Youth Culture Today (Prague Trip 2017)

We come to you today from the Czech Republic! 9 Canadian Acadia Divinity College students have joined with 9 students from across Europe to take a course on Youth Culture together from Jeff Carter (Canadian Baptist Ministries and European Baptist Federation)! We are in the middle of the course right now. At the end of this week the 9 Canadians will split up and visit some of the European students' homes, churches and ministries. Here are a few of the students sharing about their experience so far and the importance of understanding youth culture today. This experience is made possible by a generous scholarship each Canadian students receives from the CBAC Youth and Family team and Jeff's support on the European side. Thank you for giving to CBACyf and supporting youth leaders! You make this excellent training and more available to leaders to the next generation when you give to CBACyf or EBF.

As you watch - consider how you can better engage youth culture today?
How can you both show and tell the Gospel in today's youth culture?



Ready made Springforth (or any youth rally/retreat) Debrief for your Youth Group


Youth rallies, like Springforth, can be such a high for students and leaders! There is something special about worshipping together and being challenging together with so many others. It’s a powerful reminder that we are not alone and we have a mighty God!
...AND then we drive away, and often we and our students go back to life as usual. 

We don’t want you to miss what God may have been stirring in hearts and minds during the event!
Please do your part to help nurture the seeds that were planted.

Leaders, you can do some things to help make sure the impact of such events last longer and leads to significant change in lives, churches, and neighbourhoods. One of the best things you can do as a leader is debrief the event with students while it is still fresh in their minds.

Here is a whole list of questions you can use to debrief youth conferences, like Springforth. At the end of the list you’ll see some questions specific to the Springforth middle school and high school sites.

Pick just a FEW of these questions and use them in a large group, small group, discussions in pairs or put them on a sheet of paper for students to personally reflect on their experience. Often, we forget about the power of debriefing in partners peer-to-peer or even inviting personal individual reflection. Use all these tools well.

Questions for reflection after a youth conference (I’ve referred to Springforth, but you could use these questions after any youth rally or retreat). Again, doing all these questions would be overwhelming, pick about 5 of these questions. Remember “I don’t know” is also a valid answer to questions.

Debrief questions:

 1.       What was your favourite fun thing that happened during Springforth?

2.       The preaching:
a.       What was one thing the speaker said that has stuck with you?
b.       What was one thing the speaker said that made you think he/she was talking about you?

3.       What did you learn about God? From Springforth, did you come to understand something new about God? What?

4.       What is one song or line from a song that you liked or stood out to you?

5.       Who is one person you got to know better on this trip?

6.       What was one challenging thing that happened or you heard while at Springforth?

7.       What is your favourite thing that happened traveling to/from Springforth?

8.       Who is one new person you met (either on stage or personally) while at Springforth? What did you learn about them?

9.       Throughout the event, did you ever get a sense that God was nudging you or encouraging you to do something? Sometimes this happens, sometimes it does. If you did get this sense, what was it about? Have you done anything about it yet?

10.   What’s one thing you’ll do or think differently because of Springforth 2017?

11.   What did you learn about Kamp Tumaini (or mission beyond your region)? How can you be generous towards others, like the kids at Kamp Tumaini or others?

12.   How can you continue to learn about God and grow in God when you’re not at Springforth?

13.   What does it mean to join God in your neighbourhood #1neighbourhood?
a.       Name all the places you go in the course of a regular week. Be specific and name as many places as you can.
b.       Of all the places you go in the course of a regular week – where, or in who, do you see evidence that God is at work?
c.       How could you intentionally join God’s work in at least one of the places you go (or one of the peoples’ lives in those places) in the course of a regular week?

Specific to the High School Springforth site:

HS 1. In what ways do you feel people have misunderstood the heart of God for them or for the world?

HS 2. When we wait to be used by God, we keep others who need God waiting too. In what way have you been waiting and who have you kept waiting?

HS 3. When we read the last words of Jesus to the disciples, we discover a general mission for our lives: make disciples by bringing the kingdom of heaven into the present. How will you start making disciples right where you're at? 

HS 4. What’s one thing you learned from the Workshops you attended that will help you live more for Jesus?

