One of the best experiences (in my mind) with students has been a shared experience with them where we tackle some of the world’s problems … like hunger. I have taken students through a 30-Hour Famine numerous times. I mean, who can forget going without food for 30 straight hours? It’s not even the focus. You begin to understand, even in that small sacrifice, what others must deal with DAILY around the world.
World Vision sets you up for an experience that you and your students will never forget. They provide a FREE event kit, complete with activities and ideas for you to do during your time together as you get just a taste of the hardships others face globally.
World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine is an opportunity that will empower your students to fight global hunger. The idea is simple: students fast for 30 hours and participate in activities that help them learn about the realities of world hunger. Those 30 hours will transform their relationship with God as they discover – and help fight – the injustices that hunger inflicts on millions of children all over the world. Join thousands of other youth fighting hunger through the 30 Hour Famine.
Simply pick your own date and order your FREE event kit from World Vision! Visit their website to sign up at 30HourFamine to learn more or to get started. When you sign up, they’ll send you a FREE event kit with everything you need to impact your students’ lives.
Go to 30HourFamine to sign up.
My friend, Kevin Mahaffy, shared 6 tips on how to get teenagers involved in their communities and I thought these were very helpful. I will share 4 of them with you here on the blog, and you can get the link to the full post at the end.
- Make it fun. If serving is a drag, students will not want to do it. It can be hard and challenging, but it’s never dull. Find ways to make service fun. Build fun competition, crack jokes when things aren’t going as planned, give them fun incentives, etc. Give students shirts when they register. Host a swim party after a long day of serving. Take students out for a Slurpee or a burger on the way home. Be creative and show them that serving, especially together with their friends, can be fun.
- Make it short. The best way to introduce healthy elements into your ministry is by starting small. For “Love Long Island,” I knew that if I asked students to sacrifice their whole spring break, our participation would have been minimal. By making it a two-day commitment on the front-end of the week, they still had five days to sleep in, play video games, or whatever they wanted. Our service days were only 9am-3pm so they still had their evenings on those two days.
- Make it affordable. Service projects are built into my student ministry budget. I purchase needed supplies, etc. using those funds. For “Love Long Island,” I just charged students $25. For the two days that covered their t-shirt, bag lunches, chaperones, and transportation. Even if you don’t have a budget, you can keep the cost low. Again, be creative. Have students bring personal work gear, tools, and even their lunch.
- Make it regular. Through the years I have always looked for ways to make service a constant on our calendar. In addition to our annual events and mission trips, we also designate monthly or bi-monthly “Serve Nights” for our small groups. On those nights, rather than having regular small group meetings, they plan and implement service projects as groups. Through the years they have made care packages for kids with cancer, wrote Valentine’s cards for veterans, visited nursing homes, cleaned the church, delivered goodie bags to local business owners, and picked up trash around town.
Go here to read the full post.
Every youth pastor has felt the pressure to have a high energy youth ministry program in their church, but if you really want the next generation to be actively involved you have to get them serving.
I appeared today on the Nick Blevins Family Ministry Podcast, and discussed my advocacy for empowering students to serve in ministry. You can listen to the entire interview [here] or on iTunes [here].
On the show I discussed a number of things, but I mention some keys to empowering teens to serving. I’ll share 4 of these with you here, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast for the rest.
4 TIPS FOR EMPOWERING STUDENTS TO SERVE:
- Identify clear roles and needs and then provide clear paths for students to serve.
- Connect with other ministries and advocate for students serving.
- Consider setting up time parameters and seasons for serving positions.
- Partner with organizations to help students serve in the community.
I explain each of these in greater detail in my conversation with Nick Blevins. Listen to this episode, then comment here or Tweet me (@terracecrawford) with your feedback!