids whole. Yet we have a dynamic search-and-rescue team of staff and leaders deployed in more than 100 countries around the globe. From the first days of our mission, we have been a team that works innovatively to reach all kinds of kids everywhere trapped in the darkness without Jesus. Now more than ever, we need
to think collaboratively and creatively, share what works freely and swiftly with one another, and risk taking a new approach to solve the same problem we have been solving for almost 80 years: How do we reach the next unreached young person with the good news? Our innovation has always been fueled by our passion for reaching lost kids. “Contact work” was a new and innovative approach in the 1940s. Forming local committees and reaching kids in the cities were breakthrough strategies in the 1950s. Ministry with teen moms and kids with disabilities were both ways of drilling new tunnels to reach unreached kids in the 1980s. I could go on, but not all of our ideas have been (or will be) big enough to label with a missionwide name. For example, our YL2020 planning team has been working two years on the upcoming celebration in Orlando. You need only sit in the room for 10 minutes with this team before you witness our innovative DNA on display. There will be a new way to check in to our hotel rooms in January; a new way to take our massive team photo; and a new way to order merchandise at the Young Life Store. The bottom line for each of these minute innovations: How do we best serve our staff so they might return to the field reenergized to reach and teach more kids? I am confident we have what it takes in this mission to continue to reach the next generation of young people wedged in a world of loneliness and pain. We have the Spirit of the Living God who searches relentlessly for
the lost and reminds us that He is the Master of Innovation: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19, NIV). Our primary job is to be prayerful people who pay close attention to what God is doing — to perceive it — so we might cooperate with Him fully in His movement — large or small — toward lost kids. One thing that will never change, of course, is the means by which God does the next new thing. He always does it through the flesh and blood of His people on the ground. There will never be a substitute for Young Life leaders going where kids are and sharing the love of Jesus through their lives and words. Please join me in celebrating our rich history of innovation in
Young Life, while soberly assessing the rapidly changing landscape of kids’ lives through this report. Join me in thanking God for keeping us anchored for nearly eight decades in His incarnational approach, while asking Him to help us notice the next new thing He is doing in our midst today. May God give us the wisdom to let go of what may no longer be working and the humility to quickly learn from one another new ways. May God continue to make us a dynamic team of determined workers willing to risk a new approach to save even one desperate child in Jesus’ name. Thank you for your essential partnership in this vital mission. It is a privilege to partner with you in Young Life. In Christ,
Latin America/Caribbean, Europe, FSU, Global Cities Group Senior Vice President DAN JESSUP
Senior Vice President, Europe BROOKE JOHNSTON
Senior Vice President, Former Soviet Union TBD
Senior Vice President, Latin America/Caribbean KEVIN SUWYN
Senior Vice President, Global Cities Initiative JOHN WAGNER
London Los Angeles
New York City
LATIN AMERICA/ CARIBBEAN
Latin America/Caribbean, Europe, FSU, Global Cities Dan Jessup, Group Senior Vice President
Latin America/ Caribbean
Former Soviet Union
Kids Known by Name
Average Club Attendance
Average Campaigner Attendance
FT/PT Field Staff
Number of Regions Total Ministries
Developing Global Leaders
Note: Kids Known by Name, Average Club Attendance and Average Campaigner Attendance are estimates.
For the last nine years I’ve had the privilege of giving leadership to the Latin America/Caribbean Division. It’s been one of the great joys of my life to lead this team of amazing warriors into alignment, simplicity, clarity, joy and courage as they reach and teach teenagers the transformative truth of the gospel. Newt has now asked me to expand my level and scope of leadership to become the new group senior vice president of Latin America/Caribbean, Europe and the Former Soviet Union (FSU). I’ll also be giving leadership to John Wagner as he continues to lead the Global Cities Initiative around the world. I’m thrilled to serve! FSU In the FSU, Gary Parsons recently stepped down as senior vice president. I’ll be the acting senior vice president until we decide on the next structure of leadership that’s best fit to expand and deepen the work. Currently, there are five strong regional directors. Zhennya leads all of the work in Russia, including amazing new work being established in Siberia. Stopa leads work in Central Asia, better known as “The Stans” (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan). Arman
is in Armenia, where we’re building a marvelous camp called Pioneer. In Ukraine, some of our strongest work is growing under the excellent leadership of Sasha Utkin. Lastly, Batya is leading a small but growing work in the Baltics. These folks are excellent leaders and FSU nationals. Innovation • Friends and Family Weekend – This camp is held at Young Life’s Woodleaf every other year and specifically designed to bring staff from the FSU together with friends and family from the U.S.
• Ukrainian Young Life Academy – This is a two-year training effort that leads a selected group of individuals through the adapted Young Life Leadership 1 and 2 principles. The program yearly enlists 40 to 50 of the best staff and leaders to systematically walk through this program. They meet on a regular basis with assignments due and schedule two weeklong intensives to encourage, evaluate and focus on the next six months of training. I believe this is the fifth year the academy has been in place and is one of the factors in helping Ukraine to grow its ministry base. Europe Under the excellent leadership of Chad Edwards, the Europe Division has gained alignment, energy, focus and resources. With Chad’s reassignment to the group senior vice president of U.S. West, we recently appointed our first international female senior vice president: Brooke Johnston. Brooke has lived in the UK for the last 20 years and is an exceptionally talented leader. Below is a note from Brooke about her new role. Europe Brooke Johnston, Senior Vice President My husband and I moved to the UK in 1999 and have served with Young Life here for the last 20 years. It has been a profound privilege to have a frontrow seat for what the Lord has done across the continent of Europe in that time, and I am deeply humbled, honored and excited to step into this
leadership role of this division for this next season. In the midst of the sobering reports and statistics on the state of the church and faith in Europe, I’m not overwhelmed nor discouraged. I am actually incredibly hope-filled as we are witnessing the Lord raising up a generation of young leaders through the ministry of Young Life who are passionate, courageous, visionary and called to see their countries transformed by the gospel. In light of this, we will continue to develop and invest in our European DGL program for university students. We are also focusing on impact (service) clubs for outreach and strategic collaboration with the established church in Europe. Please join us in praying for revival here and that, in the words of the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord will continue to “prove His name holy, through us, before their eyes.” And please, “come and see … you’re invited!” Innovation • Journey of Generosity (JOG) – This past year, we’ve engaged with Generous Giving’s European organization, Generosity Path. We had multiple European regional directors trained to facilitate JOG. We’re in conversation with Generosity Path to help write a curriculum for a JOG directed toward teenagers. We believe this could be a very innovative way for us to connect to the larger body of Christ in Europe, to bless the church in Europe and to help strategically fund the European mission as well. • Nehemiah Project – Craig Mawhinney in N. Ireland and Keith
to celebrate the mission of the FSU and develop deep bonds of friendship and collective vision.
