Summer Stories: Serving for the long game

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Summer Stories with New North is a month-long series featuring people at New North Church who are exemplifying what it means to love and serve those around them. 

McKenna, New North Community Life Pastor sits down with AJ to learn more about her ministry with Young Life. Young Life is a Christian ministry that reaches out to middle school, high school and college students in all 50 states and in more than 100 countries around the world. Before becoming full-time staff at the San Francisco branch of Young Life, AJ never imagined being in the same shoes as her leaders when she first started attending in high school. 

Today, her ministry reaches out to the middle schoolers in San Francisco public schools. She forms relationships with the students who come to their after school Christian club, supports them in their extra-curricular activities, brings them lunch and snacks, all while sharing the love of Christ. Here's a snippet from their conversation: 

AJ: [At Young Life] we want to meet kids where they are, love them, and let God do His thing in transforming people. We earn the right to be heard. It’s every day relationships and we’re in it for the long game
McKenna: How does loving and serving kids through Young Life transform you in your faith?
AJ: The reason I came to know Jesus when I started serving. When you serve, it creates this innate accountability, and you can only serve with so little integrity and I think it started bringing up all these questions for me. That's why this [my faith] is worth my life. My trajectory completely changed after that If I didn't join Young Life, I would've been a very different person today.
McKenna: So much for caring for other people, we think we’re giving, but God uses that to do the real deep inner work in us.  Kids can tell a phony from a mile away so you have to be real. 

Loving and serving other people, even the people outside of our immediate circle, that's when God does big things in you too. 

To support AJ and her ministry or learn more about Young Life, visit their website here.

1. I need 5 donors at $100/month (or 10 at $50/month). This helps us provide breakfast at breakfast club, or buy the new kids lunch and deliver it at school. It also helps us be with them, in the classroom, after school, or on their track team.

2. We need leaders who are willing to go where kids are and love them and develop relationships with them. We are in the beginning stages so it would be a lot of going to games and hangouts until we meet enough kids to start a club.

3. We need other adults who are willing to help behind the curtain. We call them our board. They help throw fundraisers, recruit leaders, develop relationships with churches and more. But mostly, we ask for access to your network so more people can know about YoungLife.

Watch the full conversation with AJ in the media player below.