Help Give Their Summer a Purpose!

A relief mission trip is a great way to add purpose to the summer and build unity with your students this summer!

Last fall, the southern coast of the United States—as well as several areas in the Caribbean—were devastated by the winds and flood waters of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. As images of the devastation splashed across the media, relief volunteers and resources rushed to aid these communities—gutting homes that had flooded, cleaning up debris, and helping to relocate families that lost it all. What seemed like a tragedy sparked hope in mankind and brought our country together.

Now, nearly a year after the devastation, resources have dried up, volunteers have dwindled, and families are still struggling to rebuild without the help that was promised to them. Thankfully, churches and mission groups are filling in the gaps. This summer Experience Mission will mobilize more than 1,000 volunteers (mostly youth groups) to serve in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

While most affected families in the area had their homes gutted (flooring and drywall included), many people are still struggling to find the resources (or time) to put their homes back together. Volunteer groups will be bringing hope to this situation by installing drywall and flooring, painting, and fixing up minor landscaping issues alongside local families and partner organizations around the area.

Groups from around the country are helping to bring hope to this region through construction projects and there’s still time for your youth group to join them!

Experience Mission trips are launching every week from May 20 through August 12, and many weeks still have room for additional volunteers. To get started, fill out an interest form for an upcoming mission trip! You don’t need to be highly skilled in these areas to contribute! EM will have staff and supplies on hand to ensure that your group will provide a meaningful service to community members. You might be surprised just how much you can learn from working together, meeting families in need, and being the hands and feet of Jesus for a week.

Win Tickets to the D6 Conference!

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I’m excited to partner with my friends at D6\Randall House to giveaway 2 Tickets to the D6 Conference this September!!!  D6 has quickly become one of my favorite training conferences over the last few years and this year is shaping up to be amazing!

Based on Deuteronomy 6, this Family Ministry Conference will train your leaders on how to connect Church and Home, bringing over 50+ speakers together to pour into your entire team!  You can register your team [here] and enter the giveaway [here]!

We’ll be announcing the winner, via my twitter (@terracecrawford), on Friday, May 4th.

My Weightloss Revolution

((Left: Front pic of me at 277 pounds; Center: Headshot of me at 296 pounds; Right: Profile pic of me at 277 pounds))                                 

I’M ON A MISSION: I’m on a mission to revolutionize my life! Over the last few months I’ve made significant changes in my world — physically, spiritually, financially — and I’m shaking things up! Today I wanted to share with you about my mission to change my health.

I could probably name off a few motivating factors here for taking these steps towards better health (ie: the fact that they don’t make legit fat guy clothes, amusement park rides aren’t fat guy-friendly, etc) but the bottom line is that I want to a long life and want to be a better leader. In order to do that I simply MUST get my physical health under control.

So here’s how it all started: 

I stepped on the scales recently and was literally floored by the number that appeared. I could NOT believe my eyes. I knew something had to change… and quick!

My weight-loss revolution started in August 2012. The same thing happened then (stepping on scales sending me into shock…) but unfortunately after making tremendous progress and celebrating a feat of losing a whopping 50 pounds I ended up falling off the wagon and gained that back. I’ve got a long way to go but I’ve seen tremendous progress. It wasn’t easy getting started, but the reality that my health was in danger was present in my mind after seeing the big number on the scale. So in my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle I’ve developed a short strategy…

Here’s what steps I took immediately: 

 I hired a personal trainer and began to discuss my diet.
 I set a couple of goals: 1) Work out 3-5 times weekly. 2) Lose 100 pounds.
 I cut out sodas. I was drinking no less than a 2-liter per day!
 Immediately started drinking LOTS of water.
 Joined the Beach Body team.

