Young Life coming soon to Forest Park

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

FERDINAND — By the end of the school year, Forest Park Junior-Senior High School should have a Young Life club.

Discussion about starting Young Life, a Christian outreach program for high school students, in the Ferdinand area began about four years ago, Dubois County Young Life Director Courtney Foye said. Around that time, Young Life leaders in the Jasper area started an effort to establish Young Life countywide.

Jasper has had Young Life since 1998 and has a WyldLife club for middle school students. Last year, Young Life leaders expanded to Southridge High School and have now turned their sights on Forest Park.

Young Life held its first interest meeting in the Ferdinand area in March, and Thursday night, Foye held a “next steps” meeting in Ferdinand to move the process forward.

“To have Young Life, you really need two things,” Foye said. “You need people, and you need funds.”

The focus of Thursday night’s meeting was the “people” part of the equation. To start a Young Life group, the Ferdinand area needs a group of adults to form the Young Life Committee, which serves as a board of directors for the group. Foye said there were adults at the meeting who said they’d be praying about whether or not to serve on that committee. A committee interest meeting will be held in November, and Foye hopes to have the committee formed by January. Once the committee is formed, Foye said, the other pieces tend to fall into place.

Besides the committee, adults are also needed to serve as Young Life leaders. Those leaders meet kids on their turf to introduce them to Young Life and ultimately to the Gospel. Leaders also run the Young Life club meetings and serve as mentors to the students.

“What high schooler doesn’t need another adult that loves them in their life?” Foye asked.

Young Life leaders structure a club to be a safe space where teenagers can come, have fun and be kids. There is a ministry element to a club, but it’s mostly about building relationships. Young Life also offers Bible studies throughout the week for students who want more from their involvement.

“Young Life at its core is relational,” Foye said.

In that sense, Foye feels Young Life has already reached Forest Park. There is a core group of Forest Park students that routinely attends Young Life events in Jasper and Huntingburg. They’ve been part of the push to bring the organization to Ferdinand.

“The community, I think, is ready for it,” Foye said. “That group of adults (to be the committee) is really what we’re looking for.”

Young Life currently touches 300 to 400 students in Dubois County between the four school corporations, as students from Forest Park and Northeast Dubois attend events at either Jasper or Southridge. Club meetings attract 50 to 70 students weekly.

“We are able to have a significant impact,” Foye said.

Anyone interested in getting involved in Young Life, particularly in the Ferdinand area, can email Foye at duboiscountyyl@gmail.com.




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