How to Plan a Mission Trip
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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
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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

SERVE | The Highlight Of Every Summer
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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
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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)
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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

Spread Shalom
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Spread Shalom

by Annika Bangma, Whitinsville SERVE Host Team Coordinator In June of 2014, our town of Northbridge (of which Whitinsville is a village) had just voted down a hefty tax override that would give the local public school additional resources. Although there are many reasons why the override failed, a writer in the opinion column of our local newspaper argued, “The major obstacle we continually face is that an “organized” subgroup of voters does not feel the civic need to invest in things that enhance our public school system and town services. This subgroup of voters isn’t the… 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

Forever Changed
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Forever Changed

The following is a testimony of a student who experienced SERVE in Gallatin Valley, Montana in 2016, which forever changed her life. Gallatin Valley SERVE 2016 showed me what it's like to be a true Christian. Through my experience at SERVE, I was able to deepen my relationship with Christ by giving Him complete control of my life during the message that took place at the day at the lake. My life is now forever changed. Christ is taking me places I could never go on my own. SERVE helped me realize God's calling for my life. I am now planning on attending a Christian college in… 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

Why SERVE?
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Why SERVE?

I participated in SERVE as a worksite supervisor for the three years my church hosted SERVE, and I can tell you that there are many good reasons to participate in SERVE. First, it’s an excellent opportunity to engage with the next generation, the youth who will be called upon to sustain the Christian faith in the years ahead and pass it on to the generation after them. Second, Youth Unlimited is very effective at partnering with churches and sharing their much needed experience so churches new to SERVE are able to host SERVE well right out of the starting blocks. Third, I had… Read More