Students | Churches | Faith-Forming Experiences

The following is an excerpt from the Youth Unlimited Fall Magazine. To read more, click here.

Wow… where did that year go? With each passing year, I am forced to admit that my parents were right when they said, “the older you get the faster time flies”!

As we step into a new church ministry year, I’m praying God has refueled your passion for him and the students in your church and community! It is critical you have those in the right order—passion for Christ and then a passion for students. If those are in the reverse order, you will be ministering to students from your own strength and come this winter, you will be worn out, with a passion that went from a roaring fire to a few remaining embers. So please, start this year by investing in your relationship with Christ.

Our team has been working hard the past several months, preparing for the upcoming church year. We, again, have over 30 churches hosting Serve. The majority will be for high school age youth groups, but we will also have middle school and special needs sites too!

This past summer we assisted churches in a new way, customizing the Serve experience for those that maybe needed a shorter experience or the ability to broaden the age group to include younger and older participants. We’re glad to have been able to better serve churches in that way, and we look forward to continuing to meet the needs of more churches next summer as well.

The speakers and devotional material at each of our experiences next summer will be taking the students into the book of Mark, enabling students to encounter the person of Jesus Christ in very real ways during their time at Serve. Held in tandem with their ministry of service, relationships with peers and mentoring from small group leaders, this curriculum will allow students of all places in the walk of faith to meet more fully a Savior who humbly came to serve so that his love would be poured out for us!

As you begin making plans to get this ministry year kicked off, please remember that we are here for you! Our ministry exists to further the Kingdom with students, churches and faith-forming experiences, and we would welcome the opportunity to assist you in any way we can. So, whether you are in Canada or America or from somewhere between the east coast and west coast, we are here for you.

Humbled to serve you in ministry,

Jeff Kruithof

Executive Director

Youth Unlimited

PS – Youth Unlimited was blessed this summer to watch the Holy Spirit work in the lives of so many students through Serve and Live It! To read those stories and testimonies and see pictures, be sure to check out our blog, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Life Changing Experiences

Did the students you took on Serve (or another faith-forming experience) this summer return home with an experience and a teaching that will forever impact how they live their lives? Hopefully your answer is a yes that causes you to celebrate God’s goodness. I know my life was forever changed by a trip I took back in 2011.

I will never forget my hike up Mount Azekah and the teaching I received while sitting up there under a shade tree over looking the Elah valley. The Elah valley is where Israel faced the Philistine army and where David killed Goliath.

One of the many things I learned that day was how this battle was really not about David or Goliath, but rather how God used them to reveal himself. God, through David’s gift and ability (the use of a slingshot), showed how he is greater than any other god. There is many times when I reflect back on that teaching and am reminded how God can reveal himself through me if I am willing to be used.

I believe trips and experiences like the ones created by Youth Unlimited (and many others) can be such a powerful tool to teach, train and point students to the love of Jesus Christ and the joy found in living for him. Therefore, in this issue we are eager to lay out our 2015 summer youth group opportunities.

Many congregations throughout Canada and the United States who are living missionally, will again host a Youth Unlimited Serve mission experience next summer. Our theme for 2015 will be, “The Other 51”, focusing on what it means to live for Jesus after returning home. It will be based on John 20:21-22 where it says, “Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that he breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit”.

The Live It experience, an event where students learn about their value in Christ while exploring how to use their talents to spread God’s love to their friends, community and world, returns in 2015 as well. It will be hosted at Trinity Christian College, near Chicago, IL. Just like ServeLive It will also use the theme, The Other 51.

As you begin a new year of ministering to students through your church, know that the Youth Unlimited staff will faithfully pray for you as well as be working hard to create those faith-forming experiences that will assist you with such an important calling. If we can assist you in any other way, please ask!