Mark your calendars! It was just announced yesterday that the D6 Conference is coming to NORTH CAROLINA next fall, September 19&20, 2018! Registration opens end of October. Stay tuned!
We thought nothing could ever touch the impact of Hurricane Katrina until now. Our friends in Texas are recovering from what is considered the worst disaster in our Nation’s history, Hurricane Harvey.
Just days ago this came home to me (and many of us) as my dear friend, Stephanie Caro, and her husband, Steve had to be rescued in the flood waters of Katy, Texas (pictured below: Caro’s Rescue). You can read more about the rescue [here]. There has been a GoFundMe Campaign set up to help Stephanie and her husband recover. Please go [here] to make a donation and read the full story of why their need is so great.
This week I’ve been hearing stories from youth workers who have been affected by this storm, in addition to Stephanie, and I want to help further. At MinistryDownloads.com we’ve decided to offer 50% of the profits from our Fall Starter Bundle to benefit youth workers in Texas.
This bundle features over $750 in downloadable resources, and we’ve reduced it to ONLY $49 — but only till September 30. The entire month of September you can purchase the bundle, 50% of the profit from your purchase will instantly go to youth workers affected by the Hurricane, and you can enjoy & use all the downloads in your ministry! Go [here] to purchase the bundle & make an instant impact in the lives of church leaders in Texas!
This really goes without saying, but most importantly during this time those affected by the storm need our prayers! Join with me in praying for the victims of this disaster, and if you can help, please give. Thank you!
On September 23rd, 2017, 50,000 teens will boldly take their faith one step further. Rallying together for THE Cause of Christ — a.k.a The Great Commission — students and their youth leaders will gather for the first ever Dare 2 Share LIVE simulcast!
But what is Dare 2 Share LIVE? Simply put, Dare 2 Share LIVE is a teen-led movement of gospel-conversations from coast to coast for the purpose of reaching the next generation.
In greater detail, Dare 2 Share LIVE is all about One Day. One Message. One Hope — with the desire to spark revival within the Church.
Driven from a live event in Denver, Colorado and broadcast out to 50+ locations nationwide, Saturday, September 23, 2017, Dare 2 Share LIVE is the start of a movement where thousands of teenagers and adult leaders will be released…at the EXACT SAME TIME…into their communities to serve and share the gospel.
See specific time zone schedules here.
This one day will also equip students to have gospel conversations wherever they go, including conversations they may have a week later at See You at the Pole (a worldwide event where millions of teens gather at their own campuses to pray over their schools).
We know that the gospel changes everything. And as Christians we have a Cause – Christ’s Cause – to share this good news with our world.
When students are captured by Jesus and His mission, their heartbeat changes and so does the trajectory of their lives…and the lives of those they reach with the gospel. This message is where true change and impact is going to start, not only for this generation, but for our communities and this country.
Nothing transforms a student like seeing someone respond to the clearly articulated gospel. Once they experience this, it’s a game changer. Their excitement is uncontainable and their energy makes them an unstoppable force.
Now imagine 50,000 teenagers all going out equipped with the gospel, and as they step out into their communities to serve through local food drives, they are bringing help to those in need. Paired with the gospel, teenagers will show the world the hope that the followers of Christ bring. This is the true hope, not only for this generation, but for our communities and this country.
In One Day, with One Message, with teens rallying together for One Hope, lives will forever be changed by the power of the gospel. And if this is what we can do in just one day, imagine what these same teens can do with the rest of their lives. Imagine the eternal impact.
Want to learn more or sign your youth group up for this teen-led movement of gospel conversations? Click here.
This week there’s been a bit of a blog tour going on about the launch of MinistryDownloads.com – a new resource site for Ministry Leaders that I launched just 2 weeks ago.
Check out the following blogs of some great leaders:
Rob Shepherd – [Click here] to view his blog
Rob is the Senior Pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in VA and has been a great friend to me! He is one of my favorite speakers too.
Austin McCann – [Click here] to view his blog
Austin is leading a fierce effort to reach the next generation. Love this guy’s creativity! He’s got several resources on the site
Tom Pounder– [Click here] to visit his blog
Tom is a fellow Orange blogger, podcaster, and is doing some great work in Student Ministry! Be sure to follow him.
Ben Marshall – [Click here] to visit Ben’s blog
I recently met Ben, a Campus pastor from Michigan (super nice guy!). This dude definitely has a gift of encouragement. He’s got some resources on MD too. Check them out!
Brad Huss – [Click here] to view his blog
I connected with Brad years ago online. He and I have been friends ever since. He’s in the Charlotte area, but his reach goes incredibly far beyond that! Really appreciate this guy.
Bobby Howell – [Click here] to visit his blog
I recently got connected to Robert. He started blowing up my Twitter encouraging the heck out of me after reading my book, Going Social. Then he started sharing about MinistryDownloads.com. This guy is awesome.
