Forever One; SERVE 2020 Theme
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Forever One; SERVE 2020 Theme

 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5 (NIV)   The Bible is full of stories. These stories, or narratives, give us a glimpse into the nature and character of God, as well as God’s relationship to humanity, in a way that informs how we should live. They tell of people, places, and events from particular times and cultures and yet speak to each of us right where we are at today.   The stories in the Bible are not standalone accounts of people, places, and events though; the Bible is… Read More

5 Reflection Questions to Ask After Your Mission Trip
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5 Reflection Questions to Ask After Your Mission Trip

Coming home from a youth mission trip can be much like falling off a mountaintop and walking away very disoriented. You have experienced so much in such a short time that coming back to real-life can be a letdown. One way to prevent disorientation is to spend some time in reflection and sharing your experience with others. Below are a few questions to ask yourself and your trip companions as you try to process your experience and integrate what you learned into daily life. 1. What are the top three things I will miss from my mission experience? Mission trips often come with new… Read More

7 Ways to Empower and Encourage Youth Before a Youth Mission Trip
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7 Ways to Empower and Encourage Youth Before a Youth Mission Trip

Beyond the details of planning for a youth service trip is one of its most essential elements: building enthusiasm. A youth mission trip may be one of the most positive and memorable experiences a young adult encounters. We need the youthful gifts of passion and creativity to align the church in the mission of God. Here are seven ways to empower and encourage your youth as you partner with them on your short-term mission trip: 1. Make a list of the people (or the person) they most admire and their qualities. Once they have this list, urge them to strive to achieve the most essential… Read More

9 Benefits of Youth Mission Trips 
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9 Benefits of Youth Mission Trips 

Through our 100 years of ministry, we have learned a lot including the fact that our youth mission trips are a powerful way to remain active in church and grow in your faith. Through a faith-forming, short-term mission trip experience, you will serve God and learn about what it means to get involved in the community and be a good neighbor. The participants, community and the churches involved all benefit in ways that will continue to guide and shape their lives years later.  Here are nine benefits to expect after taking part in a short-term mission trip:  1. God will change you.  You’re… Read More

How to Plan a Mission Trip
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How to Plan a Mission Trip

7 Things to Do When Planning a Mission Trip for Teens If you’re planning a mission trip for a youth group, it can seem overwhelming. Based on our experience, here are things to consider when planning a mission trip for youth: Check dates with parents early in the process. Even before October 1 of the year before the Summer mission trip, begin asking parents if they have a family vacation planned or know of camps/activities in the summer you should plan around. Don’t just ask the students to ask their parents. Go to the parents directly. This gives you a good contact… Read More

The Sacrifice of Service
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The Sacrifice of Service

by Andrew Rennie, Lynden SERVE Host Team Member My second year on the Host Team of Lynden SERVE felt different from the first. The first year left me wishing I could have done more or been more involved. I was inspired by the work of the students, by witnessing their comradery and unity, and by watching our church come together and work purposefully to the glory of God. Still, it seemed to me that my part in this sacrifice of service was missing something. Reflecting on the old sacrificial system, I realize pleasing sacrifices are rarely spontaneous. The spotless lamb doesn't walk… Read More

Letting Go and Loving
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Letting Go and Loving

Written by Megan Schouten My church had gone on many SERVE trips over the years, one of which I was a student participant myself. I’d heard and been a part of so many great stories, but still, SERVE 2018 made me worry. This time, I would not just be a participant, but a leader. I was worried that being a stranger to the students in my SERVE small group would prevent me from being able to relate to them. As a youth group leader in church, I had lead small groups before, but I already knew those students. I was also worried about the students we would be taking with our own youth… Read More

What’s New In 2019?
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What’s New In 2019?

Registration for the SERVE 2019 teen mission trip season is about to open NOW OPEN and we wanted to let you know about some new things! If you ever have any questions don't hesitate to contact us. New SERVE Youth Mission Trip Sites for 2019 Along with many of our loyal returning sites, we are so excited to be adding a few new ones this year. Click on the links below to see their full site descriptions! Abbotsford, BC Abingdon, VA Redlands, CA Roselawn, IN Thunder Bay, ON Wyoming, MI New Background Check Policy In year's past, we have… Read More

Middle School: A Key Age
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Middle School: A Key Age

Interview with Scott Post “I would say youth who have participated in SERVE go on to be more regularly involved in local service opportunities, both while they are in high school and beyond.” In a cultural climate which tells us our youth are leaving the church and faith in God is declining, Scott believes middle school is a key age to engage students in faith formation. During the year, Scott encourages his middle schoolers to go past just reading their Bibles and praying every day. “We’ve spent a lot of time in the context of our community intentionally building spiritual… Read More

110 Youth Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas (FREE LIST)
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110 Youth Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas (FREE LIST)

Looking for fundraising ideas for a short-term mission trip or church youth group? Your church group is going on a mission trip. That's exciting! But, it can sometimes be difficult for leaders to brainstorm ways for your group as a whole (or individuals going on the mission trip) to raise enough money to go. We'd like to help you easily come up with some ideas. Here's a free list of 110 creative fundraising ideas for youth mission trips or other church group mission trips to get you started. P.S. Want to print this list or read it as an eBook on your Kindle? Download our entire… Read More

Authentic Community
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Authentic Community

By Jacob VanDam Before attending Gallatin Valley SERVE, I didn’t have a framework for what would take place at SERVE or how Christ’s would connect me with two influential communities. Once I arrived, strangers from across the country quickly became family. One of the main topics was community, which I initially thought was just simply “making friends”. But it wasn’t just that; it was having a spiritual bond with the whole community and everyone there.   A few weeks after SERVE, my family received the news that my dad has stage four colon cancer. This was a blow… Read More

Engaging Youth
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Engaging Youth

by Kevin VanderVeen As a youth pastor, I find myself praying for young people in the church often. I pray young people will discover the depth of God’s love for them and know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. I pray they will take joy in God as the greatest treasure of their life. I pray they will become increasingly aware of how God has uniquely gifted them to serve in his kingdom. I pray the young people in the church may experience a sense of urgency to use and develop their gifts for God’s glory. At Covenant, we are blessed with young people of all ages, and we’re… Read More