LIVE IT: Documenting our Journey

The following is an article from our Spring 2016 magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here.

I recently had a discussion with some high school students about whether or not I was going to lock up their cell phones during our week long summer mission trip. They listed many reasons to keep their phones, but the one that surprised me most was their desire to be able to “check-in” to all the landmark locations we will be visiting while away.

Cell phones have become a modern day “Captain’s Log” documenting significant events, adventures and discoveries along life’s journey. In my new role as the LIVE IT Director for Youth Unlimited, I have been considering how our students log their spiritual journeys and what locations they’ll remember as the landmarks of their spiritual adventures.

Those of us who grew up without a cell phone can recall a specific service trip where our faith grew outside of our comfort zone or a youth convention where we discovered how our talents and abilities fit into God’s Kingdom.

Today, LIVE IT is an “unconventional youth convention” 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. By pairing students with like-minded peers and adults, they will see how God created them with a purpose so much greater than self-gratification. By offering different tracks in athletics, arts and service, students will recognize how each person comes to the table with their own personality, interests and God-given talents. Within each track they’ll learn spiritual disciplines to help discover how their voice helps create the body of Christ. Students are also challenged to return home and use what they’ve experienced at LIVE IT to spread God’s love throughout our communities and our world.

On July 30, 2017, hundreds of students and adults will converge in Estes Park, Colorado for LIVE IT 2017. It is my prayer that during this five-day event, students and adults will document deep in their hearts and minds their tremendous value in Christ. That they will discover their unique talents and abilities necessary for the building of God’s Kingdom. Most of all, I pray that LIVE IT 2017 will be more than just another place where students “check-in” but that it will be a place that will launch them into the next phase of their journey with Christ… And if they happen to have their cell phones with them, I hope they check-in, tweet and Instagram every adventure, every discovery and every new friend they meet, and that they tag it all with #LiveIt2017!

Brighton’s Serve Journey

Brighton’s Serve Journey begins 10 years ago when our youth went on a Serve youth mission trip in 2005 – It’s amazing how the Lord works! He has been preparing us for the last 10 years to now come to this point of hosting Serve in Brighton.


Each year, we send a team of youth to participate in communities all across North America for one week. We have helped people struggling with finances, disabilities and life issues, people from different faiths or different walks of life and we have cared for God’s creation – people, all creatures and His world. We have been the hands and feet of Jesus and it has turned our lives around!


Two years ago during Serve in Orillia, our Pastor received a call to another church. Before we even came home from Serve, thoughts of hosting strongly came to mind. Our youth have always been saying that we should host in Brighton. Knowing the huge commitment involved, it was never an idea that stuck – until now. So, we came back from our mountain top experience and shared the idea with many in our Brighton congregation. Our church family responded with a very excited yes. We knew it would require a great community effort, especially when we would be without a senior pastor.


Brighton Fellowship is a church of ‘doers’. They are the greatest support to our youth group. Months earlier we did a mini visioning for our church and a real passion was to serve the Brighton community, but how does that look? Hosting a Serve project was a great way to help the church do just that.


The journey continued. Council gave their blessing and stands with us for the three year commitment. We made a sign-up board and the response has been amazing. Our church prays for Serve every week and reminds us all how we can make a difference as a church family. We job shadowed the Ajax Serve site this past summer and again were truly blessed. We have contacted potential job sites – the youth drop in centre in Brighton, the New Life Girls Home in Consecon, Community Care, Presquile Provincial Park, the local schools, the two senior homes in Brighton, the low income housing development, etc. Members of our church already help out individually but we look forward to sharing the love of Christ as a church for the Serve week and the ‘other 51 weeks’.


Last week we invited the congregation to join us for the Serve 101 teaching session and 38 people showed up, which is amazing after the short notice they received! After the teaching session, a church member came up to us and said his company would like to donate for the next three years! God is good! We are still without a senior pastor, but our church family has stepped up to the plate. We know the Lord goes before us, beside us, above us, below us and behind us. He truly is with us! We are an excited group and we look forward to hosting Serve


Let the journey continue!


For more on the outcomes of Serve, click here to download a one-page summary.