Randy Brown – [Click here] to visit Randy’s blog
Randy has a huge heart for the next generation. I recently ran across this blogger who is doing some great work in Student Ministry.
I so appreciate anyone sharing the news about the launch of the site. If you tweet about it, tag me (@terracecrawford) and I’ll retweet you! If you blog about it, shoot me a link & I’ll add your link to this post! Thanks, friends!
I really wanted to do something to help Small(er) Churches, so I’ve asked YouthMinistryPartners.com to team up with me to offer $1000 in Resources for Small(er) Churches!
One lucky church will get $1000 in Resources (including Downloadable Resources from MinistryDownloads.com + GROOVE Curriculum from YouthMinistryPartners.com and the brand-new release from Brad Fiscus & Stephanie Caro, Small(er) Church Youth Ministry: No Money, No Staff, No Problem!)
Enter the [giveaway here] for a chance to win some amazing resources for your ministry!
So excited to announce that over the weekend I launched MinistryDownloads.com! This new Ministry Resource site is for every ministry leader in the Church. You’ll find resources for Children’s leaders, Youth Leaders, Group Leaders, and even Senior Pastors! New products will be released EVERY Tuesday!
Check it out [here] and let me know what you think in the comments!
This week, in celebration of the Orange Conference, I am offering 20% OFF ALL products over on the site! Just use code: ORANGE20 at checkout! Happy Shopping!
I sincerely hope this site is a blessing to you.
Every mission trip is built on a deep truth wrapped in a sticky lie. Although we don’t intend for it to happen, that lie can bury the truth in what we say and hear. For example, try to spot the lie in each of these statements:
- “You need to come be part of this experience, and Jesus will change your life there.”
- “Jesus has lots of important things for us to do this week. Let’s give our best and follow him when we arrive.”
- “Wasn’t that trip incredible? Now that our missions experience is over, let’s discuss doing it again next year.”
Here’s the lie clearly spelled out: “Missions is all about what happens when you go somewhere else.” Obviously that’s not true.
Missions is about responding to Jesus and joining him in what he’s doing wherever we are.
Yet as we plan trips and experiences for teenagers to go serve “somewhere else,” we tend to nurture a destination mentality. It says, “When we get there, then Jesus will work in us. And if we return there every year, he’ll continue to work in us.”
What if you could deflate that concept along your journey? A solution I created involves fun tie-ins called mini-missions. I believe Jesus does amazing things in and through us when we enter situations that involve being stretched and stretching others. I’ve also discovered we need a way to emphasize that this happens not just when we “get there” but while we’re getting there. (After all, isn’t that how life happens?)
So whether I’m planning a trip on my own or using a well-planned and executed program such as Group Mission Trips, here’s the plan:
- Every morning on the trip from day one, our leaders review possible options. It’s a process of prayer and discernment based on where this particular group seems to be and what they’re capable of pulling off that day.
- Each day we ask a different student to pick from three different envelopes with no writing on the outside. Whatever they open and read becomes the group’s mini-mission task for that day.
- The group’s success or failure earns them perks such as extra group grocery money, free time to go shopping, a late-night snack run on us, and so on.
This approach has several advantages. First, it adds a fun relational component that helps the group bond from the ground up. It also opens teenagers to the idea that the missions experience is about more than just going somewhere else to “do good deeds.” Instead, we’re letting Jesus shape something deeper inside us. Through mini-missions, I’ve watched teenagers transform from strangers or mere acquaintances into young people who challenge one another into some really great places.
Here are 11 Mini-Missions Trip Ideas You Could Use:
- Silence Day—For a certain number of hours, no one is allowed to talk or make any vocal noises. Teenagers and adults can write things down, use hand signals, or create their own Morse Code type of communication system. Another option is to allow only one person to talk during each hour. Several great lessons can be drawn from this; for example, how challenging it can be to express ourselves and how relationships require intentional investments besides communication.
- Attachment Day—Kids buddy-up with someone of the same gender, and the pair is tied together with a thin string. Let participants determine how long the string is, and have them stay attached except for bathroom time. This will spark some great dialogue about who we attach ourselves to in life, and how they influence us.
- Compliment Day—Every interaction with team members or complete strangers must include at least one compliment. This emphasizes that we’re called to encourage one another.
- Salutation Day—Have team members use Mr., Mrs., or Miss to address each person they interact with throughout the day.
- Trash Day—Wherever you go, look for trash to pick up. We always have opportunities to make a difference by caring for God’s creation.
- No-Shower Day—For 24 hours, no showers are allowed (which is a greater challenge for some people than others). This ties into how we’re sometimes comfortable living with sin rather than letting Jesus cleanse us.
