Organizations and resources for youth growth opportunities
Following are organizations that provide service, missions, and/or youth growth opportunities, and some service projects that you can organize and do on your own.
(Note: These organizations are not necessarily endorsed by Church of God Ministries (except STW). They are listed because of their track record for providing quality service opportunities. We only list those that we have had good experiences with in the past. This does not guarantee the quality of future events.)
Click on the name of the organization to go to that organization’s website.
Servant Leadership Trips
Are you looking for an incredible summer trip to train your students in servant leadership. Check out www.lead222.com and their servant leadership trips under training tools tab. This is an incredible ministry that we really believe in.
Spread the Word(Church-of-God-Affiliated Ministry)
Spread the Word enables teens to spread the Kingdom around the globe through financial giving. Free downloadable curriculum (available in English and Spanish) and promotional materials are provided. This program puts students in touch with evangelism and ministry around the world and helps create a pattern of giving to missions that will carry over into adulthood.
Children of Promise(Church-of-God-Affiliated Ministry)
For as little as $25 a month, your group can provide food, education, basic medical care, and spiritual nurture to a child in one of 22 countries. Students will have the opportunity to correspond and share photos with their sponsored child.
H.E.A.R.T. Missionary Training Institute(Church-of-God-Affiliated Ministry)
H.E.A.R.T. is a missionary training center offering practical college courses designed to equip students to serve the poor. H.E.A.R.T. also conducts Missions Awareness Ventures, dynamic learning experiences about missions for church groups. H.E.A.R.T. designs special programs to equip teams going overseas for both short and long terms.
Heart to Honduras(Church-of-God-Affiliated Ministry)
This is a missions organization that encourages and enables the trans-denominational indigenous church in Honduras to become sustainable, to meet the spiritual and physical needs of its members, and to proclaim the gospel in unreached villages.
Living Link(Church-of-God-Affiliated Ministry)
Living Link is a missionary support program that links missionaries on the field with congregations, small groups, and individuals at home. Students will have the opportunity to pray for, sponsor, and correspond with one of seventy-plus career missionaries serving overseas. This program will help bring the heart of missions home to your students.
San Francisco Missions Outpost(Church-of-God-Affiliated Ministry) Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, SFMO’s goal is to provide your group with life-changing inner-city ministry opportunities. For a fixed cost, the Outpost will house and feed your students and provide a wide variety of ministry venues to fit your schedule.
Church on the Street(Church-of-God-Affiliated Ministry)
Church on the Street provides compassionate ministries on the streets of Atlanta by feeding the poor, clothing the needy, reconciling families, and providing practical guidance. They oversee volunteer staff every week who prepare and serve meals, collect and pass out clothing, and share their lives with the poor and homeless.
Amor Ministries is a nondenominational organization that specializes in facilitating short-term projects to build homes, churches, schools, and medical clinics in Baja California, Ciudad Juarez, Puerto Peñasco, and Yucatan, Mexico. Trips are available for youth, adult, school, and civic groups.
The Pittsburgh Project
This is a nationally known urban ministry that operates short-term mission trips for junior and senior high school youth groups.
Missionary Ventures International
The purpose of Missionary Ventures International is to encourage and support indigenous missions through personal involvement, financial sponsorship, and ministry development. MVI exists to serve and support the indigenous church.
Teen Missions International
This ministry offers short-term missions trips for ages 4 and up, including a “missions boot camp” at their Florida training center prior to the trips. Trips conclude with a debriefing experience, where participants are equipped to put into practice the things they have learned and experienced.
Student Matters wants to involve students in missions trip experiences that will result in an aggressive lifestyle of ministry and faith sharing. They desire to create intense, one-of-a-kind trips that will instill in students a passion for God that will in turn bring about this lifestyle.
YouthWorks provides a creative mixture of service projects for children, teens, and adults in the areas of evangelism, home repair, and other hands-on ministries.
SERVICE PROJECT IDEAS
Boxes for Soldiers
Develop a list of individuals serving in the military (can be either congregation members or their family members). Their relatives can give you a list of personal products and food items that would be appreciated and allowed. Challenge your teens and their families to bring these items (appropriate boxes can be inexpensively obtained from the Post Office). It’s great to include personalized notes with Scripture passages and words of encouragement for the soldiers. They’ll love these boxes from “home.”
Meet together and read the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37). Brainstorm with your students ideas for some things you can do around your community in a day or an evening. For example, you could sing Christmas carols in July for an elderly person, hand out bottles of water to strangers, take treat bags to the fire and police stations, or take coffee to the Salvation Army bell ringers in December. In the summer, you can buy popsicles, write Scripture references on the sticks, and give them away in a park. Be creative!
Nursing Home Giveaway
Go to a Dollar Store and pick up items such as playing cards, puzzle books, tissue packs, jewelry, and so forth. Put everything in a basket and go to visit a Nursing Home. Spend time with the residents, allowing them to each pick an item. This will help to open up conversation. You could also use the objects as prizes for Bingo games that you play with the residents.
Thank-you Meal for Parents
Plan a spaghetti dinner (or something similar) for parents, prepared and served by the youth. This is a great way to thank parents or other volunteers from the congregation. While the teens clean up, the parents can meet to discuss a coming event or the new year’s youth schedule.
Family of the Week
This is a simple idea, but one that has a great impact! Each week send the family of one of your students a letter stating that you and your leaders will be praying for them. Invite the family to send you any specific prayer requests they might have. In addition to the power of prayer, there’s the power of being recognized. You will be seen as someone who cares about entire families, not just the students.
Got a teen service opportunity you would like to recommend? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.