Forever Changed
Posted in Serve |

Forever Changed

The following is a testimony of a student who experienced SERVE in Gallatin Valley, Montana in 2016, which forever changed her life. Gallatin Valley SERVE 2016 showed me what it's like to be a true Christian. Through my experience at SERVE, I was able to deepen my relationship with Christ by giving Him complete control of my life during the message that took place at the day at the lake. My life is now forever changed. Christ is taking me places I could never go on my own. SERVE helped me realize God's calling for my life. I am now planning on attending a Christian college in… Read More

Coffee and Life
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Coffee and Life

It's the Month of May, Sip, Sip, Hooray! Have you ordered your SERVE 2017 Authentic Community blend coffee yet? Share some community with others when you SERVE this specialty blend from our friends at Good Neighbour Coffee. A portion of all proceeds will give students the opportunity to experience Authentic Community at a SERVE mission trip in a way that will change their lives forever, encouraging them to impact this world for Christ. Click here to order your 1 lb bag today! Read below to learn more about Good Neighbour Coffee and the amazing things they have been doing there! We… Read More

Satisfaction in Giving
Posted in Serve |

Satisfaction in Giving

Several years ago at Alamosa SERVE in Colorado, my work group was given the assignment of building a wheel chair ramp for a retired Air Force Veteran on limited resources who was caring for a disabled friend in his home. The project involved taking out steps and part of a front porch, and figuring out a way to adapt the ramp into the existing structure. On my first SERVE, back in 2001 in Michigan, I was assigned the same task, and I recalled the time it took and how overwhelming that assignment seemed. Through lots of prayer and some outside assistance it was completed back then.… Read More

Don’t be Afraid of the Big Ideas
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Don’t be Afraid of the Big Ideas

Do you ever feel too small for your big ideas? God loves to use people who don’t seem important enough to do his most important work. Consider these examples from the Bible: Elijah- He spent some serious time in prayer and it changed the weather for THREE YEARS! You know the weather, that thing everyone acknowledges is totally out of our control... Elijah affected it through the power of prayer and he was just a guy like us. “17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on… Read More

The Expanse of SERVE
Posted in Serve |

The Expanse of SERVE

It is amazing how a word conjures up images and memories for us. SERVE seems to do that. For churches who know this ministry, when they hear the name SERVE, they bring up stories of God showing up in the places and challenging the participants to be stretched for the Kingdom in powerful ways. Many students carry these faith forming experiences with them for a life time, often as a highlight moment. I hear stories like this often - students who are now young adults, parents who came along as leaders, pastors who shared in an experience with their younger members, all carry with them… Read More

Mission Trip Self-Care
Posted in Serve |

Mission Trip Self-Care

I have a confession; I am terrible at self-care. I have a suspicion that I’m not the only one. Too often female youth leaders are the worst offenders when it comes to neglecting rest. We care for our families and then turn around and care for the leaders and students in our churches and communities. There is always so much to do and too few hours in the day. And yet, God in his wisdom, requires us to rest, to Sabbath every week. It’s often during our busiest times that we need to rest the most. And while every week is busy, the busiest week of the year, in my experience, is always… Read More

Marion SERVEant
Posted in Serve |

Marion SERVEant

We’ve been talking a lot about ants around the Youth Unlimited offices. They are amazing creatures, but there is one specific ant story that I love to share. It was a summer evening, and I was participating in a Youth Unlimited mission trip in Marion, Indiana. Everyone was at a local water park enjoying a little downtime when I noticed a colony of ants in crisis. A puddle of water formed in the exact spot where a line of ants was traveling. In the middle of this ant catastrophe, I noticed one little ant kept swimming out to the middle of the puddle. It would push an ant to the water’s… Read More

What Kind Of “SERVE”-Ant are you?
Posted in Serve |

What Kind Of “SERVE”-Ant are you?

When you go on a SERVE trip, it’s pretty obvious that you have to work as a team in order to get anything done. One example in nature of God’s design for teamwork is that of ants. Ants have to work as a team to get anything done, and when the team works together, well, they all get to succeed! But in a team, not everyone can take on the same role, even ants have different jobs. What kind of “SERVE”-Ant are you? Fire Ant- Fire Ants are passionate about their service. They are often so excited and determined that their passion can rub off on their team members. Fire ants are… Read More

Life Together – A Book Review
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Life Together – A Book Review

"The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer." As a freshman in college, I was assigned the reading of Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Like most 18 year-olds, Bonhoeffer's writing was far beyond the grasp of both my attention and my comprehension. Years later, now, while working on the SERVE 2017 theme materials, I fell more and more in love with the very concept we're trying to reiterate, Authentic Community. Seeking other resources that speak into Authentic Community, I naturally landed back at Bonhoeffer's Life… Read More

I’ve Never Been on SERVE
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I’ve Never Been on SERVE

I've never been on SERVE, yet I work at Youth Unlimited. Sometimes that seems weird, and sometimes it makes complete sense. When I was in college, near the end of my freshman year, I had an intriguing epiphany. After a year with a "just okay" Resident Assistant, I knew I could be a Resident Assistant with greater intentionality, and maybe have a greater impact on my fellow students in that position than my RA had on us. In that moment, I realized when people choose to follow in someone's footsteps, to pursue a passion that may not have always been their own, it's usually either because… Read More

Why SERVE?
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Why SERVE?

I participated in SERVE as a worksite supervisor for the three years my church hosted SERVE, and I can tell you that there are many good reasons to participate in SERVE. First, it’s an excellent opportunity to engage with the next generation, the youth who will be called upon to sustain the Christian faith in the years ahead and pass it on to the generation after them. Second, Youth Unlimited is very effective at partnering with churches and sharing their much needed experience so churches new to SERVE are able to host SERVE well right out of the starting blocks. Third, I had… Read More

Concentrated Impact
Posted in Serve |

Concentrated Impact

by Brian Bierenga Take a minute and recall your last youth leaders' meeting. Perhaps someone suggested, "We should really help our students develop a heart for serving others." Your group agreed and assigned people to investigate service options, check calendars with kids and parents, gather supplies and arrange transportation. Once that was done, your leadership team worked hard to publicize and promote a one-day event, tout it at several youth meetings and recruit as many students as possible. After the event, your team agrees that several service days over the summer would be better,… Read More