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

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

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

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

Faces of YU: Elizabeth
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Faces of YU: Elizabeth

Get to know Elizabeth Bosscher from Holland, MI What is your role at Youth Unlimited? I am the Canadian SERVE Coordinator, which means I handle all the administrative details for our Canadian SERVE Sites. I am also the resident technology help and troubleshoot any technology issues we may have.   Where are you from, and what brought you to Youth Unlimited? I grew up in Mankato, Minnesota and just moved to Michigan this last August so my Husband could attend school in the area. I searched for a job for a few months after we moved here before I happened to… 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