YouthWorks, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was created in 1994 by Paul Bertelson. At that time Paul was serving as a youth pastor at a church in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN. After leading week long mission trips with his own youth group, Paul realized that his students grew more in these one week experiences than they did the entire rest of the year. His hope and prayer in starting YouthWorks was that every teenager would have the opportunity to go on a mission trip and have their life changed by God.
With a Christ-centered board guiding the team, YouthWorks has seen incredible growth over the last 20 years. The first summer, 35 churches brought approximately 400 participants to two communities. By 2000 there were 35 communities and over 10,000 participants. This summer we are anticipating over 1,500 churches with 32,000 participants serving in over 70 communities. Throughout this growth we have learned a great deal about youth ministry, serving and partnering with communities, the logistics of a mission trip, and how to love the church. We’re grateful for the journey we’ve been on and invite you to join us as we continue to pray about what God has in store for the future of YouthWorks.