My Strategy — 5 Things I’m Doing Moving Forward
▶ Goal Setting – Developing goals is important with any strategy. My strategy for weight-loss calls for goals so I set some! I have set an ultimate goal of losing 100 pounds by December, but I’m hoping to reach that goal much sooner!
 Getting necessary help – I just hired a personal trainer to help me get started and consult with me throughout this process. I just joined the Beach Body team and I’m training to become a coach myself (http://www.WorkoutWithTC.com).
 Exercise – This is a given. I hate exercise but I am committing to 5 days per week. My trainer suggested the 80 Day Obsession program for me, which you can check out or purchase at: http://www.WorkOutWithTC.com.
 Eating better – I’ve cut out sodas. There’s other things that will soon go too. The key is making wise choices. I don’t think depriving myself of foods I enjoy is the answer… but discipline and making wise choices is! Nutrition is key to weight-loss.
 Accountability – I decided when I started my own personal weight-loss revolution that I would make it public! I think accountability is important. Here’s how I’ve made it public: I have announced it to my friends and on social media now. When I started my journey back in 2012 I launched a separate twitter account (@shreddedtc) so that my friends could monitor my progress more closely. I will be updating that social account simultaneously with my personal account (@terracecrawford). A part from the public accountability and encouragement, I’ve got the private accountability too.

This will be one of the best years of my life.

Returning to Faith

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An elderly couple’s home was literally falling down around them. The husband had built the house himself. But 50 years of buffeting by wind and rain had nearly turned the house into a fragile, unstable shack.


When our workcamp began, the couple’s new home was almost complete. Our crew applied fresh paint inside and out, put the finishing touches on the house, and then moved the old furniture from the crumbling shack to the new house.

The husband had a difficult time while the work crews labored during the summer. His wife confided that he had grown bitter toward God years ago when a car wreck killed their son. The husband rejected the church, where he had been an elder, and refused even to pray at the dinner table. His wife had remained faithful in the hope that he would return to his Christian way of life.

At first, he ignored the groups working diligently on his property. But as the summer progressed, he became more open to the young people. When our crew members finished moving all the furniture, they decided to have a dedication ceremony on the last day of the workcamp. While the participants were singing a hymn, the bitter, old mountaineer began to sing. His wife nearly collapsed with surprise!

Then, as prayers were being offered for God’s blessing on the new home, the old man offered a prayer that God would accept him once again into his family. Everyone was in tears, and his wife sang a special song of praise to God for the presence of the young Christian witnesses who had worked their way into her husband’s heart.

For more information on Group Mission Trips or potential Summer 2018 Mission Experiences for your church, visit www.groupmissiontrips.com

Workcamps Bring Willing Workers

Photos by campers, not Rodney Stewart.

                         Group Mission Trips – Photos by campers, not Rodney Stewart.

One very old Blackfoot Indian on a reservation in Montana was invaded by six energetic, but somewhat nervous workcampers. The kids knew that the old gentleman had become depressed after his wife died three years earlier, and he had let the house fall into shambles.

The work crew was assigned a list of tough projects for a week: painting inside and out, repairing broken windows and doors, rebuilding the back steps, and putting a new roof on the house.

With no time to lose, some of the girls began to clean the walls inside the house in preparation for some fresh paint. But when they opened the door to a backroom, they discovered what must have been a three-year supply of clothes piled in huge stacks throughout the room. A slender pathway wound through the mountains of clothing. And the walls couldn’t be painted until all the clothes were moved.

The group members decided that they would wash the old man’s clothes in the kitchen sink. Then someone discovered an ancient washing machine under one of the mounds of clothes. Soon, clothes hung from every clothesline and fence in the yard.

By the end of the week, the crew members had a new friend they called “Gramps,” and he had a huge smile on his face to go along with his rejuvenated house. The resident beamed with happiness as he bounced across the room to see the closets full of freshly washed clothes. And he proudly said that his new friends had taught him how to use the washer.

Perhaps his deep three-year-old pain healed a bit as the crew cranked up the washer that only his wife had used before. His clothes wouldn’t create miniature mountains of smelly fabric again. Pride in his home returned with the invasion of the visitors who respectfully waded into the back rooms of his homes.

The kids were channels through which God’s love flowed into this old man’s life. Both he and his new friends would never again be the same.

Each of the crew members knew what it was like to find that “lost coin” in a house they had cleaned—and painted, and re-roofed, and repaired. Each of the workers felt a special glow inside, knowing that they had done something special for someone who clearly needed their help.

For more information on Group Mission Trips or potential Summer 2018 Mission Experiences for your church, visit www.groupmissiontrips.com

FREE Online Family Ministry Event!

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D6 Days 2018 is ONE WEEK away, but you still have time to save your spot! Be sure to register and take advantage of this FREE opportunity.

D6 Days is an online experience that will help further the family ministry conversation all around the world. It happens in just a week and you do not want to miss out!

Join thousands of other family ministry leaders for this online event.