Morrison have been working with Jay Abraham to develop a unique funding model to help us become less dependent on U.S.-based funding and build sustainable community around the world. The basic idea is that Craig, the country director, will focus his attention on building the mission, and Keith, the generosity coach, will focus his attention on building national ownership and fiscal partnership. So far, the model has been marvelously successful. Last year, Europe raised $1.75 million from donors in Europe, and this year they are expected to be above $2 million. • Orthodox Church Connection – We have a great connection with the Orthodox Church in Romania with this ministry being led by Dana Bates. They recognized that the Eastern Orthodox Church is much more service oriented; as a result, they have tailored their Romanian Young Life clubs to be service clubs in order to adapt to the Romanian Eastern Orthodox culture. Latin America/Caribbean (LAC) With my departure as the senior vice president for LAC, we conducted a missionwide search for the new senior vice president of LAC. It's no surprise to anyone that we landed on Kevin Suwyn. Kevin has lived in Costa Rica for 18 years; he has been the senior regional director for all of Central America and was most recently appointed to lead the growing work in Mexico. Kevin’s excellent Spanish skills, his deep cultural IQ and his enthusiastic vision will be a seamless transition for the LAC Division. Latin America/Caribbean Kevin Suwyn, Senior Vice President I had a chance to walk with leaders in the Dominican Republic, Mexico,
Nicaragua and Ecuador in the last month and a half, and I see teams that love each other and are willing to go to great lengths to reach the next kid. There's a joy and a “gutsiness” in these volunteer leaders that are completely “in” and living in God's hope and strength every day. Throughout the division of Latin America and the Caribbean, I see alignment around the centrality of Jesus that allows us to grow into new cities and countries. With all the complexities that come with it, an important focus will be to develop a functional aspect of ministry around the field missionaries that minimizes the load and enables them to run toward the next kid. Innovation • University Initiatives – Two years ago, I hired Brett Rodgers to join the LAC team to help us explore what it might look like to become very intentional in reaching university-aged students with the intent to introduce them to Jesus Christ, help them grow in their faith and prepare them to be leaders. In the past year, Brett and the LAC Division have started 12 new university ministries: two in Colombia, one in Central Mexico, one in Costa Rica, four in the Dominican Republic and four in Nicaragua. They’ve also added seven new staff or DGL students and raised $96,400 of fiscal resources to support the work. Brett is in conversation with our key staff in Chile, Peru and St. Thomas in the USVI. This project is just getting off the ground. • Second Branch Camp – When we’re thinking about and praying for the next kid or neighborhood, we always wonder “who” will reach them. As a result, Nicaragua packed out La Finca a few months
• Alpha and Young Life Discipleship – Innovation might mean recognizing other ministries can help us more faithfully fulfill our calling to kids in various ways, thus moving outside of more typical Young Life ways and means. In Argentina, they’ve used the Alpha course to disciple kids and follow up after camp. Alpha is an 11-week course digging deeper into the essentials of Christian faith and available in many languages. In Argentina, kids who began a relationship with Christ at camp are invited by the leader to begin Alpha the next weekend. It runs for two and a half months and provides the leader with a prepared, deep and thoughtful curriculum that enables kids to
establish a good faith foundation after camp. Global Cities Initiative In 2017, Young Life worked on a strategy to reach teenagers in major cities around the world; as a result, in January 2018, we officially launched the Global Cities Initiative with a focus on four cities: Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong and London. John Wagner has built a strong board and a team. Global Cities Initiative John Wagner, Senior Vice President One of the great opportunities facing Young Life right now is in the Global Cities of the world. People of “every tribe and nation” are moving to the cities. Places like Tokyo, Toronto, Mumbai, Rio, Lima, Lagos, London and LA are large, diverse, dense and filled with young people. They are centers of excellence and influence. It will take our best — best thinking, best practice and best people, but the opportunity is immense and maybe unprecedented. Innovation I think it’s fair to say that the entire Global Cities Initiative is 100% innovation.
ago with what we called a “Second Branch Camp,” and I’d like to see this spread through the division. “Second Branch” refers to the leadership tree. The first branch is the team leader, whose second branch is the next generation of leaders whom they are praying for and discipling. The team leader of each club brought the two key leaders (the second branch) from their club to camp, where the vision was cast to them.
Africa, Middle East, India, Asia/Pacific Group Senior Vice President STEVE LARMEY
Vice President, Africa East MARTIN WAMALWA
Vice President, Africa West JAMES DAVIS
Vice President, Africa South ALEXIS KWAMY Vice President, Middle East TBD
Vice President, India TBD
Senior Vice President, Asia/Pacific Division MIKE GAFFNEY
MIDDLE EAST INDIA AFRICA AFRICA EAST WEST AFRICA SOUTH
Africa, Middle East, India, Asia/Pacific Steve Larmey, Group Senior Vice President
Average Club Attendance
Average Campaigner Attendance
FT/PT Field Staff
Number of Regions Total Ministries Kids Known by Name
Developing Global Leaders
Note: Kids Known by Name, Average Club Attendance and Average Campaigner Attendance are estimates.
“This is what the Lord says — he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters ... Forget the former things: do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” — Isaiah 43:16,18-19, NIV Innovation: Finding and Making a Way Making a way — that’s what God does. He makes a way through the sea. He makes a way through walls of hostility and temple curtains to bring us back to Him. He makes a way and He is the way (John 14:6). Good Young Life leaders find and make a way. They see lost and hurting kids and find and make a way for those kids to be brought to the feet of Jesus. Innovation is finding and making a way. In Africa, India and Asia/Pacific, innovation permeates all we do. Because we are planting the seed of the mission of Young Life in places that have never had Young Life, or
never heard about Jesus, or do not allow missions like Young Life to operate, our field and operations teams have had to find and make a way to reach and teach kids where there has never been a way, and without the systems and safeguards to fall back on. I am deeply familiar with the innovations in Africa and the Middle East, but just beginning to be exposed to the courageous and creative leaders in India and Asia/ Pacific. In all of these places, there are general innovations based on visions/commitments that have overflowed borders and impacted multiple parts of the division. And there are specific innovations that are local iterations of leaders finding and
Innovations: These are “new ways” our leaders and teams have created in the recent years but we continue to figure out how to implement them with great effectiveness and scale them across borders and demographics. Three New African Vice Presidents: In order to make and find a way to reach more kids, we are committed to developing indigenous leadership at every level. On the shore of the Sea of Galilee on September 27 we commissioned our first-ever nonAmerican vice presidents in the mission. Martin Wamalwa (Africa East), Alexis Kwamy (Africa South) and James Davis (Africa West) will lead the sub-Saharan African teams in a new structure designed to make a way to reach more kids. Map-Tree-List: We’ve found this simple playbook, when laid upon the foundations of great Young Life, helps all leaders everywhere better find and make ways to reach and teach more kids.
• Map: This directs the prayer and intention of every leader and staff person to the next kid, high school, neighborhood, village or city, unreached people group or country. (It’s better drawn by hand from the heart than printed from the computer.) • Leadership Tree: This simple, powerful tool directs the hearts and minds of leaders to constantly be deeply discipling three or four individuals who then are deeply discipling three or four who then disciple three or four. Powerful multiplication. The slow way is the fast way. • List: Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the field (Matthew 9:38). This is a prayer list of names of potential leaders or staff, of potential partners and committee people, of the next kid. It keeps leaders and staff focused on prayer and specific people and places.
making a way to reach and teach kids in their own village or country.
HOT and Rika Trainings: Handson Training (HOT) — Leaders learn best by seeing and doing, not in the classroom. Our best emerging leaders attend HOT training in places where we have great leaders doing great ministry (Nairobi, Bulawayo, Arusha, Monrovia), and they live together and with the leaders for up to two weeks and just join them each day in their neighborhoods, clubs, Campaigners groups, leader meetings, prayer times, office hours, etc. We look to expand the places and number of offerings as we grow more model Young Life areas. We want to develop an HOT location in the Muslim world in the next three years as well. Three-Legged Stool: This is our new model of operations we have rolled out across Africa. We redefined the regional director and area director jobs, adding the new position of logistics coordinator — who takes over the administration so the regional director and area director can focus more on field leadership. When you put the field leadership together with the logistics coordinator (administration) and a bookkeeper (finance) — you get the three legs of the stool. Sponsorship Model: Our model of finding long-term partners/sponsors for every staff, country, regional block and the continent has given us a powerful and sustainable funding platform for all operations across Africa and the Middle East. Discovery Bible Study: This simple, inductive and powerful Bible study method empowers every staff, leader and Campaigner kid to powerfully study and lead a Bible study after just doing it one or two times. We have made this our core Campaigner/ discipleship “curriculum” (the Word of God is a text book, the Holy Spirit
is the teacher) across Africa, Middle East and a lot of Asia as well. Finding and Making a Way: Sheep and Cattle Clubs: In Ethiopia, our leader Naty was sent to begin ministry in the hard, but key rural Muslim town, Sendafa. While prayer walking they found 25 shepherd boys in a field tending their sheep — bored to death. As they got to know them they found the boys would never be able to come to club because they had to stay with the sheep. So Naty and another leader go to them twice a week. They play games and they share about Jesus. In Tanzania, Gideon leads a ministry among the Maasai tribe around Lendanai. Before they’re initiated as warriors, the younger teens have to herd the cattle. When the dry season comes (twice a year), the boys have to leave with the cattle and go as far away as 200 miles searching for water. Gideon texts prayers, Scripture and encouragement to them; about twice a month he goes to the different places the boys find and sleeps next to them with the cattle under the stars. In this setting, he speaks about Jesus and opens the Word of God. Finding and making a way. Computers and Training Centers: Pyneath Sor and his team in Cambodia have opened eight training centers where they teach kids computer skills but also guitar lessons, English language classes and life-skills practices. They also lead club in each center and provide computers for local schools. They plan to have 16 of these centers by 2025. And … these kids pay for these services. Finding and making a way. Powerful Partnerships: Zinnah Yallah, regional director for Liberia, has struck a partnership
New Financial Ways: Nigeria has become an experiment for us as we have decided to not hire any paid staff, but have volunteers completely lead the work in
an entire country. We want to learn what other funding models might be possible. Currently in Nigeria (city of Lagos) we have eight ministries averaging 1,666 kids coming to club each week and we have 356 Campaigners. On March 16, they had a day camp for 68 girls and 12 leaders funded entirely by local contributions — $870. Of these 68 girls, 45 said yes to Jesus. Finding and making a way. Deaf Ministry: Urangoo Ganbold, our leader for Deaf Ministry in Mongolia found the Young Life training manual and used Google translate to translate it into Mongolian so she could train leaders to reach and teach deaf kids in Mongolia. Finding and making a way. Pray for us as we continue to find and make new ways to bring kids to know the way.