Specific to the Middle School/Junior High Springforth site:

MS 1. What’s one thing you learned from the Dzones you attended that will help you live more for Jesus?

MS 2. Matt (the speaker) talked about the different between accepting God’s grace and trying to “do” stuff to please God and reach God. Can you think of a time when you were told the Gospel is a “Do” or “Don’t” list? How did that make you feel? Was it helpful or harmful? Have you ever experienced grace?

MS 3. Have you ever felt like you should do something, but you were scared of what others may think? Did you end up doing it, or did you avoid it? 

MS 4. What is something you believe God might be calling you to do? What sort of support do you need around you in order to make that calling happen?

MS 5. What did you think of the wooden blocks we wrote on? Talk about it.
If you need more prompts - Did you choose to write something on one of the wooden blocks at the end of the Saturday afternoon rally? Have you been able to find someone you feel comfortable sharing with what you wrote on the block and asking for their help? Is there someone you could talk to about it now and ask them to pray for you? Even if you didn’t write on a block, is there a spot in your life where you need some help and need to see God rebuilding something that feels broken or hurtful?

BE sure to give us at Springforth your feedback about the event too. If you were there, fill in this survey monkey please! Click here.

Thanks everyone for a great Springforth 2017! It was truly a blast!

Did you hear about the BIG announcement for 2018? Can’t wait to see you there, as we make history together. (Wonder what I'm talking about? Check out our Facebook page)



Leaders – Getting the most out of Springforth

SF 2017 Facebook Profile.jpg

Happy Springforth Eve!
I’m bursting with excitement today.

Here are some reasons why Springforth is so fantastic and pro-tips for getting the most out of the event.

If you are looking for Springforth event details click here.

1.       Springforth is so fantastic because it is a reminder that we are not alone - We have got others all over Atlantic Canada seeking to join God in their neighbourhoods!


  • Use meal times and down-times to allow teens to connect – to other teens, to leaders, to other youth groups.
  • Point out to teens how although they might feel alone in their school or town/city as someone journeying towards God, they can look around at Springforth and see they are not alone in Atlantic Canada!
  • Invite students to steal ideas from other teens from the stories they hear at Springforth, about how to join God in the places they live, work, study and play. #1neighbourhood
  • Some youth groups are using the meal times/snack times at Springforth to connect their Tidal Impact teams (visiting and hosting teams) together to meet in person. Great idea!
  • Go to the leaders' track. It is a chance for you as a leader to see you are not alone and get some great resources to help you invest in students.

2.       Springforth is so fantastic because it is designed with expectant hope – We fully expect God to do His mighty work this weekend. We fully expect God to invite students into relationship with Himself, invite students to change things in their thinking or behaviour and invite students to get on mission with joining God in our neighbourhoods. God is mighty, there is power in the Gospel. We are un1ting around God and His mission. We have been praying and have designed the environment, schedule, speakers and bands, with the expectancy that God is speaking to teenagers today.


  • Get others in your church praying with expectancy for your teens for this weekend and God’s work in them and around them.
  • Don’t miss what God is stirring in your students. Be sensitive if your group needs to linger after a session, follow up by talking to a speaker or have prayer with a peer or leader.
  • Be on time for all sessions so your students get the full experience.
  • Have your students come prepared to give an offering. We fully expect to make a difference to Kamp Tumaini in Kenya, by sending kids affected by HIV/Aids to this camp. $20 sends a person to camp!

3.       Springforth is so fantastic because it attracts people who are in all different places in their journey towards God – We love that whether people are just checking out Jesus or have been following Jesus since they were a wee little one, they feel welcome at Springforth. We love that they can all find community and be challenged at Springforth.


  • Bring youth to Springforth who are all along the spectrum of faith or even skeptical of faith.
  • Encourage teens that have been following Jesus for a while to befriend those just checking things out at Springforth.
  • Don’t let your teens that have been following Jesus for a while go away unchallenged. There are new challenges for them – in surrender, in joining God’s mission in their neighbourhood in new ways, in leading, in new workshop topics, in the Global Village challenge from CBM (look in the glass walkway at Crandall for this), in learning about and supporting Kamp Tumaini etc.

