By Angie Moses

Young Life is a ministry that introduces teenagers to Christianity and helps them grow in their faith.

In Lake Norman over the past two school years, the ministry has doubled in size with more than 350 high school students participating this year at Hopewell, Hough, Lake Norman Charter, and Community School of Davidson.

The ministry does not currently exist at high schools in Mooresville and Denver, although a group of parents at Mooresville High have been discussing the possibility.

Area director Ashley Flowers remembers a time in 2007 when her team was trying to start Young Life at Hopewell. She had organized a scavenger hunt at Northlake Mall, and afterwards, students gathered in the outdoor rockers at the mall entrance. Flowers spoke to them about Zacchaeus in the Bible, a man with a bad reputation who encountered Jesus’ love. Included in the audience were known drug dealers.

“They could relate to Zacchaeus,” Flowers said. From this unlikely group, Hopewell Young Life began.

By hanging out with teens on their turf, Young Life leaders develop relationships with diverse groups of students, spending up to 15 hours a week at high school campuses, sporting events, and weekly Young Life gatherings. Twenty-six Davidson College students volunteer as group leaders.

“Most high school kids are starving for something that is going to give them hope,” Flowers said. “Their parents’ marriage may fall apart. They may not get asked out by that guy or girl. They may fail that class. The only thing that’s constant is Jesus.”

For more information about Young Life, visit http://greaterlakenorman.younglife.org or call 704-987-9510.