with Change Agent Network — an NGO committed to building high schools across Liberia. Young Life trains their teachers in Christian leadership — servant leadership, relationships, listening to the Lord, Discovery Bible Study, indoor and outdoor games. Recently they trained 140 teachers and 75 signed up to be Young Life leaders. Of their seven schools, we have ministry in four of them with a weekly average club attendance of over 100 kids. They’re building a school currently in remote Nimba County where we have a lot of ministry and they’re designing their school to be used for Young Life camps in the area. Finding and making a way.
U.S. West Group Senior Vice President CHAD EDWARDS
Senior Vice President, Focus Ministries and Diversity BEBE HOBSON
Senior Vice President, Northwestern Division LINDSEY PATCHELL
Senior Vice President, Southwestern Division BRENT CUNNINGHAM
Senior Vice President, South Central Division NICK MANOS
U.S. West Chad Edwards, Group Senior Vice President
Kids Known by Name
Average Club Attendance
Average Campaigner Attendance
FT/PT Field Staff
Number of Areas Number of Regions Total Ministries
Note: Kids Known by Name, Average Club Attendance and Average Campaigner Attendance are estimates.
I’m humbled and excited to be starting this new assignment, where I’ve been tasked to help give leadership to three U.S. divisions spanning the Western and South Central United States. In early September, I was in Lisbon, Portugal, with my European leadership team celebrating what the Lord had done over the past four years and joyfully passing the baton of leadership to Brooke Johnston, the new senior vice president of Europe. The next day, I flew to a divisional meeting in San Diego where the Southwestern Division leadership met and my new role began. The meetings, though thousands of miles apart, shared so many similarities: mission community, courageous leadership, fun and laughter, passion and prayer, and an unrelenting desire, no matter how hard, to reach the next kid. Separated by oceans and 24 hours, I’m not sure I could have asked for a better end to a wonderful chapter in Europe and a new beginning in the U.S. West.
However, as we talk about something new, I do think it’s fitting that possibly the most innovative thing Young Life could give today’s American teenager is not new at all. Teenagers everywhere are starved for intentional relationships and true community. They’re starved for truth and meaning. Many have never experienced humor that wasn’t sarcastic or vulgar. They’re craving true adventure and a vision for their lives that’s greater than anything they could ask or imagine. The true innovator is always the Holy Spirit released in the life of a young person, through a personal relationship with Jesus. We won’t rest until every kid has this kind of experience. Northwestern Division Lindsey Patchell, Senior Vice President God is giving fresh vision and stirring
our team to move in very new and courageous ways. A culture of team collaboration, unity and abundance is generating enthusiasm and momentum and creating possibility thinking. God is revealing clarity around significant and necessary organizational structure moves, while graciously (and miraculously) paving the way forward for these moves. We’re excited about the future! Specifically, I’m excited to execute a strategic plan for our major cities, implement innovative ways to empower diverse leadership, and put the best organizational structure in place to support our goals. If we desire to stay relevant in the rapidly changing cultural landscape of adolescents, we better be students of the culture. This is how we can position ourselves to reach kids right where they are ... a high probability being in front of screen gaming. Pew Research Center reports “more than eight-in-10 teens (84%) say they have a game console at home or have access to one, and 90% say they play video games on a computer, game console or cell phone, according to a Center survey of people ages 13 to 17 conducted earlier this year.” With a drive to reach this overwhelming population of kids, Young Life staff and leaders in Salem, Oregon, began praying for creative ways to enter into the gaming world of kids. Beau St. Peter, area director, began partnering with Jamie Harris of Satellite Gaming, who runs his own gaming ministry. Currently, Jamie has 14 after-school gaming clubs of six to 20 students each and larger community gaming events with over 300 kids in attendance. This is after having to scale back. As a mom of a 14-year-old boy, this comes as NO surprise to me. The gaming platform is a vehicle that’s working
Innovation by definition is the introduction of something new. This is fitting. There’s a lot that’s new in Young Life right now. As I’m beginning to learn about my new geography, I’ve been so encouraged by the ways our staff and volunteers are working to reach teenagers. There’s a passionate belief that no one is out of reach. There are intentional programs for foster kids, teenagers in detention centers and girls who have been sex trafficked. Day camps for Capernaum kids and creative ministry models for deaf kids. And, there’s real intentionality around creating experiences that utilize service and discipleship, from house-building projects in Mexico to local community service projects. The reports that follow are specific examples in each of the three divisions of other innovative ideas written by the gifted senior vice presidents I now have the privilege of serving alongside.
to introduce kids to Christ — and we cannot scale back when we’re making Kingdom advancement into the lives of kids. Here’s where the partnership comes into play. Combining Jamie’s expertise in reaching kids through gaming with Young Life’s heart of incarnational ministry and ability to offer support, training and resources brews up the perfect storm for continued growth and replication of gaming ministry across the state. Lord, give us the teenagers — even with gaming controllers in their hands. Not only is this innovation in what “club” looks like, but also in collaborating with other organizations for greater impact. This pilot may be new, but it’s exactly the type of opportunity we have to run after head first ... until every kid hears! South Central Division Nick Manos, Senior Vice President The South Central Division strives to be led by the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit in all our innovation. “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). Excitingly, innovation is currently in full motion and bringing much momentum to the division. This is primarily evidenced by three innovative concepts we’ve developed which are bearing much fruit. 1. Developing Future Leaders program, our innovative pipeline for multiethnic staff. 2. Target Cities Initiative, which will change the ministry size, scope and diversity in five cities. 3. South Texas Partnership with the Brownsville Catholic Diocese and Bishop. Another innovative work is emerging in South Texas which speaks to the very heart of Jesus and Young
Life to reach every kid everywhere. Much has been made recently in the media about children at the border being separated from their parents and placed in detention centers. With no end in sight to the intense debate around the plight of these children, the Young Life community remains committed to reach every kid with the hope of Jesus. Staff and leaders in the South Texas Region are working with government officials to obtain credentials for Young Life leaders to visit kids in those detention centers. Who knows? There may be a Young Life club there someday. Maybe there will be Campaigners groups discussing Scripture. The first step is to move into that neighborhood, befriend these kids and offer genuine relationship while extending the hope of the gospel. This is reflective of New Testament Early Church strategy. Followers of Jesus, prompted by the Holy Spirit, made their way into difficult spaces with the gospel to serve and reach the least of these. These are the very people Jesus Himself identifies with in Scripture (Matthew 25:40). This kind of Kingdom innovation may not improve an area’s Cash Flow position, nor will it likely appear in our data measurements. However, this is what Young Life does best: building relationships with the furthest out kids, introducing them to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. Southwestern Division Brent Cunningham, Senior Vice President California has often been called the center of innovation of the United States. Nestled at the base of the West Coast, San Diego is the eighth largest city in the U.S. and a leader in innovation. Cultural necessity often reaches the West first, moving the people in the Southwest to invent and innovate.
Last summer over 40 middle school students attended inner-city San Diego’s WyldLife Basketball Camp. Each day kids arrived at 7 a.m. to run drills, develop skills, learn teamwork and play together. After play ended for the day, one of the Young Life leaders would give a club talk and then kids would break into small groups to end their day together. Kids returned home each night to be with their families and then woke up bright and early to return to the gym to start a new day of camp.
