5 Reasons to Start Planning Your 2019 Mission Today

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In the midst of a busy season of mission trips and youth camps for your students, it’s easy to get caught up in just keeping up with what’s going on. But taking a few minutes to think ahead could save your future self a ton of trouble. Getting a jumpstart on planning your mission trip for next summer will mean you might be breathing a little easier this time next year as the finals details fall into place more naturally. The team at Experience Mission have compiled a short list of the reasons why they recommend planning early for your 2019 Mission Trip.

1. More Time To Recruit for Your Team

When you have a longer window to let people know about your trip, you’re likely to get more students on board, as well as more adult chaperones. Adults will have ample time to plan their work schedule around the dates that you’ve selected, and parents can avoid scheduling vacations during mission trip week when they know in advance. Often times, word spreads slowly about the mission trips. It’s important to allow enough time for the excitement to build before deposits and registrations are due!

2.  More Time to Fundraise

Fundraising can be a daunting task for any group, especially when you have a tight deadline to stick to. By assembling your team and making plans early, you open up more opportunities throughout late summer and fall to do a few early fundraisers like car washes and fall festival activities that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in. More time turns what could be an overwhelming goal into easy bite-size chunks throughout the year.

3. More Time to Prepare Your Students

For many students (and adults!), going on a mission trip is a very spiritually impactful experience. How much more effective could you be at reaching your students and building meaningful connections in the community if you had ample time to prepare everyone beforehand? By planning early, you have more than enough time to host several pre-trip trainings where you can explore what it means to serve cross-culturally and maybe even read a book together! These types of pre-trip activities are crucial for helping your students feel equipped for what they will experience when they go.

4. More Options for Locations and Dates

Many mission sites fill up early. By planning for your summer trip in the fall, you will have a wide selection of dates and locations available to choose from. There’s no need to for last-minute scrambles and frantic calls in the Spring, hoping there’s still space for your group. Lock in your dates early and enjoy the assurance that you have plans you can count on for next summer.

5. A Better Mission Trip Experience for Everyone

By planning early, you can take it slow, make intentional choices, and involve your students in the process. You have time to pick options, present them to your group, pray, and make decisions collectively. No need to make a last-minute decision when you realize registration deadlines are closing! You have the ability to help everyone going on next year’s trip to feel informed, prepared, and committed to the mission when you give them the time they need to be ready.

Ready to start planning for 2019?

Registrations are already open for all 25 communities where Experience Mission leads teams on short-term mission trips! Fill out an interest form today to find the right fit for you or talk through your options with one of EM’s mission trip support staff.

 

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.

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

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!

The $7 Christmas Bundle

It doesn’t get better than this.

Ah-mazing deal over at MinistryDownloads.com going on right now (for a super-limited time only!). 

Get this Christmas bundle for ONLY $7.00. 

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This bundle includes:

  • Done-For-You Christmas Instagram\Social Media Graphics
  • Christmas Devotions
  • Christmas Production Helps
  • Event Planner
  • Templates & More!
  • PLUS+ Bonus Downloads

[Click here] to get this bundle before it’s gone.  And check out the other great resources from all our site contributors too!  Many great resources for Christmas.

Buzz About Our 2018 YouthMin Cohort

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This FRIDAY is a BIG Day.

First, it’s my Birthday. OK, seriously, it is my birthday, but that’s not all. We’re actually offering $100 OFF our program fee if you APPLY to join our 2018 YouthMin Cohort by this Friday!

There’s a LOT of buzz online this week about our Cohort.

See below to read various articles\posts I ran across about it:

▶ 6 Reasons to Join the 2018 YouthMin Cohort by Ben Lock  [Click Here to Read]

YM Sidekick Podcast interview featuring Terrace Crawford – “How to Have Your BEST Ministry Year Yet!” with Tom Pounder [Click Here to Listen]

Ministry Highlight: 2018 YouthMin Cohort by Dan Istvanik [Click Here to Read]

2 Resources That Will Help Your Ministry in the New Year by Tom Pounder [Click Here to Read]

Check Out YouthMinCoaching.com by Scott Johnson [Click Here to Read]

If you have at least considered getting a coach next year head over to YouthMinCoaching.com to simply sign-up for more information. We’ll reach out to you and give you more information. Or if you are ALL IN and want one of our remaining spots, head over and APPLY NOW to save $100 OFF!

What People Are Saying …

“David Olshine accurately identifies problems that plague Youth Ministry today, and then offers hopeful and biblical solidarity for more effective youth ministry in the future.” Wayne Rice, founder of Youth Specialties

“After having Terrace Crawford as my coach my ministry has never been so intentional or organized as it is now!”Drew Peterson, Youth Pastor, Illinois

“There is no better person to train someone in Youth Ministry than David Olshine. He is the best I know at implementing Biblical insights and translating them into intentional relationships for Youth Ministry”Bryant Laird, Youth Pastor, South Carolina

“Terrace Crawford is one of the most creative, most passionate leaders I have ever met. He will be a great resource for you!”Eddie Heath, Field Strategist, Baptist General Association of Virginia