- Carry Someone’s Burdens Day—You can’t carry your own stuff (Bible, backpack, etc.), only someone else’s. This is a great illustration about the body of Christ.
- Letter Home Day—Students must write something meaningful to someone back home, either to be mailed or hand-delivered upon arrival. Set a 200-word minimum and use the honor system.
- Yuck Day—Every meal must include a food that teenagers normally wouldn’t eat, without complaining.
- Gum Day—Team members must chew gum all day long, including during meals. (Provide an alternative for teenagers wearing braces.) This is a great lesson about the “little things” in our lives that affect everything else.
- Dollar Lunch Day—If team members are buying their own food, challenge them to spend only a dollar per meal one day. Compare that to what the average person lives on.
You get the idea. What do you think? What mini-missions would you recommend?
I also recommend Group Mission Trips’ 4-day Weekend Workcamps! These are great “mini-missions” to introduce your teenagers to the concept of meaningful service. You’ll be amazed at the spiritual growth that can happen in one weekend.
Real life transformation occurs when Jesus disrupts our routine and gets us outside of our comfort zones…Amen?! When teenagers get outside their daily routines and away from their phones, powerful growth occurs…especially when they serve others. They are able to take the focus off of themselves.
They’ll get away from peer pressures and embrace their identity in Christ. Millions of teenagers over the years have been transformed by mission experiences. Planning a mission trip can be intimidating, so here are eight “sanity tips” to plan a life-changing mission trip without losing your mind…
1. Don’t do it all yourself.
You might be great at planning events but mission trips require different expertise. Maybe you’re looking for a community service mission trip, but unless you have relationships with local non-profits or ministries in the area you want to serve, it may be very challenging to find meaningful service partnerships. Perhaps you want to try international missions, but don’t know the first thing about customs or packing light for a youth group. A youth mission trip organization like Group Mission Trips can share their experience to make this process more seamless.
2. Determine How Long The Trip Will Be. If you are just starting out, try a shorter trip. Get comfortable with the process of doing a mission trip before you jump off the deep end. It’s similar to running a marathon, if you strap on your running shoes and try to run 26.2 miles on your first run you will end up dead. A good place to start may be Group’s four-day Weekend Workcamps.
3. Choose: Domestic or International trip? The choice is going to be driven by what everyone is comfortable with and where you feel God is leading you. The right mission trip provider can help you find the right destination. If you are going international, find a mission trip partner who embraces the concept of sustainable local ministry…where you come to serve and not be served.
4. Engage key teens and parents early and often. Talk to them about the benefits of going on a mission trip and how this experience will help teenagers with leadership and life perspective. Parents can be your best ally. They want their kid to embrace their faith and a mission trip can do just that. OVER COMMUNICATE! Once is never enough, so keep the conversation going.
5. Shocking truth…the type of mission trip is not as important as you think. Getting into the habit of serving takes a lot of pressure off of finding the perfect trip. Start with the date that works best for everyone and then work back into the type of service. Going the other direction can cause a concussion from constantly beating your head against the wall.
6. Don’t wrestle against other activities. You are trying to work with these other activities not against them. Early in January, most schedules for summer events will be posted. Find the most amendable date and go with that.
7. Use this as a strategic way to get more committed volunteers for your youth ministry. Identify key parents who you want to be more involved in your youth ministry. Approach them with this opportunity to not only have their son or daughter to on a life-changing mission trip, but that they can be a part of that experience.
8. Emphasize friendship. Deepening friendships with others and Jesus is the secret to growing and sustaining a vibrant youth ministry. Start with friendship first then move to Bible knowledge. Want more time-saving wisdom to plan your next youth mission trip?
Get your FREE “90 Days to Summer Mission Trip” Planner from Group Mission Trips! [Click Here to Download Now!]
I have had a huge burden for a few years now to get students to read the scriptures. I’ve come up with a way that many of them have been receptive too. Simply by sending scriptures to their mobile phones! Now hundreds of students and adults have signed up to receive these. If you’d like to share with your youth group, simply tell your students to text FOLLOW MYSCRIPTURES to 40404. Each day they will receive a verse from the Holy Bible that I select personally. It’s that easy!
If you’d like to announce or share this in your services or youth group this weekend, I’ve created a FREE DOWNLOADABLE PPT SLIDE that you can insert into your announcement loop. Simply [Click here] to download the zip file of the PPT and Keynote slides.
Just recently we announced on This Week in Youth Ministry that we are giving away a FREE TICKET to the Orange Conference in Atlanta, GA! This conference ticket, valued at $349, will be given to one lucky leader on February 17, 2017! Go [here] to enter this giveaway.
Click [here] to explore The Orange Conference – Check out the breakout sessions, see the lineup of Keynote speakers, plan your trip to Atlanta, and more!