As a result of the interest and participation in the after-school sports program, the leaders in innercity San Diego developed a weeklong summer basketball camp to continue reaching kids during the summer months. Kids in inner-city San Diego are less likely to be able to afford or attend a traditional week of Young Life camp for a variety of reasons common to kids from lower-income and multiethnic neighborhoods.
The legacy Jeremy and his leaders are building into their area is one of unity, connectedness, care and attention to kids and teachers in some of San Diego’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. They’ve moved into the neighborhood and gone to great lengths to create safe spaces for kids to play and grow up in while being introduced to Jesus Christ and adults who will walk alongside of them.
Born out of a desire for kids in his area to have access to sports and positive adult mentorship, Jeremy Robinson, area director of the innercity San Diego Young Life area, and his leaders have created partnerships with some of the lowest income schools in his area to build a sports program offered to kids at no cost. They created a way to build bridges with schools in the area while giving kids a safe place to play basketball with good coaches who also could serve as mentors to kids.
U.S. East Group Senior Vice President WILEY SCOTT III
Senior Vice President, Global Innovation KEN TANKERSLEY
Senior Vice President, Midwestern Division BRETT HERSMA
Senior Vice President, Eastern Division TBD
Senior Vice President, Southeastern Division JAMES ROCKWELL
Vice President, Northeast Atlantic Subdivision PAUL COTY III
NORTHEAST ATLANTIC MIDWESTERN EASTERN
U.S. East Wiley Scott III, Group Senior Vice President
Kids Known by Name
Average Club Attendance
Average Campaigner Attendance
FT/PT Field Staff
Number of Areas Number of Regions Total Ministries
Note: Kids Known by Name, Average Club Attendance and Average Campaigner Attendance are estimates.
Half of the 330 million people living in the United States reside in nine states: California, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and Florida. The last seven are a part of the eastern portion of the mission. This is a big job and a wonderful opportunity. As you can imagine we are new in our roles and in the midst of putting our arms around our new geography. I have great confidence that Brett Hersma, James Rockwell, the future leader of the Eastern Division and Paul Coty are up for the challenge. Our strategic focus in this next season will be good supervision, diversity and inclusion, and ministry expansion. We will be setting clear goals and providing the support our folks need in our commitment to innovation around the five C’s: contact work, Campaigners, club, camp and committee. We are trusting, with great expectation, that God will do more than we can ask or imagine given the opportunity ahead of us. Key Thoughts from the East This year the leaders in the East are best described as: • Focused • Prayerful • Bold and courageous • Christ-centered • Servants who are committed to the transformation of all kids We are excited about the positive movement we’ve had in the culture
as we return to our focus on contact work and good supervision. We are seeing teenagers experience God’s love for them through their volunteer leaders. Many of these leaders are new and are learning the art of contact work and incarnational ministry this fall. The Lord is working in the Midwest in their strong camping summer (up 3% year over year) which is a reflection of strong incarnational
Our greatest challenge is how we grow our historic core of suburban high school and WyldLife ministries while maintaining our commitment to reach every kid. Other challenges are our historic funding models and their limits in starting and sustaining focus (YoungLives/Capernaum) and stage of life (WyldLife/College) ministries. That, coupled with the recruitment of diverse groups of staff/volunteer leaders, will help us in our mission to reach ALL kids. Southeastern Division James Rockwell, Senior Vice President The Forward movement has challenged the staff and volunteers to be innovative in their approach to reach ALL kids for Christ. We saw the need for diverse groups of staff and leaders. They know that to reach ALL kinds of kids they have to fearlessly move into new communities. Two of the major challenges of providing Young Life in under-resourced areas in the division are recruiting staff and volunteers, as well as raising the funds to support the ministry. Developing Future Leaders (DFL) emerged as a new method of recruiting diverse staff and leaders across the division. David Morgan, who helped pioneer this diverse leadership pipeline program in Texas, has joined the SED team. Now they have DFL classes in Georgia, the Carolinas and Tennessee. These “new recruits” are trained in the traditional ways of incarnational ministry, but they are also supported with new approaches to reaching kids in under-resourced and diverse communities.
Hard-to-Fund ministries often have financial roadblocks when it comes to ministry in under-resourced communities in the division. “Outside the Box” thinking was implemented to help in these Hardto-Fund areas. In Columbia, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, adult supporters created endowment accounts to add funding support to the existing infrastructure. The endowments provide a steady flow of income to help promote sustainable ministry. And the team in Atlanta, Georgia, also dreams of creating an independent retail “thrift store” to generate operating revenue not only for Young Life, but for other inner-city ministries as well. Developing Future Leaders, endowments and even “thrift stores” are just a few of the creative and innovative ways the staff and volunteers are pursuing ALL kids for Christ in the Southeastern Division. Capernaum Adventure Camp at Wild Ridge Overlooking the Gauley River, campers leave base camp each day to participate in a variety of adventures. Focused on discipleship, this leaderled experience uses adventure as a tool to help campers encounter God, grow in their faith and build community. Our Capernaum friends experienced rafting, hiking, kayaking and cliff jumping on a nearby lake. “The adventures were amazing for our group. They gave our Capernaum friends a chance to do things that most people think they can’t do.” — Madison, a leader in Washington, D.C. Old Dominion Region Joe Marks, Regional Director This summer we had our annual Capernaum Surf Camp. It was an
ministry happening. In the East and Southeast we see God in our continued growth with Campaigners (up 3% year over year) and in our overall growth with volunteer leaders.
incredible day with around 300 people including students, volunteers and family members. Many kids took risks and learned how to surf for the very first time! Metro North Region Tim Toy, Regional Director Ben Allen is our area director in Greenwich, Connecticut, which is arguably the wealthiest city in the U.S. After camp he hosted a postcamp pool party and a barbecue with parents and kids. Parents were well communicated with regarding these events because if something is not on parents’ radar then it will not be on kids’ radar. Schedules are crafted and ruled by parents. You can’t just communicate with the high school kids alone. You must present the schedule to the parents and talk about why it’s important to make room for Young Life in their schedule. A week or so after that they had a club preview event to get kids ready to have club. Ben is starting from scratch in Greenwich and taking care to build club the right way. Kids are getting excited about Young Life in their community and inviting their friends. Ben’s wife, Liz, a mother of four kids under 6, was driving a cheerleader around in her minivan filling it up with kids. Is there a better picture of what we do than this? Innovation is not looking for ways to cop out of doing something other than club. Young Life club still works and can work anywhere. It might look a little different from club to club, but it works. The real innovators are those who know how to leverage relationships, even in hard places like Greenwich, to build a model Young Life club.
Northeast Atlantic Subdivision Paul Coty III, Vice President Over the past 15 years we’ve served over 3,000 young men at Basketball Camp in Erie, Pennsylvania. Our young men leave more prepared to re-enter the world they live in. We’ve positioned our young men to be “Tied to Greatness.” It’s our endeavor to teach our boys to “tie their own ties.” We provide suits for graduating seniors so they’re more prepared for college or the business world. Relationships are the network for life. We engage young men ages 14 to 18 in the following ways: • Academic/Intellectual o ACT/SAT Prep o Study Skills o Critical Thinking Skills • Physical o Strength/Agility Conditioning o Sexual Boundaries • Spiritual o Relationship to God o Connection to Faith • Social o Community Engagement o Community Service o Community Networking o Job Skill Preparation It costs $400 per participant, but we charge $200 to cover transportation, room and board, and a camp jersey. The camp hosts sessions on spiritual development, social engagement, financial management, character formation and, of course, basketball. Blue Ridge Region Lori Cramer, YoungLives Coordinator It can be a constant struggle in YoungLives to know how to handle moms "aging out" and what we can offer them next. This year, we took five of our moms and their extended
family members to Family Camp at Rockbridge. We had two of the girlsâ€™ mothers join us, one sister and one girl's two cousins. Our multi-generation cabin times were awesome. One girl's mother shared with much emotion how proud she was of her daughter being part of such an incredible group. One of the girls had been a junior leader at camp for me for two years. When youâ€™re a junior leader, you can't bring your own children to camp, so this was the first time her son got to experience camp! At our last cabin time, I
challenged each mom and called forth the potential for leadership in each one of them to stay around, be trained as a leader and give back to the younger girls. Family Camp was a great setting to care for them and pour into them as they hopefully enter the next phase of ministry in their YoungLives journey. It was also a blessing to be around other Christian families and for them to observe how they cared for and interacted with their children.
