This magazine is probably landing in your mailbox in the midst of the beginning of a new ministry year. Youth groups are meeting after summer breaks, fall programs have started back up and summer can seem like a distant memory. As a result, the section of this magazine that might appear to be the most interesting is the preview of the SERVE 2020 theme. Let me encourage you to resist the temptation to jump straight to those sections that focus on next summer and instead, begin by spending some time reading the stories and testimonies from SERVE 2019.
This past year, over 1,400 individuals participated in SERVE at 23 sites across Canada and the United States. Students spent the week considering Paul’s message in Titus 2:14 to “Go Do Good.” They were challenged to reflect on how this verse could impact their life beyond their SERVE experience as they return to their homes, churches and schools. Now, they’re back in their communities and our prayer is that they are trying to discern how a SERVE experience impacts their day-to-day lives.
Many of you know one of these students. You may have encouraged them to attend SERVE, prayed for them before they left, organized a church fundraiser or written a check to cover registration costs. Their experience might not have been possible without the support you provided before their SERVE week.
Now that students are back home, the tendency might be to let their memories of summer 2019 fade into the background. You, too, might spend some time with this magazine, reading SERVE reflections, but the tendency may still be to shift focus to next summer and a new theme. Before that happens, let me encourage you to continue to support students you helped hear the challenge to “Go Do Good.” There are two articles in this magazine that can be used to help students reflect on how their summer mission experience might impact their lives. Look for ways to connect with a 2019 SERVE participant and use these resources to begin a conversation that helps them consider how their experience might deepen their faith in Jesus Christ and his call on their lives.
If no one asks a student about a significant experience in their life, they might assume it doesn’t matter and move on.
This is an excerpt from the Fall 2019 magazine