5 Events to Raise More Money for Your Next Youth Mission Trip
Posted in Youth Ministry |

5 Events to Raise More Money for Your Next Youth Mission Trip

Convincing people to give you money isn't always easy, even if it's for a life-changing youth mission trip. You need to get creative to inspire your youth and make them excited about raising money for the trip. We've created a practical list for youth workers and pastors to help make your next Christian youth mission trip a financial success. 1. Text-to-Tithe Campaign A text-to-tithe campaign can be incredibly useful because people can give whenever or wherever they want. Your youth group is already well-versed in communicating via text message. You'll need to do some upfront work… Read More

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

9 Benefits of Youth Mission Trips 
Posted in Serve |

9 Benefits of Youth Mission Trips 

Through our 100 years of ministry, we have learned a lot including the fact that our youth mission trips are a powerful way to remain active in church and grow in your faith. Through a faith-forming, short-term mission trip experience, you will serve God and learn about what it means to get involved in the community and be a good neighbor. The participants, community and the churches involved all benefit in ways that will continue to guide and shape their lives years later.  Here are nine benefits to expect after taking part in a short-term mission trip:  1. God will change you.  You’re… 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

Keep Seeking
Posted in Youth Ministry |

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
Posted in SERVE Testimonies |

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
Posted in Serve |

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

SERVE | The Highlight Of Every Summer
Posted in Serve |

SERVE | The Highlight Of Every Summer

by: Jenifer Buikema For me, SERVE was the highlight of every summer. In my life I have been on four Youth Unlimited SERVE trips; Sioux Falls, Port Perry, Brighton, and Gallatin Valley. I have also helped host two trips at my home church in Holland, Michigan. I love to travel, so hopping in the 15-passenger van with my youth group and driving to Canada or across the country was always a great start to the week! Then, when you arrive, the host team is always super excited to welcome you and invite you into their community. Being welcomed that warmly really sets you up to have a great week. The… Read More

The Year I Went To All The Canadian SERVE Sites
Posted in Serve |

The Year I Went To All The Canadian SERVE Sites

By: Ron deVries The summer of 2017 will forever be etched in my hard drive (and human brain) as the year I thought it would be a cool idea to visit every Canadian SERVE site. I knew it would be a lot of traveling and although some things prevented me (I am reminded of the two and half hour delay waiting somewhere in the seemingly far reaches of highway between 427 and 403) from spending more time with each of these incredible sites. Here are a few highlights for me. Watching our host teams in action made me swell up with Christian pride. I witnessed Kingdom people doing Kingdom… Read More

The Many Benefits of a Service Trip for Your Church Youth Group (Infographic)
Posted in Youth Ministry |

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