Development Eric Scofield, Chief Development Officer
“In-no-va-tion: the action or process of innovating, a new method, idea, product, etc.” Innovation is alive and well within the Development space. Here are a few examples: • RCE replaces TDS. Relationship Centered Engagement. We have six pillars of RCE — prayer, stewardship journey, vision, engagement teams, annual campaign and strategic plan. This also ties in with our technology, which TDS never was able to do. • myYL portal. This is a huge innovation for so many reasons. The donation portal is faster, less steps and gives people an opportunity to deepen their journey and story with the mission if they wanted to. This will also impact our alumni as well. • Women’s Global Giving Circle. Having Jamie Lisea lead our Women’s Engagement movement has been innovative by itself! However, pulling 60+ women together, each giving $10,000 to pool funds to spread around the mission is priceless! • Forward Accelerator. We continue to be on track to raise the $402 million for the
Total Number of Donors Total Operating Donations Total Capital Donations Total Number of Donations
campaign. These funds will fuel some of the key directions we are striving to go as a mission. The goal was $260 million by December 2019; we are there today. Next up, $360 million by December 2020. Please pray and believe with us! • Legacy Giving. What took us seven years to do before, raise $80 million in planned giving, we have now accomplished MORE in the last two years. $85 million in the last two years is due to the Lord’s blessing and more innovation on how we share this story with our Legacy products. • Longevity Partners. There are over 17,000 donors that have given to us for 20 years straight. WOW! We are innovating as to how we reach out, market and engage with people with an approach we think we will find fruitful. In Development, we have to be thinking ahead, in new ways and with creativity. We have so many dreams and aspirations within Forward and, in many instances, the only thing that holds us back is funding. Lord help us!
Foundation and Corporate Relations Sandra Trujillo, Director
• Identify – lapsed and new institutional donors through research and personal connections to governing boards • Connecting – assign relational manager and establish relationship
• Inviting – proposal development • Confirming – gift or pledge made and acknowledgement given • Celebrating – thanking well, reporting well and consistent follow up We are humbled and blessed by the foundations that believe in the mission and give so generously. Over the last fiscal year, we received over $43 million from over 4,000 foundations. We are excited about our next chapter in the department that will enable Young Life to serve more kids and keep the ministry financially healthy with the ability to continue to innovate.
The Foundation and Corporate Relations department pursues foundations, corporations, associations and churches to fund the ministry so that all kids can hear the gospel and grow deeper in Christ. We are utilizing the same innovative engagement process with the institutional donors as we do with individual donors — Relationship Centered Engagement (RCE). The tenants of this process include:
Field Development Pat Rhoades, Director
Field Development is in a season of significant innovation — particularly in the area of donor relations. We are replacing Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) with our own Young Life DNA development approach — Relationship Centered Engagement (RCE). The RCE approach helps our leaders engage adults like they engage kids, in a relational and personal way. Not only is Relationship Centered Engagement a new philosophy and methodology, it will also synthesize seamlessly in YL Connect with a specific Relationship Centered Engagement Toolkit available to users.
Young Life Engagement Level with Kids
Young Life Adult Engagement Level
“The RCE Toolbox, within YL Connect, will give us the opportunity to not only better engage our friends who are investing in the Young Life mission, but it is also helping us to more closely align how we engage with our stakeholders to how we work with kids. Every aspect of what we do as a mission is relational, and this toolbox will allow us to clearly communicate involvement and identify areas of passion so that we can be more donor-centric in our fundraising efforts and less transactional.” — Emily Mahoney, director of Development for Young Life Military Highlights and Goals: • In FY19, 92.4% of areas in the U.S. Field maintained surplus on a 12-month average, ending the year with 98.95% of areas in surplus. One hundred percent of regions ended the year in surplus and only 2.6% (September pay) of areas ended on reduced pay. • In FY20, we expect to continue this success by having 94% of areas maintaining surplus on 12-month average, ending the year with 99% of areas in surplus. Our goal is for 95% of regions to
end in surplus and 2.5% or less of areas will end on reduced pay. • In FY18, we coached 278 staff toward a goal of $6,061,800. In FY19, we coached 341 staff toward a goal of $8,321,457. We continue equipping staff to effectively engage adults in the ministry of fundraising and creating a sustainable support team around each staff we coach. • We are launching coaching Tier 3 (coaching areas in deficit) and 4 (RCE coaching with area’s staff/ committees) in FY20.
Young Life Foundation Jeff Rudder, Executive Director
For the 12 months ended September 30, 2019: Beginning Net Assets 9/30/18 (000’s)
Capital and Operating Pledge Contributions Operating Contributions Investment Revenue/(Losses) Contributions from Young Life Total Revenues
23,843 12,500 3,139 4,612 44,094
Pledge Payments Rec’d and Distributed to Young Life Operating Distributions to Young Life Service Charge Distributions Other Distributions and Expenses Total Expenses
16,804 20,524 878 390 38,596
Revenue Over/(Under) Expenses
Net Assets 9/30/19
• As of September 30, 2019, the Young Life Foundation has secured the following gifts in total to each of our legacy funds: o Campership Legacy Fund $ 115,861,699 o The Every Kid Fund $ 16,692,057 o The International Legacy Fund $ 24,346,057 • From 2010-2019, the Campership Legacy Fund distributed $4.17 million and helped 25,397 kids worldwide encounter the gospel through a week of Young Life camp.
• The total for combined gift planning activities as of September 30, 2019, is $46.2 million out of a $40 million annual goal.
• We are finalizing our fourth legacy fund, The Strategic Opportunities Fund, which will focus on strategic mission needs which are largely unfunded by traditional funding streams. • We are working to create a marketing system/content that will allow us to communicate about our legacy funds in a targeted fashion with our more than 17,000 givers who have been giving for 20 years straight. We expect to launch content in Q2 of FY20. This is part of the vision
to reach $1 billion in legacy commitments. • We are working to build strategy and engage our top 100 donors as part of our effort to reach $1 billion in legacy commitments. • We are expanding our reach to include research on building scalable funding models specifically to impact hardto-fund ministries in the U.S. and campership growth in international.
TRAINING AND DISCIPLESHIP
Discipleship Crystal Kirgiss, Vice President
Following are select updates on how we’re strategically using both print and digital platforms to innovate (“introduce new methods, ideas or products”) toward our goal of Deeper discipleship (“embody established truths, attitudes and behaviors of Christ”). Summer Work Staff Devotional — Rooted (2019 issue) 2019 was the first of a strategic fouryear implementation process. We printed and distributed 9,650 copies to 24 U.S. outreach camps, six U.S. adventure camps, two international camps and the Young Life Canadian camp. All work crew, summer staff, assigned team and spouses, camp staff, and the Camping department engaged with Rooted. We received 136 exit surveys from coordinators and camp directors at 16 camps. • 58.1% used Rooted as the primary study/devotional for their assignment. • 20.6% used Rooted in conjunction with another study/ devotional. • 21.3% provided Rooted for personal use. We’re planning 2020 content adjustments based on feedback. That, plus more effective pre-assigned team training communication, sets us on a strong path for 100% devo implementation and engagement by 2022. The 2020 devo will focus on what Scripture says about God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit and God’s children. As one user commented, “It was amazing to know that all across the mission, we were literally on the same page as we studied God’s Word.”
YouVersion Reading Plans We currently have six, five-day reading plans live on YouVersion. We have a dedicated app theme that identifies content as Young Life’s. Official metrics from June (initial upload date) until September 21 for the six plans combined: • 314,632 subscribers • 193,443 completions • average plan rating of 4.7/5 (based on 76,809 ratings) Our reading plan Grow was featured in a YouVersion weekly email and a safe estimate is at least 125,000 nonYoung Life readers completed Grow, and glimpsed the heart and message of our mission in the process. Over the next 18 months, we’ll add 46 plans for a total of 52. Young Life and The Bible Project In January 2020, we’ll launch the official “Young Life and The Bible Project” collaboration consisting of small group discussion modules that will deepen Scripture engagement, understanding and knowledge. Six plans will launch in January, with a total of 35 currently scheduled for development. In the Works Young Life Discipleship Instagram account dedicated to devotional content (keeping users connected to Jesus) rather than missional content of current channels (keeping users connected to Young Life, WyldLife, etc.).
