Shake-up in “Young Life” Ministry

Colin Hansen at Christianity Today reports on a shake-up going on in the parachurch youth ministry Young Life. The leaders of the ministry recently adopted a sort of statement of faith called the “Non-Negotiables of Young Life’s Gospel Proclamation.” The new measures have resulted in the firing or resignation of 10 staff members in the Raleigh-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. For those of you who are involved in or concerned about the ministry of Young Life, you might want to check out the rest of this story.

“Gospel Talk: Entire area Young Life staff out after evangelism mandate” – by Colin Hansen (Christianity Today)

(HT: Justin Taylor)


  • Brett

    Interesting. It seems like they are adopting a more “traditional” approach. It actually sounds quite similar to Comfort’s Way of the Master stuff. I have always viewed YL as all about relational evangelism, and this document seems to be more about aggressive evangelism. Oh well, I don’t guess it should bother the leaders too bad.

    The document actually seemed to allude to certain “orthodox” beliefs such as original sin, justification by faith, imputation of Christ’s righteousness, penal substitution, etc.

    While there may be truths in all of these doctrines, and I certainly believe there are, there are inconsistencies with scripture as well. In our little pop evangelism courses, we have to remember that we can’t put God in a box and Christ came to earth for much more than to appease the wrath of God and die in our place on the cross for our sins. In fact, many views on the atonement have strengths and weaknesses…and yes, that includes penal substitution. While Jesus certainly was some sort of substitution for us, there is much more to it and that doesn’t mean that every word of penal substitution wraps up God’s whole reason for sending his son.

    What are some of the thoughts you other people have?

  • scott

    perhaps someone can help me here, but i would like to know what is so bad about focusing on penal substitution during personal evangelism? i agree that Jesus’ death was about more than just paying for sins, but what is most important for someone to understand to be saved? Jesus may have died to bring his kingdom to earth, reconcile all of creation, etc, but it seems the most important thing that we should start with is the need to repent and believe in Christ for forgiveness of sin.

    if someone believes that Jesus came and died to “put the world to rights”, but doesn’t have any understanding of personal sin, what good is that?

  • Jesica

    Isn’t everything that Jesus did wrapped up in the truth that He came to reconcile mankind to God?

    And, that repentance is required along with confession in order to receive that reconciliation?

    Whether it was healing the sick or setting captives free, it still is all wrapped up the fact that Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind. The propitiation for our sin debt.

    Without Him, there would be no part in the Kindgom of Heaven for any of us.

    I read the whole 8 page statement, and I wanted to cheer for the Young Life leaders!

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.