In a recent issue of a Youth Ministry magazine, I read Ned Erickson’s description of a relational (youth ministry) economy…
- A round of Frisbee golf = a month of meetings
- A milkshake out = a month of meetings
- A day hike, camping trip or a weekend retreat = a semester of meetings
- A weeklong camp or mission trip = a year of meetings
Over the years, I’ve heard many youth leaders place a very high value on taking students away from home as part of their strategic plan to help students meet Jesus and become a more mature disciple of Christ. As someone who has spent his entire life after college involved in youth ministry, I completely agree. It seems that these youth mission trip, convention or camp type experiences have the ingredients needed for the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work in a student’s life. Maybe this is because students get taken out of their daily routines and distractions of life and are given time to read God’s Word and discuss it with others as well as pray, worship and even serve others! Imagine if we were given the space to do these things every day of our lives. What impact would that have on our work place, our families, our churches, our schools and world?
Each fall, the Youth Unlimited team is intentional about stopping to reflect on the student and leader testimonies from the Serve and Live It experiences. It’s so exciting, humbling and gratifying to read what the Holy Spirit did in their lives. God is so good! Here are just a couple of the many testimonies from this summer:
I was struggling so much with my faith in Christ, not feeling close to him or significant to him, but this week helped me remember that I am vital in Christ. God does not make mistakes, and he made me.
-Gallatin Valley Serve Student Participant
At the beginning, I thought I was just going to help someone, but in the end, I realized I learned so much about God and myself and about what it means to be someone with a disability. I really learned how through God’s eyes everyone is equal.
-Winnipeg Special Needs Serve Mentor
With this issue of the Youth Unlimited Magazine, my hope is you feel our heart and passion to serve and provide life and eternity changing experiences for your students. Be sure to also check out the 2014 Impact Report in the back.
As you find yourself in the middle of the youth ministry year, may your passion and commitment continue to be as strong as it was at the beginning!