4.       Springforth is so fantastic because it starts conversations with our students about deeper faith questions – the event is only 21.5 hours (6:30 pm Friday to 4 pm Saturday) but the conversations it starts with your students are golden! The seeds that are planted are golden! Springforth is like an accelerator for the conversations we want to be having with our teens about following Jesus and living for Jesus. Lean into this opportunity!


  • As you listen to the speaker, think about follow-up questions to ask your students about the talks.
  • Use the time in vehicles, meal times, down-times, lying on a hard church floor times – to have follow-up conversations with your students.
  • Plan your next youth group (or two or three) to be a follow up from Springforth and how to apply what we learned.
  • Don’t worry about the lack of sleep during Springforth – follow the conversations God is stirring. We’re praying God stirs lots of conversations and sustains and strengths you, no matter the number of hours of sleep you get.
  • Ask students what their ONE main take-away was from: the speaker, the worship, and the workshops/D-zones.
  • Get teens to write themselves a letter on the way home (or at your next youth group) about what God highlighted to them at Springforth. Collect the letters and give them back to the students in a months time to check-in on how their follow through is going.

Other general pro-tips:

  • Get to the leader’s track on-time. We (CBAC) have a gift for you Friday and Saturday Acadia Divinity College has a special treat for you.
  • Trust your teens to be able to handle the D-Zones (middle school site) and workshops (high school site) without you. This is part of helping their faith become more their own.
  • If you are staying at a church Friday night, bring a good air mattress or thick foam!
  • If you are staying at a church Friday night, plan a thank you for the church for their hospitality (e.g. a thank you card signed by your students…)
  • Be on time to all sessions.
  • Plan ahead for your Saturday breakfast and Saturday lunch. The time goes very quickly. Champlain Place food court is great for lunch but is also extremely busy the Saturday of Springforth.
  • Remind your teens Sunday is Mother’s Day!

You experienced Springforth leaders – what other pro-tips would you add?
Youth leaders and supporters of youth are amazing! Thank you for the investment you are making in the lives of students this weekend and always. Keep investing!  
See you at Springforth! #Springforth More details about the event at:


Meet the Springforth - Kamp Tumaini Team! Check out where your Springforth offering goes

Meet the team of young Atlantic Canadians learning about joining God in our neighbourhoods here and in Kenya.

A team of teens and young adults from Springforth has been selected to go to Kamp Tumaini in Kenya for two weeks this July. Kamp Tumaini is a Guardians of Hope (GOH) program by Canadian Baptist Ministries. The Guardians of Hope program seeks to help families and communities affected by HIV/Aids. Our Springforth team will be joining with our CBM partners Aaron and Erica Kenny in Kwale, Kenya to run Kamp Tumaini at Mivumoni Secondary School. 

In the region of Kwale County Kenya HIV infection has remained at a high prevalence rate of 6% of the population. In schools like the Mivumoni Secondary School, practically everyone knows of someone how has been affected by HIV/AIDS. Kamp Tumaini 2017 will be at Mivumoni Secondary School to work with GOH kids and their classmates on awareness and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

Tumaini means hope in Swahili. Join us in praying Kamp Tuamini is FULL of hope this summer.
This will be an incredible learning and growing experience for our young Atlantic Canadian team.

I interviewed three of the team members this week. Take a glimpse into the team…

1.       “Why are you going?”

Danielle – I’m going to camp because God has called me to! He calls us to be disciples whether it is here at home or in places overseas like Kenya

Victoria – I’m going to share God’s love with others, and to tell others about God. I’m going to learn.

Abby – It’s been a dream of mine to go on a mission trip since I was little. I’m also excited to meet other people my age and see how they live.

2.       What will you be doing?

Danielle - We are going to Kenya to join Gods work through CBM and their partners to kids, teens, and families affected by HIV/AIDS because they are our neighbours and together we can show and tell the gospel

Abby – I will be trying to build relationships with campers, my team and God. I’m hoping to laugh and learn lots! At the start of each day we will be doing a big assembly for the whole school in the morning. Then, each day, we’ll be taking a different grade out of school for CAMP! I can’t wait to teach them some crazy camp games! During camp we plan to have games, crafts, devotions and songs. We may even bring Hallelujah Half Hour to Kamp Tumaini in Kenya (anyone from Camp Tulakadik knows what that is!)