Training Ken Knipp, Vice President
In the Training department, we ask every day how we can better equip our staff all around the world. This means we often innovate or change — sometimes content, sometimes delivery and sometimes in the scope of our training. Here are some examples from the past six months:
Pam Moore led a group of seven mission leaders to rethink how we could improve on the high-quality experience new staff received this past January. • We made the significant decision to hold New Staff Training in August at a Young Life property and not at a conference center following YL2020. • We spent more time processing content in groups according to focused ministry, working on contextual application. • We built in more solitude and reflection time and staff were able to absorb the content more fully than in the past. • We utilized the work of the Healthy Sexuality Task Force and included a presentation by Ann Shackelton and Matt Walker of some of the work that group has done. • The response to New Staff Training at Washington Family Ranch in August was even better than last January. The sense of community at a Young Life camp was qualitatively better than at a conference center. Area Director Training in Europe: In response to requests by regional directors in Europe, we’re offering
training for area directors delivered in cohorts and spread over time. We want staff to have the opportunity to apply and process what they’re learning instead of trying to get all they need in a one-week intensive. • There will be three cohorts in Europe: Eastern Europe, Western Europe/UK and Scandinavia. They will meet by video call in their cohorts this fall and then again in early 2020. There will be a final gathering of all three cohorts in March of 2020. • Coaching of new African vice presidents: At the request of Steve Larmey, we’re initiating a coaching experience for Martin Wamalwa, Alexis Kwamy and James Davis. Ken Knipp and John Evans will lead the coaching, which will include a monthly video call with all vice presidents as well as a monthly individual call with each. Various mission leaders (Operations, Development, Communications, etc.) will also join the group calls over time. We look forward to continuing to improve our efforts to equip our staff in their high calling of introducing adolescents to Jesus and helping them grow in their faith!
New Staff Training:
Financial Services Scott Brill, Chief Financial Officer
In August at a meeting with key mission leaders in the Dominican Republic we walked around the barrios and saw some of the ways we are reaching kids. It was a beautiful reminder of how we do this not only in the D.R. but in the United States and around the world. The most powerful moment for me was when a 14-year-old girl shared her discipleship tree and a map of where she wanted Young Life to grow. She had a list of girls that she wanted to bring to camp so they could meet Jesus. As a global mission it was great to see tools and innovations created by the international team — like the discipleship tree — that can be used everywhere. I am thankful for you, our board, for leaning into these conversations and dreaming that all kids hear about our glorious Savior, Jesus Christ. We had another robust year financially. Our unaudited results for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, show: Operating contributions of $296.1 million, which is $2.9 million or 1.0% lower than our record-breaking year last year. Capital contributions of $41.3 million were given for various projects but the largest gifts were for Lone Hollow, Washington Family Ranch, Wild Ridge, Windy Gap and YL Connect. Areas in deficit ended the year at an all-time low of 1.2%, which is better than last year’s 2.0%. Net operating results by segment: The U.S. Field organization ended with a surplus of $7.2 million. The results reflected revenue growth of $20.4 million (+7.9%) and spending growth of $12.1 million (+4.7%). Contributions were up $13.4 million (+6.1%). The International Field organization had a deficit of $0.7 million. Their revenue increased $2.9 million (+9.5%) while spending grew $5.4 million (+19.1%). Contributions were up 1.7%. Camping ran a surplus of $10.7 million
that was used to help fund major maintenance at various camps to keep them in spectacular condition. $1.5 million of this surplus was generated by Lonehollow and was used to reduce the cost of the acquisition, as we had planned. MLSS (Mission Leadership and Support Services) ran a deficit of $2.0 million. This deficit was anticipated due to the increased expense of YL Connect and other mission initiatives supporting our Forward objectives. How has Financial Services demonstrated the innovation pillar of Forward? The Financial Services team is committed to continuous improvement and looking for innovative ways to help Young Life reach as many kids as possible. Here are a few examples from this year: • We implemented an interactive voice response system (at no cost since we already had the technology) so that when donors and parents call in to the Service Center they instantly go to staff who are trained to take care of their needs and never have to wait for the phone to be answered.
• We took three departments through Disney’s “Be Our Guest” customer service training, as we continue to look for ways
to improve our service to staff, donors, volunteers and parents. • We continue to care for our Financial Services team through our four “crew” teams that are led by front line staff. These crews are focused on spiritual health, fun, connection to the field, professional growth and help support an innovative culture within the team.
• We hired a vice president of International Finance to ensure that we are supporting our fastest-growing ministries and helping them reach the most kids possible with the money they spend.
Administrative Services Paul Sherrill, Vice President
Risk Management Federal and state online privacy protection regulations for children continue to evolve, and have become a standard industry practice for businesses with an online presence. While most non-profits are exempt from these types of regulations, we believe the protections they provide to children are much needed, and so, Young Life has elected to voluntarily establish an electronic parental consent form process as we collect and store personal information from kids involved with WyldLife. A new electronic WyldLife parental permission form process is being rolled out this fall to all areas with WyldLife ministries. Parents or guardians are sent this new form via text or email and are asked to respond within 60 days. Young Life will delete a child’s personal information from all databases, web servers and personal devices if the child’s parent or guardian does not provide a signed consent within 60 days from receiving the child’s personal information. The parent also has the ability to request that Young Life delete their child’s personal information. Two success measures have been put in place to ensure the effectiveness of this change missionwide. At least 50% of the average weekly attendance at WyldLife clubs will have turned in a parental consent form, and at least 50% of all WyldLife ministries will have turned in at least one
parental consent form by April 31 (numbers are based off of May’s GPS statistics). As of October 1 there were approximately 7,500 (20%) WyldLife parental consent forms turned in and 306 (41%) areas participating. Legal Young Life’s Legal department has finalized the registration of five Colorado 501(c) (3) non-profit auxiliary corporations. These corporations will be used to support and control Young Life’s international legal entities around the world. These corporations have been established to support the ministry efforts related to Young Life’s five international divisions, including ministry in Africa/ Middle East, Asia, Europe, Former Soviet Union and Latin America/ Caribbean. Each of these organizations will act as independent legal entities with a board of directors and officers which will govern and oversee the ministry purposes controlled by each entity. As an auxiliary organization, each entity will take on the legal tax-exempt church status of its parent corporation, Young Life. Each corporation will have the capacity to employ individuals, acquire and hold title to real estate and fund ministry under its control. These corporations will serve to establish a sufficient infrastructure that is needed to sustain future ministry growth as Young Life continues to expand its ministry efforts around the globe.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND COMMUNICATIONS
Human Resources and Communications
Sha Farley, Chief Human Resources Officer
What a privilege it is to care for and grow a staff comprised of Jesus-loving innovators! And what a joy to lead a Human Resources and Communications team committed to serving God with their unique talents. I am pleased to report on a range of innovations (from small but significant adjustments to sweeping changes and completely new offerings) that each serve our single purpose of sharing the gospel with more and more kids worldwide. All Eyes on the Field It was a privilege to assist our president and CEO with a multilayered restructure of executive leadership to increase the presence and impact of our field teams. While my past experience with planning and executing changes to leadership structure served me well in this task, I was especially grateful for the assistance from several members of the executive committee of the board in developing and refining our strategy. I believe and pray with all of you that these changes will accelerate our growth and impact. Trauma-Informed Response and Care In recent years, Ann Shackelton, vice president of Mission Care and Enrichment, has enlisted outside consultants as well as our own credentialed and experienced in-house staff, to offer traumainformed support and response in the wake of critical incidents. Using our widening understanding of the effects of trauma, we’re addressing both immediate personal needs in the midst of crises while monitoring and attending to the longer-term impact through group debriefs, education and resources. This summer, within the span of two weeks, we provided trauma-informed care for staff
affected by significant incidents at two camps as well as by the three mass shootings in the communities of Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio. Full Life-Cycle Support Our most recent addition to the team, Jane Renken, is innovating at several points in what she refers to as the staff “life cycle.” As vice president of Talent Management and Mission Capability, Jane is introducing new search and candidate assessment practices (e.g., behavioral-based interviews) as well as guidance on hiring for cultural fit. Further along the staff journey, Jane is partnering on a cross-functional team tasked with raising awareness of and capacity for excellence in executive leadership among our middle and senior ranks. Completing the life cycle, Jane is furthering the work started before her arrival to Young Life on succession and talent planning by refining existing tools and ensuring cadence in adoption and rigor in our talent planning practices. Good to Great Ensuring that Young Life’s health plan, staff benefits and retirement plans are a blessing and encouragement to our staff and their families requires continual innovation. Troy Mulder, vice president of Total Rewards, and
Health Plan – A contract review and renewal with UMR, our health plan’s thirdparty administrator, resulted in significant savings and enhanced services that created time for our staff to focus on what they do best — ministry.
