A few months before we moved up to Michigan, an email popped up in my inbox. It was from my High School Youth Group Leader, Chris, and it was a job offer.
Chris is no longer a Youth Pastor but is now the Regional director for Western Great Lakes Young Life. In his email he invited to come on board to help the region tell the stories of Young Life through blogging, social media and other communication avenues.
I was incredibly excited as I read through it, until I got to the end… the part where he filled me in that Young Life Staff raise their own support by partnering with people who believe in what they’re doing.
I shut my laptop and sighed, there was no way I could do that. I wasn’t brave enough, it would be too awkward and I didn’t have the time.
Yet, this invitation to work with Young Life, to do blogging and social media as a “for real” job always simmered on the surface of my thoughts.
I wanted to do it, to dive in… but I was terrified the money wouldn’t be there.
But at some point the idea of working with an organization I love in a role that perfectly fit my passions overthrew my fear of money and I said: “Yes. Yes, God I’m doing this.”
Because Young Life is all about going to where kids are, building relationships with them and introducing them to Jesus… and who doesn’t want to be a part of that?
Who doesn’t want to use their gifts and talents in such an amazing and life-changing way?
Also, Young Life is exactly the organization we want to expose our family to, because it’s filled with great leaders, fantastic stories, the truth about Jesus and… it’s crazy fun.
So, I’ll soon be coming on staff with Young Life. And these days I’m having conversations with people about this call… and asking if they want to come on board with it, to share it.
For a long time I debated whether to talk about this on my blog, for some reason I thought I had to keep it all separate.
But I’m done with that, you’re my people and this is our space. Why would I keep something this exciting from you, why would I segment my life like that?
So, from time to time you will hear about Young Life in this space, I hope that’s okay. I hope that excites you too. Because guys… I’m so excited.
I’m excited to partner with an organization that takes all the noise and fluff of religion and church down to one simple truth: kids need Jesus.
There are kids out there who are lonely, hurting, on the verge of giving up … and we can bring them Jesus just by showing up at their school lunch table or football game or band concert or skate park or wherever.
We can remind them that not only are there people who care about them, but even better there is a God who loves them and is offering them the best invitation of their lives, offering them a purpose and a future.
And will do whatever I can do to support that. And it turns out that what I can do is blogging, writing and tweeting for Young life. I’m grinning….
(happy dance, what an invitation!)
I’m being asked to take facts, data and small snippets of stories and weaving them into something that gives a beautiful picture of what God is doing all across the region.
To remind people of the basic, beautiful truth of Jesus and how much we all need him.
It’s easy caught up the stuff of life, to become tunnel focused on our sphere of stuff and we forget that at the heart of it all is this need for Jesus.
We forget how hard it was in High School, and how much harder it would be if you thought that no one cared and you didn’t know about this Jesus that loved you just as you were.
I know I remember that days like that in High School and I’d do anything to reach out to a kid waking up in the midst of those days.
So, I want to share this journey with you and invite you to be a part of it. Maybe you know what Young Life is and maybe you don’t. Feel free to ask me questions about it or simply click here for a snippet.
Here are a few ways you can help me with this:
1) Pray- This support-raising process has undone me when it comes to my ties with money and my bravery to ask people to support my calling. It’s shown me all the ways in which I don’t take myself or my call seriously and sent me into hiding countless times already. So when I ask for prayer these days, this is how I need it. I need help believing in this call and remembering that it’s God’s work to begin with.
2) Support- To be honest, I would love to talk to you about the idea of supporting this Jesus-centered, storytelling call. Because God can use our money to get to the heart of it all and the more open handed we are with it, the freer we become. I’d like you to join me in this way, shoot me an email at leannerae (at) gmail (dot) com to start this conversation.
3) Shop- that’s right, Shop. This past week I had a fundraising debut of sorts where some friends came to my house and sold the products they are passionate about and gave the profit to Young Life. And that party is still going on… and you can join in by:
Pampering yourself by Buying Mary Kay products my good friend Becky. May I recommend the lip gloss and the lengthening mascara? I swear by both. (use Young LIfe fundraiser in the comment area)
Grabbing a few new Thirty-One products from the amazing Sally Bosch, who has offered to make this an ongoing fundraiser so that anytime you purchase from her on my behalf proceeds go to YL.
Fancifying your kitchen and spice cabinet by ordering some new Pampered Chef goodies from my new friend Meghan here (use Young LIfe fundraiser in the comment area)
Or stopping by my house for a cup of tea and ordering a few fun accessories from Premiere Jewelry. (can’t be done online)
Thanks for reading and praying and generally being an awesome group of reader-friends.
Amen. Selah. Deep Breaths. Dorky, happy dances.