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Over the past year, various people from youth ministry backgrounds have offered their collective voices to the content of this Youth Ministry Network blog. We hope you have found it to be helpful and encouraging.

For April we will continue the conversation but have invited some new voices to the page.

The spring and summer months are often filled with teens and their leaders heading off to “far away” or “just down the street” places where youth and leaders alike are stretched physically and spiritually as they embark on journeys typically called “Short Term” mission trips.

Many challenges often accompany these trips so the idea was to invite writers in to share about how we as ministry leaders can prepare ourselves, and our youth, for such experiences. Preparation for mission trips is not just about fundraising and packing one’s bags before departing. It’s much more than that and you will read some insights into this over the weeks to come.

Within the denomination there is a collaborative energy taking place between organizations like Youth Unlimited, ServiceLink, World Renew and others, to embrace something called “The Seven Standards of Excellence for Short Term Missions" (SOE), which is a tool to help churches and organizations develop best practices as they seek to serve Jesus by serving others. During this month you will read about these seven standards, along with other observations and concepts.

So let me introduce you to those who will lead us in our Youth Ministry blog for April and the first week of May: 

  • Rev. Amanda Bakale (World Renew): Amanda is a Youth and Young Adult Engager (she is also connected with YALT and is a regular tweeter).
  • Jerry Meadows (Youth Unlimited): Jerry is “The SERVE guy” and is very well connected with all things “short-term mission” related.
  • Carol Sybenga (ServiceLink Program Manager): Carol is a former youth ministry director and works for ServiceLink, which is the bi-national volunteer services program of the Christian Reformed Church.
  • Jolene deHeer ( Jolene is a Youth Unlimited speaker and author.

During their time with us over the next number of weeks, these wonderfully gifted contributors will share about various practical, theoretical and spiritual practices that can help us be prepared for our short-term mission trips.

Please join us for our look at “missions” preparation.

Comments   That's the website for the Standards of Excellence in Short Term Missions. These originated in the UK and were adapted by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and now are being widely used in this SOE format.

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