Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 22, 2014

Young Life gets new location, director

Staff report
CNHI

THOMASVILLE — The year has brought about changes for Young Life Thomas County, including a new location and new director to serve the organization.

Justin Chandler, originally of Cobb County, has relocated to Thomas County to be the new area director of Young Life Thomas County.

He is a graduate of Kennesaw University in Atlanta, where he earned a degree in education.

Since Chandler was a sophomore in high school, he has been involved with Young Life in some capacity. In 1997, he began working part-time with Young Life and then joined full-time in 2001.

“I really love the way Young Life builds relationships and invests in teens’ lives. Someone did that for me. It’s a very relational ministry,” said Chandler.

Young Life Thomas County is comprised of adults who are concerned enough about the teens of the area to go to them on their turf and in their culture to buildbridges of authentic friendship. The relationships do not happen overnight. They take time, patience, trust and consistency.

Chandler said, “These are adults investing in the youths’ lives no matter their background.”

Young Life leaders log many hours working with the youth. No one is turned away from the Young Life community. The programs are custom made for youth through their adolescent years.

The program began as with a few simple ideas about sharing the truth of God’s love with adolescents.

Those simple ideas have become time-tested methods for reaching out to middle school, high school and college students in friendship and hope.

“We want kids in the area to gain a better understanding of Christ and who he said he is. Here at Young Life, as a ministry in Thomasville,  we want to reach out to every kid in Thomasville,” said Chandler.

Young Life Thomas County has about 60 youth attendees who come to the weekly meetings and weekend camps.

Last summer, the youths enjoyed summer camp in north Georgia, but this year they will be attending a camp in North Carolina.

As the new area director, Chandler has some priorities in store for Young Life Thomas County.

He wants to continue the quality of ministry that is already present in the organization because of the work the previous director did in the community.

It is also his desire for the organization to grow and reach out to every middle and high school student in the area.

He said, “The overall big picture for us to grow into other towns close to Thomasville. That’s our long-term vision — to branch out.”

The new location of Young Life Thomas County, where weekly club meetings will take place and offices are housed is located on Pavo Road.

For more information on Young Life Thomas County, visit www.thomascounty.younglife.org.