Active in youth ministry for more than 20 years now, Toby has helped lead more mission trips and weekend retreats than he can remember.Â Toby has served as a youth pastor and worship leader at three churches, and currently is the Mission Program Manager at Group Mission Trips. You can also find him speaking and teaching at ministry events, and continuing his long streak as a self-titled whack-a-mole champion. Toby, and his wife, Pam, live in Loveland, Colorado, and have four children.
What is the Week of Hope and where did the idea come from? Week of Hope is a week-long community service based summer mission trip that happens in 18 cities across the country. Each location runs for seven consecutive weeks, so in total, there are 126 weeks of youth groups coming together to serve people in need all across America, and at the same time experience a powerful time with Jesus through the worship program and devotions times. And it’s an all-inclusive trip. We take care of all the details, projects, food, lodging, and programming. You just get to show up and have a great week with your students.
What excites you most about each Week of Hope?
I love each Week of Hope because it lets students and adults see people. By that I mean – really see them, and love them, like Jesus did. And in the process, we get to learn a lot about how Jesus sees us as well.
Tell us a funny story about one serve project you were on? The best youth ministry stories comeÂ from things like mission trips. I remember getting a flat tire all fixed on our 15 passenger, and had kept a dozen students from getting squashed on the median strip. We weren’t back on the road 100 feet when the kid that we told to stop eating oranges and hot chocolate all week barfed it all up into every cup holder around him. That was a sight … And smell … To behold. Or the time during a serious part of an evening program … right at the point when the hope of Jesus was being shared, when a jr high kid just stood up, and raised his hand. The program leader couldn’t ignore him, so everything paused and the kid asked (with all seriousness) ” can I please go to the bathroom?” Yes … Yes you can 🙂
Where do people go to get more information if they are interested – and any chance you will give a couple free registrations away? All the info about Week of Hope – details, available weeks, pricing, and more – is at GroupMissionTrips.com. Just click on Week of Hope. We hope you’ll consider letting us help you have a great mission adventure this summer. Or you can email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
What about the free registrations? Sure. The first 5 new groups that email Brent at email@example.com and say that you like Josh Griffin can bring a try-it-out group of four for free. Yep. Totally free. That’s two adults and two of your student leaders to experience it and see if its a good fit for your youth ministry. And if you don’t make the first five emails, we’ll still let you -the youth leader – come for free if you aren’t already registered. Just cause you like Josh.