5 Reflection Questions to Ask After Your Mission Trip
Posted in Serve |

5 Reflection Questions to Ask After Your Mission Trip

Coming home from a youth mission trip can be much like falling off a mountaintop and walking away very disoriented. You have experienced so much in such a short time that coming back to real-life can be a letdown. One way to prevent disorientation is to spend some time in reflection and sharing your experience with others. Below are a few questions to ask yourself and your trip companions as you try to process your experience and integrate what you learned into daily life. 1. What are the top three things I will miss from my mission experience? Mission trips often come with new… Read More

7 Ways to Empower and Encourage Youth Before a Youth Mission Trip
Posted in Serve |

7 Ways to Empower and Encourage Youth Before a Youth Mission Trip

Beyond the details of planning for a youth service trip is one of its most essential elements: building enthusiasm. A youth mission trip may be one of the most positive and memorable experiences a young adult encounters. We need the youthful gifts of passion and creativity to align the church in the mission of God. Here are seven ways to empower and encourage your youth as you partner with them on your short-term mission trip: 1. Make a list of the people (or the person) they most admire and their qualities. Once they have this list, urge them to strive to achieve the most essential… Read More

5 Ways to Pray for Your Upcoming Mission Trip
Posted in Youth Ministry |

5 Ways to Pray for Your Upcoming Mission Trip

Mission trips are often a life-changing experience. When planning to attend a mission trip there is more to the preparation than making sure your bag is packed with enough clean clothes for the week. You also want to prepare through prayer for all that you will experience. Here are 5 ways you can pray in preparation for your upcoming mission trip. 1. Pray for the relationships that will be formed and strengthened by this experience… “Lord, I pray that during this experience you would fill me with compassion, generosity, kindness, and respect as I interact with the people I encounter.… Read More

How to Plan a Mission Trip
Posted in Serve |

How to Plan a Mission Trip

7 Things to Do When Planning a Mission Trip for Teens If you’re planning a mission trip for a youth group, it can seem overwhelming. Based on our experience, here are things to consider when planning a mission trip for youth: 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 parents. Go to the parents directly. This gives you a good contact… Read More

What’s New In 2019?
Posted in Serve |

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

110 Youth Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas (FREE LIST)
Posted in Serve |

110 Youth Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas (FREE LIST)

Looking for fundraising ideas for a short-term mission trip or church youth group? Your church 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… 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

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

I’ve Never Been on SERVE
Posted in Serve |

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

SERVE – Sweeter By the Year
Posted in Serve |

SERVE – Sweeter By the Year

You should know that each host team for SERVE works nearly year-round to prepare for the week-long SERVE experience. So when the students and their leaders begin to walk through the doors on those warm Saturday afternoons, there is no feeling quite like the joy we have to welcome them! Prairie SERVE out here in Sioux City/Sergeant Bluff, Iowa just wrapped up its third year. Each SERVE experience is unique and memorable, to be sure, but as a host team member, I can honestly say Prairie SERVE gets sweeter by the year. The temperatures were high this year, but the joy of the Lord as… Read More

A Thread in the Tapestry
Posted in Serve |

A Thread in the Tapestry

The following is an excerpt from our Spring 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. A Thread in the Tapestry by Kyle De Boer Joining forces for the third straight year, three Montana congregations are collaborating to host Gallatin Valley SERVE. We are an eclectic bunch with diverse gifts. Farmers and ranchers work side-by-side with educators and entrepreneurs. The unique community of volunteers for GV SERVE is the locale in which youth and adults offer their gifts for something greater than themselves. SERVE volunteers and participants are the needed characters… Read More

Don’t Eat the Last Twinky
Posted in Youth Ministry |

Don’t Eat the Last Twinky

The following post is from How to Plan a Mission Trip. To view the original post, click here. For years, I have invited long term missionaries to the trainings I do with short termers. One story in particular stood out… the missionary recounted how the remoteness of their field left little room for luxury. Each time they returned to the USA, they brought back a package of Twinkies for the freezer. On a family member’s birthday, they pulled one out… put a candle in it… and sang Happy Birthday. One summer, a short term team came. The missionaries offered the typical “mi… Read More