SERVE 2021 Theme: The Unshakable Kingdom

THEME: The Unshakable Kingdom: For the King and the Kingdom

THEME PASSAGE: Hebrews 12:25-29

“25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.””

Jesus loved teaching about the Kingdom of God. There are 31 parables in the Gospels. 23 (nearly 75%) of them are about the Kingdom of God! When his disciples asked him how to pray, he taught them to pray for the kingdom of God to come. And after Jesus’ resurrection, before he ascended to heaven, he spent 40 days talking about the Kingdom of God.

This week at SERVE, we are going to dive into learning more about the Kingdom of God that was clearly so important to Jesus and gave fuel to his ministry here on Earth.

In the book of Hebrews, we read that the Kingdom of God is unshakable!

“There are very few things in the world which can accurately be described as unshakable, or unmovable. Today we can dynamite them, blast them into oblivion, or if they are immaterial, we apply pressure to get something or someone to change. There is no such thing as an immovable object meeting an irresistible force so when something is described as unshakable or unmovable, you had better pay attention.”[1]

In a world that can feel so shaky and unstable, we need to be reminded that the God we serve invites us into a Kingdom that is unshakable and secure. This week at SERVE we will learn more about the qualities and habits of those who are called to participate in The Unshakable Kingdom!

The Unshakable Kingdom we receive from God is not just something that affects our future. It affects our here and now as well. It’s not just something we experience when Jesus returns. It is a part of our everyday, mundane life. It’s not just something we participate in on Sunday mornings or at youth group. It shapes our work, our play, our being.

Theme content written by Ashley Patton

Changing the Meaning of “Church Service”

Bethel CRC in Brockville, Ontario, has left the building. Rather than seeing a teen summer mission trip as a mountaintop experience, they are working to build serving into the DNA of the congregation.


Students from Bethel have participated in Youth Unlimited’s Serve many times and have taken it home to help reach their own congregation.


Pastor Jack Van de Hoef and his team planned three days of worship, prayer and serving with a total of 10 very local work sites. Here is the report in his words:


Most of the sites involved revitalizing properties and creation care (pretty fancy words for pulling lots of weeds). We also helped out at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore because the damp weather interfered with our outdoor painting projects. Two of the sites were through our local social services agency; the others were through our own church connections. Only two of the sites were for members of our church. 


We set it up much like Youth Unlimited’s Serve, with devotions in the morning, work for the day, supper together and worship in the evening. We slept in our own homes. It made for a long day, especially for our seniors, but no one complained.


On Sunday morning, participants were invited to share their thoughts of how they saw God at work. The comments included appreciation for the inter-generational experience and the blessing of seeing the look of appreciation on the faces of those we served. There was the joy of serving, of experiencing teamwork, of coming back to church after a day of work and knowing someone had prepared supper for us.


It was a very positive experience. We will see how the Lord continues to bless our church through this. I’m sure the impact will be felt beyond this one week and into the other 51 weeks of the year.


Thank you for the theme material on Isaiah 58.  I gleaned from it to prepare a handout for the morning devotions (with credit being given to Youth Unlimited). I also used the idea of living out of the centre of normal for our Friday evening worship. Instead of a speaker, I interviewed three members of our church who volunteer on a regular basis for different community agencies. I introduced them as three normal people, doing normal volunteering as their service for the Lord and his kingdom.


I could probably say a lot more, but this gives you an idea of how things went. 


Thanks again for your support. 


Blessings, Pastor Jack


To see a video of Bethel CRC’s experience, click here.