Online Benefits Administration – Young Life retained an outside vendor to fully digitize our entire health plan enrollment process. This new online benefits administration application will go live in advance of our November annual enrollment period, and will allow our staff to enroll in our benefits plans on a fully digital, mobile-friendly platform that will also ensure increased
his team have overseen enhancements to an already extremely strong set of offerings, including:
security of personal information and enhanced educational opportunities to understand and value the benefits provided. Retirement Plan – We’re nearly finished with a substantial body of work to merge and consolidate our two retirement vehicles — the existing 401(k) and the money purchase pension plan — into one retirement vehicle with a “proemployee” simplification and earlier vesting schedule to assist our staff to prepare for retirement. Field-friendly Website Platform For the last 18 months, a crossfunctional team led by vice president of Communications, Terry Swenson, and including Marketing and Information Services, has worked to identify and implement a new solution for Young Life’s website offerings — from local area sites to camp websites to younglife.org. The focus of this
effort has been to improve local area websites while decreasing the management required by local staff and volunteers to create and maintain these sites. Early responses from a Beta group have been encouraging! Investing in Our Greatest Resource The design and delivery of an automated, web-based platform to enter and track annual performance goals and the evaluation of those goals as well as individual development and discipleship plans is a major innovation in one of our primary areas of focus — SUPERVISION. We’re now using this tool for nearly 300 people in the mission globally. The desire is to ensure leadership builds the muscles around good supervision as it relates to both goal setting and having performance conversations. We’ll expand the practice and tools as leaders improve.
Operations Steve Thompson, Chief Operations Officer
The Operations team, made up of leaders from Camping, Information Services, Strategy and Marketing, International Operations, U.S. Operations and Global Cities Operations is working hard to innovate in a variety of ways. We are listening intently to voices from the field about what they experience and need in terms of operational support. Mission Services Our Mission Services team is creating and establishing an integrated support team focused on internal support related to YL Connect products we are rolling out associated with events, marketing, websites and email. This team includes current staff from our Communications, Marketing, Information Services, Field Support, Development, Human Resources, Field Operations, Innovation, Camping and Administrative Services teams. In the past we have had disparate support systems and coming together on the YL Connect platform allows us the opportunity to bring together our support systems. International Operations The International Operations Lead Team just held its first-annual Prioritization Summit setting the course for key international initiatives and projects for the year. This new level of transparency will help us focus our resources where they need to go in order to grow ministry. Given recent leadership changes, this is a timely project to allow new group senior vice presidents to speak into operational priorities. U.S. Operations Over the last few years, there have been more focused discussions around the best way to get an accurate picture of ministry at the local, regional and divisional level. Core Ministry Impact is our new practice of real-time measurement that allows us to gain insight and capture the core health of a ministry, empowering staff and volunteers to
celebrate and focus on the important work of reaching and teaching more adolescents. We are moving from simply estimating ministry numbers twice a year to our staff reporting more accurate real-time numbers weekly for club and Campaigner involvement. Staff are also adding kids’ names to their contacts in YL Connect and tracking on a monthly basis how many kids they are praying for and know by name. This new practice within YL Connect will allow us to engage more fully in the story God is writing in the lives of the kids and adults in Young Life. Our hope is that by innovating how we count and keep track of both student and adult involvement, we can more fully celebrate where the Lord is moving, challenge ourselves to set realistic, measurable goals, to course correct when needed, and connect with others to share and learn best practices. Global Cities Operations After 16 months of learning how to address challenges around supervision and authority between geographic supervisor/city leader/ Global Cities leader, we created guidelines to delineate and explain how to implement a city’s working agreements with the Global Cities office. This ensures alignment of expectations for all involved. We are now working to put together a Global Cities playbook. This is an innovative task as we work to create a playbook that will contextualize traditional Young Life methods to a variety of metropolitan environments.
Camping Chad Sievert, Senior Vice President
We had a record number of teen moms (23) and Capernaum friends (58) serve on work crew, summer staff or the assigned team this summer. Camp staff partnered with YoungLives and Capernaum leadership to intentionally increase opportunities for these sisters and brothers of ours to serve Christ and help proclaim the good news at camp! They helped serve a total of 42,934 senior high and 15,834 WyldLife kids who came to outreach camp in the U.S. This summer was also the first time every single person serving at a Young Life camp dove deeper into their relationship with Christ through the use of a shared devotional. Crystal Kirgiss, vice president of Discipleship, designed and distributed nearly 10,000 copies of Rooted, a 30-day guided devotional to all our camps. Every day, work crew, summer staff, camp staff, assigned teams, spouses and even their kids all read the same Scripture passage. They reflected on it together over meals. They shared what they were learning with each other during free time. And they talked about the spiritual practices they were trying with their small groups and on the job. Young and old journeyed
together — encouraging and edifying; stretching and sharpening one another at camp this summer. This shared discipleship experience served as a connector back home as well. As folks reconnected with friends from home who also served at camp this summer, they had a common language for describing their discipleship experience and shared roots forming in their faith. With the Word leading the way, we witnessed a deeper level of unity in the Spirit this summer. Communities were being woven together in a new way — at camps and in local areas. Finally, our adventure camps also unveiled new discipleship camping opportunities this summer. WyldLife kids went backcountry “hut camping” with Adventures RMR Backcountry (CO). And Capernaum kids went adventuring with their leaders at Pioneer Plunge (NC), Adventures Northbound (MI) and Adventures Wild Ridge (WV). Kids of all ages and abilities experienced God’s creation up close and journeyed on a deeper walk with Jesus and their leaders this summer. What a summer of firsts! May God continue to inspire creative approaches for pursuing kids, proclaiming His good news and journeying deeper with them in life and faith.
The Camping department experienced remarkable innovation this summer, particularly in our mission’s efforts to help kids grow in their faith.
Strategy and Marketing Josh Griffin, Vice President
The Strategy and Marketing teams are committed to producing, promoting and scaling innovations (and innovative ideas) to help our team in the field reach and teach the next generation. Strategy We continue to look for ways to ensure the mission is “all-in” on Forward while looking prayerfully into the years beyond. A smart, informed, clear strategy lays the tracks for necessary innovations. • Alignment – All senior staff goals, measurements, evaluations and dashboards are now in sync around a handful of key data points. We believe focusing on these things (e.g., kids known by name or number of volunteer leaders) will help us achieve our Forward goals. • Long-Term Planning – Many board members were part of this summer’s retreat where we dug in on some questions critical to Young Life’s success in the decade ahead. The progress made in those discussions, along with input from senior leadership, is already shaping agendas, additional studies and action items for key leaders. Marketing Innovation often takes the form of technology. While it’s much more than that, the Marketing team diligently assesses the best way to serve area staff with new digital tools that “secure relationships for life.” • Events – New technology is already allowing hundreds of
areas to easily host, manage and charge for fundraising (and “fun”-raising) events like banquets. Not only does this help make their offering look more professional, it holds the data inside the YL Connect warehouse giving it more power for future outreach efforts. • Automated Marketing – A team is finishing final testing on a platform that will allow areas to manage contacts, opt people into a series of triggered emails and more. This ensures our messages and calls to action are seen by the right people at the right time. YL2020 We hope you’ll be able to join us this January. Some of the greatest things in Young Life happen when we gather, listen to the Lord together and share our best ideas with one another. That’s our hope with YL2020, summed up in our tagline: Connect, Celebrate, Grow. Young Life’s original “innovation” was and continues to be presence. We show up in the lives of kids with the good news of Jesus. That’s a timeless undertaking we’ll never stop doing. All of our other behind-the-scenes work, when done right, encourages and makes space for this essential part of our mission.
