Serve is about joining with God in the renewal of all things. Every year, all across North America, thousands of students and youth workers feel the call to say, “Here I am Lord, send me.” Serve exists to bring heaven to earth (“Thy Kingdom come”) by pairing these student and leader workforces with churches and communities from all over North America, to go out and serve, care for and assist these communities. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, a new age of redemption and reconciliation has dawned. Every year, the impact is amazing, and transformation is the outcome for all of the communities, congregations and students involved. Prices vary, starting at $295.00 USD.
Serve is not just a week-long trip. It’s about transformation that lasts a lifetime! Lead your students out of the church building and into the community. Everything about Serve is designed for nothing less than transformation through the power and love of Jesus Christ. The community being served, the host church and the students serving will all have the opportunity to embrace life change through Christ. Students want to put their faith into action. Jesus told his disciples that they would do “greater things.” A Serve experience can help show your students what that means. Not only will they be doing greater things for congregations and communities, but also for their own life. Students can grow in Christ as their worldview and work ethic are expanded and as they help take hope and healing to communities in need.
“Serve gives an opportunity for teens of all skill levels to go serve Christ in an appropriate, structured setting and stretches us to learn more about our walk with God.”
– Student at Sioux Falls, SD Serve
“I went on Serve when I was in high school, and it really changed my walk with God in a positive way . . . making it real and really kicking off a service aspect in my life. Having just come from a Serve experience some 20 years later, I can testify to the same results both in the students’ lives and a re-energizing in my own. I thank and praise God for Serve!”
– Youth Leader at Crown Pointe, IN Serve
“Everyone bonds the first day. You don’t have to be nervous going because you know you will meet people right away. You get out of your comfort zone, which isn’t easy to do, but on Serve you can.”
– Student at Battle Creek, MI Serve
“At Youth Unlimited, organization is one of their greatest strengths. I always receive information in the mail prior to a trip that lets me know about all the expectations and information I need to know so I feel more prepared to serve.”
– Youth Leader from Alberta, Canada Serve
“Serve started a momentum in our congregation that is like a mini revival. I’ll have to determine how to make the most of it throughout the rest of the year.”
– Pastor from a Host Church
Serve At a Glance
Serve Sites are one week mission experiences hosted by local churches throughout the United States and Canada. Host Churches request to host 40 – 100 students to help with their community outreach and revitalization. The students and youth leaders come from four or more Sending Churches with a usual maximum group size of 15 participants. Groups larger than 15 must register for two or more Serve Sites. This is because Serve Sites are meant to provide students with an experience of fellowship and unity with the larger body of Christ. Relationships at Serve Sites deepen fast since the participants are put into random work teams, which also function as the students’ small groups throughout the week.
Serve Projects last for five days and are hosted at a Christian college. These colleges can host upwards of 250 students at a time in order to build on their year-round community outreach efforts. During a Serve Project, youth groups stay together the entire time and are led by adults from their own church. There is no limit on how many students a group can bring. Serve Projects are meant to provide an atmosphere of high energy and service opportunity in which youth groups can grow unity with each other and connect relationally with their own leaders, while also having plenty of opportunity to interact with people from other churches. The Chicago Project will be back in 2014, along with a new location—The Prairie Project!
For a Custom Serve, Youth Unlimited steps out of strictly a programmatic or organizational viewpoint and asks God for his leading. As followers of Christ, we are willing to invest time, money and resources for God’s glory and the sake of the gospel. Serve Sites are never cookie cutter experiences. There are best practices and high standards maintained across the board, but each experience is unique due to the variety of churches hosting and the way God works in specific congregations and communities. If you have a group of 30 or more, Youth Unlimited has a small number of Host Churches willing to develop a Custom Serve for your group. Contact Youth Unlimited to find out more about this option. If 30 students and youth leaders is a stretch for your church, make it a multi-generational trip, and bring a few more parents or older adults along.
What Makes Serve Different?
It’s all about assisting churches. When you send your students to a Serve experience you can be sure there are local churches hosting or helping the Host Team. Those local churches are involved in sustainable community outreach and will share their passion for their community with your students. The environment set for your students will increase their passion for their own congregation and community.
Serve will also introduce your students to the concepts of justice and missional living. At any Serve experience you and your students will be introduced to and involved in one or more of the following types of service work:
- Community Revitalization
- Compassion for the Marginalized
- Creation Care
- Recreational Ministry for Children
- Acts of Kindness
Serve has a great post-trip process for taking a new passion for community outreach home to your own church. Contact the Youth Unlimited Office to learn more.