2018 YoungLife Retreat: A Celebration.


In February of 2017, I was asked by YoungLife at Oakland University to speak at their Spring Retreat. I agreed to speak on one condition: that the student leader tell me where YoungLife wanted to be a year from now in terms of its overall mission and reach to the campus. The student leader looked at me puzzled. I told him when he could answer the question, I would be happy to speak, because then I could plan my talks around around helping their organization grow God’s Kingdom.

After a couple days, the leader came back to me and told me some of what he hoped for. I agreed to speak, and spent a weekend in March 2017 with 22 students and five staff and volunteers at Timber Wolf Lake Camp in Lake City, Michigan. My talks were centered around the kinds of people we need in our lives to become who Jesus wants us to be. As a result, many students within YoungLife began seeking intentional mentoring and coaching through Cultivate, and their leadership base began to grow. Coupled with continued strategic coaching, YoungLife began to flourish, going after its target of 19 year old men at Oakland University who found Jesus irrelevant.

Fast forward to Spring 2018, and I was asked to speak again. This time, we had 60 students sign up to join, and 15 volunteers made up of alumni and Christ-following adults join to support in some way. 75 people came up that weekend, including about 20 students who had no relationship with Jesus. One became a Christ follower that weekend, and several more joined groups to help their spiritual development.

I’m not much of a speaker, but what a privilege to be able to have a front row seat to the kingdom growth happening through the leadership of YoungLife at Oakland University. I was happy to be a part. Enjoy the highlights:

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