Our Global Heritage

The foundations of YoungLife were laid in Texas USA in 1938, when Jim Rayburn -a gifted youth leader in Gainesville- had a life-changing moment and a burning desire to reach out to disinterested teenagers. Jim wanted to see young people living a full life, overflowing with hope, identity and purpose.

Jim’s weekly youth club was loaded with music, funny skits and exciting games, plus easily-digested positive messages that connected with the youth.
YoungLife was founded in 1941, spreading quickly through the USA, then Canada and other countries further afield.

Today, the organisation operates in more than 70 countries with over 5,600 staff and 67,000 volunteers globally.