I wrote this article for CBWC’s Making Connections enewsletter, but wanted to share it here too. One of the things I love about SERVE is that it doesn’t matter how big your youth group is or how good your administrative skills are, your teens can have a life-changing week of learning to love God with all of their heart, mind and strength. Even if your church plant has 2 youth, bring them to SERVE! ~Cailey Morgan
Each year, youth from across the CBWC gather for SERVE, a week-long ministry of community service, worship, and making new friends. Last year’s SERVE saw the largest registration ever–over 325 students and leaders, not including volunteers!
When over 20 youth groups descend on a town for a weeklong conference and mission event, the focus immediately seems to be on the ministry the kids are doing throughout the community. But just as important are the servers working behind the scenes to ensure the youth are being taken care of. One volunteer at SERVE 2015 explains it this way:
“Everybody is valuable and everybody who’s part of the body of Christ can be part of the body of SERVE. SERVE is twofold—the youth go serve the community, and then in the background there are those who need to serve those people who need to be replenished—to uphold them so they can go serve the community.”
Since 2014, Susan Pike has seen it as her mission to replenish the youth of SERVE literally by preparing their bag lunches. Pike, of New Life Community Baptist in Duncan, BC, first offered to make sandwiches for SERVE Cowichan, when she heard last-minute that there was a need. Susan had such a rewarding experience in 2014 that she drove across two provinces last summer to coordinate the lunch team for SERVE High River—with four daughters in tow.
“It’s more than just coordinating a bunch of people to slap sandwiches together,” Susan says. It’s about letting go of who I am…it’s about putting all I have in that box.”
Susan’s 2015 team, composed of her youngest two daughters and a roster of about a dozen High River Baptist volunteers each day, prepared a mountain of 440 sandwiches daily throughout the week. As SERVE momentum continues to build, and registration grows each year, we can imagine the sandwich team will need more help in 2016 to meet demand.
Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria, BC, will be hosting SERVE 2016, and registration is now open at cbwc.ca/serve. For more information on how you can participate, contact Youth Director Tammy Klassen at firstname.lastname@example.org.