Victoria – We will be teaching others about God and be working with students affected by HIV/Aids to help reduce the stigma around it. We want to give the campers a memorable and fun time! I want to build friendships with the campers there.

3.       What have you been learning about in preparing to go?

Victoria – We have been learning about HIV and Aids and planning for the camp we’ll be running.

Abby – We’ve been learning all about different cultures. One of my favourite things to learn about was Islam.

Danielle - We have been learning so many different things from different people. Paul Carline informed us about Islam. The Kenny’s (who we will be partnering with in Kenya), have answered any questions we have about the culture there. Erica Kenny provided information to us all about HIV/AIDS. Renée got us to look more in depth to figure out our personalities and what it means to work together as team. Adrian has taught us about missions and going as partners to serve and learn. We also have had two in person meetings where we did team building.

4.       Springforth has been partnering with Kamp Tumaini for three years! What do you hope everyone at Springforth understands about Kamp Tumaini?

Victoria – That there is hope! God’s love and hope can help everyone, here and around the world.

Abby – People should understand that Kamp is a place for everyone to feel love, accepted and cherished.

Danielle - That Kamp Tumaini is a camp for those who have been affected or infected by HIV/AIDS and we are going to help break some of the stigma behind it.

5.       What’s your favourite thing about camp?

Abby – That’s a hard question, but campfire songs are definitely at the top of the list.

Victoria – The peace at camp.

Danielle – Dark games and campfire!

6.       What fun camp thing do you hope to teach the people at Kamp Tumaini?

Abby – I hope to teach the students the “Bazooka Bubble Gum” song. It’s the best!

Victoria – Camp games!

Danielle – Crazy camp songs and the fun grace songs we sing before meals

7.       What can all of us be praying for our friends in Kenya and at Kamp Tumaini?

Victoria – strength as we’re leading the camp with the teens and that our purpose is to serve

Danielle - Pray for the students to be able to realize that they are just like us, valued and special. Pray they’d have a good time at Kamp. Pray for our team, that all our planning will come together.

Abby – Pray that God teaches us to be flexible and focus on His mission.

Did you know the Springforth offering goes to Kamp Tumaini?

The Springforth offering doesn’t go to this team, it goes directly to Kamp Tumaini for running camps for kids affected by HIV/Aids. When you give during the Springforth offering you are helping a kid in Kenya have an awesome camp experience! 
$20 sends a kid or teen to Kamp Tumaini. How many kids can your group send to camp?
Thank you!!! See you at Springforth!

If you want to support one of these team members directly you can do it on the team’s GIVE TO GO page HERE


Unfortunately, Julia isn’t it the picture because she was writing an exam while we were all having fun.
The team, along with their favourite ice cream flavour, is…
Abby Murphy (Saint John NB) – Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch
Adia Guptill (Moncton NB) – Hoofprints
Brigette Moore (Woodstock NB) – I don’t eat ice cream
Claire Brenton (Massey Drive NFLD) – Maple walnut
Connor Craig (St. George NB) – Vanilla
Danielle Leger (Boundary Creek NB) – Chocolate chip cookie dough
Emily Derrah (Grand Bay NB) – Hoofprints
Hannah Ingalls (Middle Sackville & Saint John NB) – Melted snowman
Jackie Crain (Kiersteadville NB) – Chocolate chip cookie dough
Jacob Tait (Colpitts Settlement NB) – Death by chocolate
Julia LeBlanc (Bridgewater NS) – Kejimkujik s’mores
Melora Cook (Moncton NB) - Strawberry
Victoria Foley (Conquerall Bank NS) – Cotton Candy
Elijah Gardner (Milton ON, formerly Grand Bay NB) – Rocky Road
And the leaders:
Catherine Cole (Truro NS) – Neapolitan
Adrian Gardner (Milton ON) – Cotton Candy
Renée Embree (Saint John NB, when she’s actually home) – Mint chocolate chip

We’re so proud of Springforth and the amazing way they’ve supported Kamp Tumaini for three years. Thank you Springforth! This team is proud to represent you as we head to Kenya.



