Kingsport Young Life banquet

Kingsport Young Life banquet set for Oct. 4

BY CHELSEY BISHOP • OCT 4, 2016 AT 2:36 PM

Kingsport Young Life is hosting its annual fundraising banquet and using it as an opportunity to share the organization’s mission with the community.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, guests at the banquet will enjoy live entertainment during dinner and dessert. Then, they will hear stories from former and current students about how the organization has impacted their lives, including the night’s keynote speaker, Dr. Eric Parks.

The dinner will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Oct. 4, at MeadowView Convention Center.

Kingsport Young Life is a ministry for middle and high school kids in the greater Kingsport area. The ministry currently has volunteer leaders at Sullivan Central, Sullivan North, Sullivan South, Dobyns-Bennett and Volunteer, as well as all the middle schools that feed into those high schools.

Young Life leaders are volunteers who reach out to students and build relationships with them in order to share the Gospel. According to Scottie Dancy, area director for Young Life Kingsport, the heartbeat of the Young Life leaders is to show up in kids’ daily lives.

“We’re creating relationships that build trust with the kids so we can share Christ with them,” said Dancy. “We believe in the power of presence. Kids’ lives are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them, sharing God’s love with them. Because their Young Life leader believes in them, and they see it, they begin to see that their own lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.”

Kingsport Young Life saw a need for a presence in area middle schools after witnessing the struggles of today’s youth. “This generation is deciding what they think about the temptations of the world in middle school,” said Dancy.

They saw the opportunity to reach this group with weekly meetings, called Wyldlife Club, in a gym where the students are participators instead of spectators. Wyldlife leaders, such as Tanner Bradley, plan group activities, games and messages about Jesus.

“We’re building relationships with the kids by earning the right to be heard by them,” said Bradley. “Kids won’t listen unless they know the adult cares, so we invest time in their lives.”

Bradley first joined Young Life as a freshman in high school, then became a Wyldlife leader his junior year. Today, he is a junior in college and plans on continuing his career with Young Life. “I grew up in a Christian home, but Young Life definitely still impacted my life. It built me into the Christian I am today. My leaders hung out with me and came to watch my ball games. It’s a rewarding feeling to have someone who cares about you that isn’t a family member.”

For tickets to the fundraiser dinner on Oct. 4, RSVP with an email to banquet.ylkpt@gmail.com. There’s no charge to attend the dinner. However, there will be an opportunity during the event if guests feel led to give. For information about the organization, visit http://www.younglifekpt.org/.

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