Young Life

  • Religion
  • 1941

When he was in seminary, a local minister challenged Jim Rayburn to consider the local high school his parish and figure out ways of connecting with kids who had no interest in church. In 1941, Rayburn and four other recently minted pastors created a new organization, Young Life, to run clubs where students could learn that faith in God can be both fun and life-changing. The idea spread across Texas, and then the U.S., and eventually to 95 countries.

Special ministries to children with disabilities, middle-schoolers, rural students, military children, and multicultural urban students were added to the original formula. Energetic summer camps were also established. Today, about 60,000 adult volunteers lead close to 7,000 local Young Life chapters that are funded by hundreds of thousands of donors. The organization had $311 million of revenue in 2014.

Young Life is on a path to reach 2 million children annually by the year 2016.

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