5 Most Impactful Youth Mission Trips
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5 Most Impactful Youth Mission Trips

Many youth pastors and leaders have had a number of mission trip experiences either as a student or as a leader, so who better to ask about which ones have been the most impactful? Mission Work in a "Big City" Youth Summer Camp Mission Trip to Alaska International Mission Trip Local Mission Trips Bonus: Words of Advice Mission Work in a “Big City” Cities across the country are often laden with individuals and families who struggle to make ends meet, many who don’t even have a home. Taking part in a mission trip in a large city can be a real eye-opener and… Read More

Keep Seeking
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Keep Seeking

by Travis Deur Nearly ten years ago, I heard the testimony of a man who had come to faith later in his life. He shared with me how surprised he was to find out so many Christians he talked to as a new believer were not reading their Bibles on a daily basis. I shrank deep into my chair. I was playing the part of a Christian. I was at church every week, going through the motions and outwardly doing the right things, but I honestly wasn’t doing much in the way of seeking God. “Keep seeking!” seems to answer many of the faith questions I’m regularly asked or asking myself. Not… 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

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

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

The following is an edited excerpt from the Youth Unlimited Magazine (Fall 2015). 6 Things to Do When Planning a Mission Trip for Teens If you’re planning a mission trip for a youth group (and especially if you're planning to bring your group to Youth Unlimited’s Serve), here are 6 things to do: 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… Read More

The Many Benefits of a Service Trip for Your Church Youth Group (Infographic)
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The Many Benefits of a Service Trip for Your Church Youth Group (Infographic)

If you have ever been on a SERVE trip (or really any kind of service trip), you can testify that it is a life changing experience. But, have you ever tried to explain that to someone who hasn’t ever experienced a mission trip themselves? It’s hard. You want to tell them all about the feelings you felt and the gratitude you received and all the lessons you learned; however, sometimes it’s too difficult to put those things into words. So, what do you do when you want to take your youth group on a service trip and you need to convince some of those critical people in your church… Read More

Christian Community
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Christian Community

by Adrianna Wimmers Stress is mental or emotional strain caused by demanding or adverse circumstances. Stress can come from many different situations and can be overwhelming, leading oneself to not know where to turn to or what to do about the stress they are experiencing. Balancing school, friends, relationships, extra-curricular activities, jobs and everything in between can add unnecessary and often unwanted stress. Stress and being overwhelmed can blind us to many things like the people who can and are willing to help us get out of our hole that we have stressed ourselves into.… 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

How to Play Life Size Pac-Man Game (Easy Guide)
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How to Play Life Size Pac-Man Game (Easy Guide)

Are you trying to find group games to play at your SERVE youth mission trip site or even just with your Youth Group? I worked at a camp for a few summers, and one of the games we played was life size Pac-Man (also known as "Human Pac-Man"). This quickly turned into one of my favorite games and is not too hard to pull off! Here are instructions on how to make life size Pac-Man happen at your event. Supplies: Tape Pool noodles 2 Baskets or containers of some sort A sheet or some kind of costume for a "Ghost" A big room or outdoor space Set-Up: Make a maze… Read More

Seven Different Mentors Your Students Need
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Seven Different Mentors Your Students Need

The following is a blog post by Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders. To view the original post, click here. One of the most common questions I receive from college students is: “How do I find a mentor?” What they mean by this is—how can I locate or identify the right kind of mentor for my personal plans?” Over the years, I’ve found the majority of students say they desire to have a mentor in their life; someone they could call and bounce a question off of; someone who is slow to judge but quick to offer hope. A couple of years ago, Gallup released findings from the largest representative… Read More

LIVE IT: Documenting our Journey
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LIVE IT: Documenting our Journey

The following is an article from our Spring 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. I recently had a discussion with some high school students about whether or not I was going to lock up their cell phones during our week long summer mission trip. They listed many reasons to keep their phones, but the one that surprised me most was their desire to be able to “check-in” to all the landmark locations we will be visiting while away. Cell phones have become a modern day “Captain’s Log” documenting significant events, adventures and discoveries along life’s… Read More

An Open Letter to Our Graduating Seniors
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An Open Letter to Our Graduating Seniors

Dear High School Seniors, It’s here! Your long-awaited, joy-filled, nerve-racking day is finally here! You are graduating from high school, and today we are certain you’re looking back saying, “Wait, where did the time go?!” Oh seniors, there are so many things we want to tell you, it’s hard to know where to begin. Your life is such an adventure; each day ordained by God. In the days to come, you will know trial, pain, loss and grief. But more than these things, you will know peace, love, comfort, joy and hope beyond what you can even imagine. God’s plans for you… Read More