Preschool teachers, youth workers, pastors, volunteers, and parents are all invited to this two-day event. Register now and save your spot for FREE.

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Introducing MinistryDownloads ALL ACCESS

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I’m so stoked to be able to announce MinistryDownloads ALL ACCESS has officially launched today.   After several months of work, we’re excited to be able to offer Church Leaders the opportunity to become a member of our site and download as many resources as they like for their church or ministry.

We’re also allowing leaders to sign up at a SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER of just $17 per month\12 mos.  This is unprecedented.  You will want to sign up NOW before the price jumps.  Click [here] to check out ALL ACCESS and to sign-up now, friends!

Thanks so much for your support of MinistryDownloads.com.

Developing Relationships with Navajo Partners

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“Yá’át’ééh.” “Hello” in Navajo.

Recently, I traveled to Southern Utah to meet with local Workcamps partners and community members in preparation for our Summer 2018 Montezuma Creek Challenge Workcamp.

My week was filled with newness. New languages spoken. New meals shared. New sites seen. And while the experiences of eating fry bread with every supper and adventuring through the desert canyons were top-notch, my favorite part was actually the familiarity of building relationships with people who care about their community.

I am constantly blown away that no matter what city or area I am visiting, I experience genuine hospitality and the expression of love from a community and the people who call it home.

As we drove down unmarked red dirt roads, our partners were able to identify homes that we’ve previously worked on not by a site number or even by the home repair work completed, but by the resident’s name and story.

They shared stories of residents who were impacted by the youth who came to serve, residents whose homes would have otherwise crumbled without new roofs that were installed by participants, and residents whose stories forever changed the lives of our staff and youth.

In every meeting with schools and Navajo chapter leaders, I so valued that the importance was never to just talk business. We got to know each other, checked in on our lives, and kept the conversation focused on the people we cared for. I heard new names and new stories, but the heart behind it all was the same.

It’s this type of community development—the kind where relationships and stories come alive—that I am so proud to be a part of.

“Ahéhee”, my Navajo “thank” you for an incredible week.

For more information on Group Mission Trips or potential Summer 2018 Mission Experiences for your church, visit www.groupmissiontrips.com

 

The Top 10 Most Downloaded Episodes of 2017

We just released our 121st Podcast Episode highlighting our Most Downloaded Podcast Episodes of the Year!  It was so much fun looking back and seeing what episodes got the most traction by you, our listeners.  Thanks for making this year so great. I look forward to an incredible 2018 with you.

Here are the Top 10 Most Downloaded Episodes of 2017 (beginning with most downloaded) highlighted in this Podcast Episode:

1. EP 114: The Growth Engine for Ministry – with Chris Wesley (download on iTunes)
2. EP 119: How to Help Students with Special Needs  – with David Olshine (download on iTunes)
3. EP 115: Alone Sucks! – with Tim Eldred (download on iTunes)
4. EP 89: Teaching Generation Z – with Terry Linhart (download on iTunes)
5. EP 117: The Myth of Balance – with Frank Bealer (download on iTunes)
6. EP 92: Preparing For Your Next Role – with Brian Aaby (download on iTunes)
7. EP 96: How to Team Up With Parents – with Phil Bell (download on iTunes)
8. EP 91: Best Practices for Healthy Small Groups  – with Terrace Crawford and Leneita Fix (download on iTunes)
9. EP 102: The Self Aware Leader – with Terry Linhart (download on iTunes)
10. EP 98: Leading Without Power – with Mark Oestreicher (download on iTunes)

Join thousands of other youth workers and listen to episodes weekly [here] on the podcast site, or click [here] to access iTunes!

Final Hours Left to Save

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ONE DAY LEFT TO SAVE

It is getting close!
Register your team now and save.

The price increases SUNDAY at Midnight!

Why wait? After tomorrow our discount price will be gone! Use the code BRINGMYBOSS and your senior pastor can join you for FREE. Register by TOMORROW and you get $100 off per person. We do not want you and your team to miss out on such a great deal.

Join us and hear from more than 30 speakers, network with trending churches, and develop your family ministry strategy. It is the one conference for your entire ministry team.

Register by TOMORROW and receive the discount! 

A multi-model family ministry event for your whole team, the D6 Conference is a place to learn about God’s original plan for discipleship and how that applies in our ministries and homes.

registerhere