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Serving with a Group

  • Let service build community. Serving together is a great way to get to know new people. Look for service opportunities that take you outside your usual friend group or church circle.
  • Intergenerational service opportunities are especially helpful ways for people of all ages to grow in faith together. Younger participants benefit from the wisdom and experience of older participants, and older folks benefit from the enthusiasm, energy, and compassion that younger people radiate. Use this Intergenerational Service Survey to help your church build on its strengths and identify its weaknesses in terms of an intentionally intergenerational approach to service. And get inspired with this list of 25 Ideas for Intergenerational Service.

Local service project preparation

  • ThereforeGo Ministries coordinates the SERVE program for teens: a unique blend of community outreach and discipleship with spiritual transformation as the goal at every level.
  • Not traveling right now? Check out 12 Ways Youth Can Serve at Home from ThereforeGo Ministries.
  • Look for service opportunities that allow your group to serve “with” your local community rather than doing things “to” or “for” the community.
  • Be sure to ask community members what they think the community’s needs are rather than assuming you know what they are.
  • Before you head out to serve, pray together, perhaps using one of these Prayers of Confession on Servanthood.

Short-term missions preparation

  • Before you plan a short-term missions trip, read Helping Without Hurting in Short Term Missions. This resource provides valuable insights on how to think about your group’s purpose and goals.
  • The six-session study Changed for Life is designed to help short-term missions teams and their hosts craft a well-organized experience that will be meaningful for everyone involved (produced in 2018 by World Renew, the Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice, CRC World Missions, Reformed Church in America, ServiceLink, and Youth Unlimited).