7 Resources to Prepare Youth for a Mission trip

Summer mission tour season is fast approaching!
What an amazing opportunity we have to invest in the lives of students and help them serve, learn and join God’s mission in the world.  

Youth and young adults regularly point to mission experiences as transformational moments in their lives. There is something about seeing God's people in action, joining in healing our broken world, and hearing about Jesus at that same time, that impacts our hearts. 

Here are a few resources we’ve used and really like for preparing youth for mission. We like them because they help students think beyond the mission trip to on-going missional living. #1neighbourhood

1.       Deep Justice Journeys: 50 Activities to Move from Mission Trips to Missional Living by Kara E. Powell and Brad Griffin. This is an excellent book we’ve used ourselves again and again. It engages students in activities and then helps them debrief the activity in a way that invites the students to discover the mission value being emphasized. There are lots of great opportunities to engage in Scripture. It thinks beyond the week of the mission trip. It looks at lasting partnerships, on-going learning, thinking more deeply about root causes and prejudice that perpetuate difficult situations and challenges us towards living missionally every day.

2.       Wordeed: An Intergral Mission a little book available as a pdf HERE from our friends at Canadian Baptist Ministries. This little book lays out a description of how God is transforming our world. We love their approach! They invite us to think about the whole person and the whole picture. They invite to both show and tell the Gospel, in deed and word. Jesus “did” the Kingdom and taught about the Kingdom – Wordeed invites us to do the same.

3.       Alpha Youth Film Series available HERE, is an exceptional free resource. A new version is coming out within the next year! This is a great resource to prepare a team, if you want to make sure your team understands the basics of their own faith. Alpha is designed to help those that don’t know Jesus to explore Jesus. SO, if you used Alpha with a group of youth preparing for a mission trip, it should be with the challenge that then those youth are prepared to run an alpha in their school or community. Train them and prepare them to be leaders for the next Alpha, as you go through the series together. Get them praying for who they will invite to their Alpha group!

4.       The 31 day Neighbouring Challenge available HERE invites everyone to open their eyes, ears, heart and mind to God’s work around them every day. Simple, daily challenges invite students to join God, even in small ways, every day.  Four devotionals (powerpoints with notes for the leader) are also available with this resource. This is a great resource to prepare peoples’ hearts and attitudes for serving God. It’s a great resource to encourage people to start noticing how they can join God in their own lives.

5.       Step Up: Becoming the Leader God made you to Be by Denise VanEck. This workbook is exceptional at calling out leadership skills in students. This would be a great resource for a mentor and mentee to work through together. If you have a group of students that is ready to be challenged to step up in leadership, this would be the book for you.

6.       6 Habits of Highly Missional Youth available HERE The Verge network has lots of great ideas and resource. This one is about helping youth understand and apply the Gospel in life.

7.       Building Young Leaders: Using Mission Experiences To Help Grow Youth As Leaders by Mike McDonald and Bruce Fawcett. This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s no longer in print, but I assure you you’ll find copies kicking around most churches in Atlantic Canada. This book provides a detailed step by step guide to prepare the details and your group for a mission tour, and in particular Tidal Impact.  

You’ll find some more resources on our CBACyf website:
Under our “How to videos” – Check out “How to plan a mission tour part 1”

Under our “Tidal Impact” resources – Check out
“TI2017 How to be a Visiting Church for Tidal Impact” and
“T12017 How to be a Fantastic Host Church for Tidal Impact”

There is still a small window of time to join in Tidal Impact this summer! It's a mission tour for middle school and high school students where together we'll be impacting the neighbourhoods in and around Bridgewater and Halifax, Nova Scotia. All the details are available at:

Hope this helps!
Thank you for investing in students and equipping them to join God in their neighbourhoods and networks every day!
Praying for life-changing mission experiences in this season. Praying these learning and serving opportunities create a people that join God in their neighbourhoods every day, everywhere!