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? Your 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 list of mission trip fundraising… 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

The Name Of Love
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The Name Of Love

By Gil Clelland   Love has a name. We were out on an educational walk in our city's core learning about poverty. Six SERVE students and I were engaged in a good conversation, trying to understand how people can end up on the streets and what we can do to respond. And then we saw him. He sat there alone. People walked by. Perhaps they did not notice him. Perhaps they did not want to notice him. Grey, weathered clothing blended into the grey, weathered sidewalk. An empty hat opened expectantly to offerings from passers-by. A cardboard sign - "Any help will do." I knelt… Read More

SERVE Shoes
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SERVE Shoes

by Kyle De Boer, Gallatin Valley SERVE Host Team Coordinator “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same” (Luke 3:11). For a high school student from the Gallatin Valley, a Tuesday at Grandma’s house turned into a life altering encounter with a servant of Christ. Johnathon had just finished his sophomore year of high school. Since his brother and mom were working, he had to keep an eye on his little sister who broke her arm a few days earlier, so they ventured down the road to Grandma’s house. As they arrived… Read More

Does SERVEant have a first name?
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Does SERVEant have a first name?

When we brought the SERVEant back we talked a lot in the office about if we should give it a name or not. We thought that some people might ask so we should come up with a plan. We decided that we would take all of our 2017 student registrations and find the most common name of the year and that is what we would pick for our ant.   However, before we tell you what that name is we have something else to say. The spirit of the SERVEant is that there cannot be just one. Ants live in community and so do we. That being said we are only naming our office SERVEant. What you call yours… Read More

SERVE 2018 Theme | Love God, Love The World
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SERVE 2018 Theme | Love God, Love The World

This summer at SERVE 2018 our Theme will be Love God, Love The World. Below are our Key Passage and Key Thought behind this curriculum. >> Key Passage: Luke 4:18-19   “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”   >> Key Thought: Jesus begins his ministry in Luke’s Gospel by going to the synagogue where he reads from the book… Read More

Hurricane Relief: St. Thomas SERVE!
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Hurricane Relief: St. Thomas SERVE!

As I’ve heard it said many times, God’s timing is always perfect. I found this true once again through an email from Nicole Jackson, the Youth and Retreat Center Coordinator at St. Thomas Reformed Church (STRC) in the US Virgin Islands. Their church has just completed building a retreat center and they are excited to begin hosting groups. Having received SERVE postcards in the past, she sent an email earlier this summer to explore the possibility of hosting a SERVE in St. Thomas,   Through several emails, Skype conversations, and prayer, we feel God has brought us together… Read More