Information Services Josh Smiley, Vice President
“Innovation” — Across the Mission Innovation is who we are and what we do in Information Services. The Information Services team commits every day to listening, enabling and serving in collaboration with field staff, vendors and teammates across the globe. The Information Services team is honored to offer infrastructure, platforms, products and services that will help provide real-time resources that lead to reaching more kids for Christ. Innovation: Using data to drive discussions Prayerfully, leadership has asked for more accurate and timely data and the Holy Spirit’s leading in discussions around key metrics used to assess ministry performance. A team pressed into building software, data and dashboards to collect and report the real data, and help catalyze key conversations between leadership, staff and volunteers. Enabling the field with YL Connect features Our team hears and responds to field staff needs for software features that enable ministry. Innovation is happening in recent product releases
such as email communication tools for field ministry, event registration and management tools, camp registration and management tools, and donor care tools. Preparing staff for changes related to product release The Change Management Office and newly staffed director of Organizational Change Management have sharpened our missionwide view of change and developed visible maps and tools to help spread out changes to enable adoption of key projects and initiatives.
FOCUS MINISTRIES AND DIVERSITY
Focus Ministries and Diversity BeBe Hobson, Senior Vice President
YoungLives Karil Connor, Vice President
Capernaum Pam Harmon, Vice President
The current work crew requirements are not feasible for the majority of teen moms and so YoungLives has been exploring weeklong work crew experiences during YoungLives (or Capernaum!) camp weeks. This past summer, five camps piloted a discipleship work crew experience for 23 teen moms with similar expectations as her peers serving with the monthlong work crew trips — desire to grow in faith, participation in Campaigners, willingness to commit time in service to others — with the additional possibility that she can bring her child(ren).
Young Life Capernaum is innovative in much of what we do. A novel thought for many is that while providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to experience God’s love, we’re all being transformed. The people who think they have come to serve are growing in their faith too. This summer we experienced many examples of this mutuality.
YoungLives work crew bosses led the young women in spiritual formation and service projects throughout the camp. Heather Hoglund, Northwestern divisional coordinator and camp speaker, shared what she saw happen as young mothers witnessed other young mothers in service: " … one of [the YoungLives work crew girls] shared her story at the work crew presentation — campers cheered as they identified with her story, called out 'me too!' and cheered for how Jesus has transformed her life. I saw on social media this week that a camper raved about her experience and said, "I can't wait to go back to serve so other mamas can have this amazing experience!"
Through Capernaum, God transformed Adventure Camping for people of all abilities. There were nearly 100 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Young Life Adventure experiences this summer. Alongside their leader or a good friend, our Capernaum campers hiked, carried their own backpacks, slept in tents, cooked meals over campfires, went canoeing and white-water rafting. Participants became deeply aware that the God who created all of nature is also able to use every one of us, just as we are, to bring glory to God. We also placed 60 Capernaum work crew or summer staff alongside a trained coach at Young Life camps. Their coworkers reported they’ve been impacted by the unconditional love displayed in the relationship between our friend and their coach, by the gratefulness our friends express toward being part of a team and having a meaningful job, and by their ability to be authentic. I’m grateful for the opportunities provided by thinking creatively in Young Life.
Multiethnic Ministries Arthur Satterwhite, Vice President The last half of FY19 was a busy one for the Multiethnic Ministries team. We hired Mandy Adkins as an initiatives coordinator focused on training, communications, events and data. A Latino Ministry Listening Summit convened senior leadership and influential Latino voices from across the organization. Our time together invited attendees to explore realities, seek understanding, face and own the truth, and set a new foundation for Latino ministry. We’re launching a new Latino Ministry Task Force in 2020 to promote partnerships, practices and the development of a new pipeline that accelerates Latino ministry and enables us to reach and teach more kids about Jesus. In addition, we plan to create a new Diversity Dashboard (2.0) that enables mission leaders to better monitor progress and plan around their Together Diversity goals year-over-year. Young Life Diversity We have undertaken efforts to advance our mission’s capacity to increase and support greater diversity. Hard-to-Fund policies and procedures have continued to develop. Internal analysis has identified that greater support is needed for those staff of color who traditionally struggle to
find sustainable funding from the communities in which they operate. Strong focus will be given to address this need. We hosted a Women’s Leadership Network gathering where participants reviewed the current status of women in Young Life, spoke with key advocates, and identified vital opportunities that will lead to the recruitment, advancement and retention of women in ministry across the global mission. Cultural Intelligence (CQ) training has also expanded beyond the Training Timeline offering each winter. Many other offerings now include CQ instruction such as Area Director School, Regional Director (RD) and Associate RD School and Legacy Leaders. In addition, for the first time CQ training will now be included in Year 1 and 2 Staff Associate curriculum. We have also identified a critical metric, which, for the first time, will allow us to track in the U.S. both gender and ethnicity for all volunteers leaders and kids involved in club. Prior to this change, our data sets were limited to just staff. This change will enable us to create a baseline to track our progress to ensure our local leadership and ministry better reflects the communities in which Young Life serves.
Global Innovation Ken Tankersley, Senior Vice President
Since Young Life’s beginning, the goal of every staff person or volunteer is to “Reach and Teach.” Reach adolescents with the gospel and teach them what it means to live a lifelong faith. Today, we continue innovating through our desire to reach every kid, by exploring new ministry contexts, creative camping models and sharpening our skills of proclamation and discipleship. Since innovation typically comes up from the bottom and the edges of an organization, every Young Life area is a lab, every region is a testing ground and every division is a distribution center of scalable models for ministry. When a Young Life leader or staffer endeavors to reach the school across the street, they become innovators. It’s part of what we do and at the center of who we are. Some of the most compelling innovations in the mission are being created or rediscovered today. What is old becomes new in today’s culture because the needs remain the same: to know, be known and find meaning. When we hold to our missional core values and methods with the flexibility to contextualize to various communities around the globe, then we’re able to stay relevant in an ever-changing cultural landscape. At every age and stage in an adolescent’s life there’s a Young Life ministry model waiting to engage them. Our “core” ministries (WyldLife, Young Life, and Young Life College and University) span an 11-year window in a young person’s life. A few innovations being utilized around the mission are referenced below. At least one might be the next big thing in the mission as we go forward. • Adventure Camping Pilot: Over the next three years, over 25 regions in the U.S. will have areas without a history of discipleship camping participate in adventure camping at one of our eight national camps. • Brilliant at the Basics: Dozens of U.S. regions are receiving cohort training that look deeply into the key values and methods tied to healthy ministry. • Camping Plans: Starting in the summer of 2020, all areas will submit a yearlong camping plan for every stage of maturity and development.
• College Discipleship: This summer marks year three of hands-on training given to a significant percentage of the 2,500 college students serving on summer staff. • Committee Chair/AD Summits: This year there will be over 10 regional trainings focused exclusively on the committee chair and area director relationship in order to foster joint ownership and vested ownership. • Deaf Young Life: The scaling of ministry to deaf and hard-ofhearing students. • Foster, Homeless, Trafficked Victims: Many students can be found within government support services and in large part are an invisible community to others. We have significant interest
• Gamers: As countless students spend more time participating in online gaming communities, we want to be there with a ministry model that engages this growing group. • “GO” Initiative: Contact work runs deep within the mission but with a culture overwhelmed by busyness, the permission for field staff to GO and be with kids is a landmark statement being shared on all levels of ministry.
Young Life communities, we’re engaging regions around the globe in partnership, training and support. • Small Town Ministry Growth: Within rural communities, we’re attempting to address the significant attrition trend by focusing on the training and support of volunteers, staff and committees in ways that would support succession planning. • Teachers in Mission: Recruiting and supporting teachers as volunteers.
• International/Domestic Camp on Wheels (COW): There are several communities in the U.S. interested in developing a domestic COW similar to the model Young Life International has employed.
• The Barnabas Project: Staff isolation can be devastating to ministry. Coordinated support, prayer and encouragement of staff in small towns via senior staff and retired staff can help offset that loneliness.
• Military – Club Beyond: A strategic restructure of the supervision of this focused ministry with military kids should facilitate the development of new ministry locations.
• Vol 101: A core and principled training for every leader regardless of their context.
• National Networks: The creation of loosely formed national networks of staff who work specifically with WyldLife, Young Life College or Small Town communities. • Sister Regions: In an attempt to blur the lines between the domestic and international
Innovation may be the “secret sauce” of Young Life because it fosters our entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. As we engage students and communities where we’ve had a presence for decades as well as communities where we’ve never been before, an innovative spirit is a priority. It will give us the opportunity to redesign, renew and reimagine how to reach the next kid.
in developing ministry to this population of students.