I’ve known for a long time the importance of getting students away for a retreat, camp or conference. As I listen to testimonies of mature Christian adults, their stories almost always include a place different from their home church (or at least a special event in their home church).
True discipleship takes place in the context of a local church on a weekly basis. But I do believe without special events, it’s difficult for students to grasp the message and to be inspired and encouraged to take beginning steps to fully follow Jesus!
I’ve been reading a book called The Power Of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath, which I highly recommend. As I was reading, I began realizing that part of the reason it seems like Jesus uses special events to reach students is the unknown, the broken script, and the different setting. The power of God is not able to be contained or formulated, and heart transformation can happen anywhere. But there’s something powerful about getting students out of their usual element, into a place where many others are worshiping, other Christian leaders are speaking and where they can spend time focused on listening to God’s voice and not on the usual stuff. Just the change in space and the schedule can allow students to hear the word differently.
Weekend retreats and conferences help create those moments in the lives of teens. I still believe of the importance in working hard to schedule these types of events and working even harder to get students to be a part of them. We don’t want to live from event to event, but use these moments as tools to the overall approach is discipling teenagers.
One of the quotes from the book is, “we feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they’re not.”
I think this is true – and it why Jesus calls us to the deep water. Following Jesus has never been about comfort, but about being alive in faith! Stepping out. Obeying his call.
Create moments where students can sense God calling them to be alive in Him!
Getting your students on a retreat is one of the key ingredients for this to happen.Ignition Middle School Conference Other Conferences
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