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

Faces of Youth Unlimited Summer, 2016
Posted in Faces of Youth Unlimited |

Faces of Youth Unlimited Summer, 2016

The following is from our Spring 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. Tyler Gaastra Beckwith Hills Christian Reformed Church Grand Rapids, MI Q. What do you do in your free time? A. In my free time I read history, philosophy and theology books and visit Civil War sites. Q. Where would you like to travel someday? A. I’d like to do a Reformation History Tour: Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and England. Q. What do you do to stay relevant to youth? A. Embrace change and technology. Q. I never leave for youth group without my _____. A.… Read More

SERVE and My Life Story
Posted in Serve |

SERVE and My Life Story

The following is an article from our Spring 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. SERVE and My Life Story by Thomas Kielstra Discovering what my faith was as a teenager was not exactly easy. Feeling the various pushes from different Christian institutions to focus on different aspects of faith was challenging, but making my faith mine was very important to me. In 2011 at the age of 14, I went to Muskegon SERVE in Muskegon, Michigan with a church that wasn’t mine. At the week of SERVE, I saw that the Reformed Church put a much larger emphasis on a personal… Read More

An Open Letter to Our Graduating Seniors
Posted in Youth Ministry |

An Open Letter to Our Graduating Seniors

Dear High School Seniors, It’s here! Your long-awaited, joy-filled, nerve-racking day is finally here! You are graduating from high school, and today we are certain you’re looking back saying, “Wait, where did the time go?!” Oh seniors, there are so many things we want to tell you, it’s hard to know where to begin. Your life is such an adventure; each day ordained by God. In the days to come, you will know trial, pain, loss and grief. But more than these things, you will know peace, love, comfort, joy and hope beyond what you can even imagine. God’s plans for you… Read More

Bridging Generations
Posted in Youth Ministry |

Bridging Generations

One of the many tensions in youth ministry is how much to integrate youth programs with the larger church. Many youth programs have their own separate wing of the church and do not feel connected to the church. It is essential that teenagers maintain their Christian identity with the larger church so they continue to attend, post-graduation. However, teenagers have unique needs that are different from children and adults that require special attention. So how does a church find this balance? The first thing a youth pastor can do is observe and assess what is currently being done. How… Read More

Why Your Next Training Event Will Fail
Posted in Youth Ministry |

Why Your Next Training Event Will Fail

Do "life changing" events really change lives? The following is a post by Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders. To view the original post click here. A few years ago, a university invited me to come and speak at their annual leadership lecture series. This is an endowed event every year, but that particular year—they decided to really make it big. The staff wanted to see life-change in the students who attended. We spent hours on the phone preparing for those two days, brainstorming creative elements, interviews to be done, videos we could show, etc. It was certain to be the highlight of… Read More

He Delights in Using Young People
Posted in Youth Ministry |

He Delights in Using Young People

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.” Joel 2:28-29 Sometimes we forget I’m not old enough to rent a van...or drive a rental van, for that matter. I started leading a youth group at the age of 19. Being just months older than a handful of my students was daunting at best, terrifying… Read More

What Teens Need
Posted in Youth Ministry |

What Teens Need

by Amanda Roozeboom The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here.  There is a lot of discussion regarding the “Needs of Adolescence”. Most scholars agree that teens need: love, security, community, purpose, creative expression, achievement, structure/clear limits, self-definition and confidence/self-worth. Chap Clark summarizes it this way, “Teens need Identity, (Who am I), Autonomy (Do my choices matter) Belonging (Where do I fit)”. I would add teens need a faith that lasts beyond high school! In Kenda Creasy Dean’s… Read More

Faces of Youth Unlimited – Winter 2016
Posted in Faces of Youth Unlimited |

Faces of Youth Unlimited – Winter 2016

The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 Magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here.  Aaron Au Q. Where could we find you at 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning? A. One of the incredible Farmer's Markets that we have in Edmonton. I love the local produce and goods. Q. What’s your favorite place to meet with students, and why? A. I often meet students (or anyone for that matter) at our local, neighbourhood coffee shop, the Carrot Arts Coffeehouse. Our neighbourhood plays such an integral role in the lives of my wife and me and our church plant and the Carrot… Read More

The Battle is His
Posted in Notes From the Executive Director |

The Battle is His

The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here.  I will never forget my first year of full-time youth ministry. It started in 1996, 20 years ago, with Youth For Christ! There were many first time experiences like leading a student through the plan of salvation and a summer youth group trip to Colorado with two students released to me from the local juvenile detention center. I look back on these years and have so many great memories and emotions, and 2015 was no exception. This past summer, while visiting many of Youth Unlimited’s… Read More

TV and Kingdom Work
Posted in Serve |

TV and Kingdom Work

by Barry Ruiter, Youth Unlimited Account/Business Manager The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 Magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. I admit to often watching television shows that feature buyers looking for a fixer upper home to renovate, programs that chop, cut and rebuild cars, or even the show where a specialty builder constructs treehouses for clients. I generally like shows that renovate and restore. In watching these types of shows, I’m reminded of my role and yours in the Kingdom, and specifically how it relates to Youth Unlimited. For Youth… Read More

Now I Know
Posted in Serve |

Now I Know

by Tim Ryan Director of Junior High Ministries West Shore Evangelical Free Church The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 Magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. I was blessed with the opportunity to take a group of senior high student mentors and special needs students to the Fruitland Special Needs Serve in July. As a youth pastor, I've had many opportunities to take students on mission trips, but I've never experienced anything quite like a Special Needs Serve! First, we experienced the embrace of the entire church family. I was personally blown away by… Read More