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

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

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

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

Looking Forward to 2018
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Looking Forward to 2018

It’s hard to believe SERVE 2017 is behind us and the planning for SERVE 2018 is under way! We are excited to unveil the theme for SERVE 2018, Love God – Love the World, in this issue of the Youth Unlimited Magazine. In Luke 4:18-19 it says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Through our SERVE sites next summer, we long with great anticipation to see students… Read More

5 to Thrive
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5 to Thrive

Matthew 14 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.   #GivingTuesday Giving… Read More

SERVE 2018 Theme | Love God, Love The World
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SERVE 2018 Theme | Love God, Love The World

This summer at SERVE 2018 our Theme will be Love God, Love The World. Below are our Key Passage and Key Thought behind this curriculum. >> Key Passage: Luke 4:18-19   “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”   >> Key Thought: Jesus begins his ministry in Luke’s Gospel by going to the synagogue where he reads from the book… Read More

Hurricane Relief: St. Thomas SERVE!
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Hurricane Relief: St. Thomas SERVE!

As I’ve heard it said many times, God’s timing is always perfect. I found this true once again through an email from Nicole Jackson, the Youth and Retreat Center Coordinator at St. Thomas Reformed Church (STRC) in the US Virgin Islands. Their church has just completed building a retreat center and they are excited to begin hosting groups. Having received SERVE postcards in the past, she sent an email earlier this summer to explore the possibility of hosting a SERVE in St. Thomas,   Through several emails, Skype conversations, and prayer, we feel God has brought us together… Read More

Stepping Up
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Stepping Up

by Don Koops, Youth Unlimited Board Member During my years of youth ministry, I helped take groups on 12 SERVE trips to the states of Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Virginia, as well as three trips to Ontario, Canada. I’ve also coordinated seven weeks of SERVE at my own church. The church I attend is a relatively small fellowship, so when we have hosted SERVE we have enlisted the services and assistance of churches in a broad range of denominations within a 25-mile radius. This has brought us all closer together for a united purpose and opened our… 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