In Their Own Country

27 04 2016

In my last blog post I mentioned that every day I get to work with people all over the world. I also mentioned that, even though I sit in a cubicle all day, I’m still in youth ministry.

So, what do I do?

I’m the admin for a program at Young Life called Developing Global Leaders (DGL). I’ll explain a little about what it is, but if you have some free time, click on that link and explore it a bit for yourself. (There are loads of student bios/stories you can read).

Here’s the quick story on DGL:

We believe that many countries around the world not only suffer financial/material poverty, but also a poverty of leadership. (And, let’s be honest… when there are young leaders, they often leave the country for greener grass elsewhere). So, the DGL – in our small way – is trying to invest in the leaders and potential leaders in those countries…  something like 45 countries right now.

We’re investing in these DGL students in three main ways:

1. We provide a scholarship so they can go to college. …in their own country.

They can study pretty much whatever they want, as long as they have a good reason and a plan for how to use it. Some students study theology… many study languages… or business… or computer science… or engineering… or medicine… or…

2. We provide four years of leadership training. …in their own country.

They’ll learn about speaking the truth in love. They’ll talk about managing money and setting priorities with time and people. They’ll explore leading a team of volunteers. Etc.

3. We team them up with a mentor. …in their own country.

Over their four (or more) years in the mentoring relationship, they’ll spend time talking about character development (e.g., integrity, perseverance, and dealing with failure)… personal development (e.g., learning as a lifestyle, effective study habits, and reading good books)… spiritual growth and leadership (e.g., having a consistent prayer life, spiritual disciplines, and consistent church involvement)… and ministry leadership (e.g., evangelism, discipleship, and leading effective small groups).

The hope is that these DGL students will become (or continue to be) leaders in their own countries… leaders in Young Life, in government, in the marketplace, in the education system, in their churches, in ______________ (wherever). Our hope is that every student will graduate and remain in their own country – that they will change their communities and countries (for the good) from the inside.

One question you might have: How is that youth ministry?

Great question!

So, here’s the deal. We invest in the DGL students through the scholarship, leadership training, and mentoring.  …but it’s not all a “free ride” for them. One of the requirements of the program is that they must continue to be excellent leaders in their local Young Life programs. They have to keep investing (through their time and energy) in the next generation. They’re leading “clubs” (like youth groups) and Bible studies and camps. Also, they’re asked to be praying for and recruiting new (volunteer) Young Life leaders.

Which means there are more leaders… investing in more adolescents and telling them about Jesus and God’s love and his redemptive plan for them and the world.

It’s pretty cool stuff.

So, that’s the really quick story of what DGL is. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts or questions. Please leave a comment or email me (!

Side note: When I say “We invest” … what I really mean is that our amazing sponsors and supporters invest… we just connect the dots.




3 responses

27 04 2016

Keeping leaders in their own country, investing in their own communities. I love it.

28 04 2016

Good stuff, right? 🙂 Thanks for the comment Matt!

16 05 2016
Here’s the Deal: I Need Your Help | My Verse

[…] In Their Own Country […]

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