Jr. and Sr. High Spring Retreat 2011

“That was the most fun weekend I’ve ever had in my life”

“That sermon was exactly what I needed to hear”

“The doodles were soooo helpful”

The last of those quotes may not mean much at first glance, but each of quotes represents an answer to prayer and a goal met, by God’s grace, in this year’s Spring Retreat.

The Doodles. Myself and the leadership team were not merely satisfied, but extremely impressed by how the youth of our church memorized and began to ‘personalize’ an evangelistic tool called Two Ways to Live in the short span of 12 hours.  Two Ways is a memorable summary of the Christian gospel along with its necessary presuppositions.  One of the things which makes it memorable is its focus on Christ as King (not merely Savior), and how it uses little doodles (drawings) to help communicate the truths of the gospel.  We were impressed, blown away even, with how quickly the youth used these little drawings to summarize and share both what they’d been taught and what they’ve believed and been convinced of.

Pray with us that, armed with a clear and memorable understanding of the gospel, our youth would take this tool with them into their families and schools for the sake of the name of Jesus!

The Sermon. One of the joys of our annual retreat is worshipping at Trinity PCA in Charlottesville, VA.  The sermon that morning was from John 20 how Jesus kindly engaged and rebuked Thomas in his doubts.  I’m all too aware that our youth, both those who profess faith in Christ and those who haven’t (yet), wrestle with serious questions about the Bible, about Jesus, about life.  The reasoning behind a ‘retreat’ from family (and from technology and from school) is to give occasion for these lingering questions to surface where Jesus can meet them head on in His word.  Having Jesus’ loving interaction with Thomas put before our team convinced them even more that Jesus is after their hearts and desires to meet their doubts with evidence and challenge them to stop disbelieving and believe.

Pray with us that our youth would be open with their parents, their leaders, and most significantly their risen King, about what’s going on in their hearts and lives and never cease to find the answers they seek in His word with His people.

The Fun. From start to finish, we had a blast together.  We spent at least 10 hours in cars together, laughing, talking, enjoying each other’s company.  We spent at least 4 hours in small groups exploring the scriptures, dwelling on the gospel, and taking turns explaining the gospel to each other.  We took a two hour hike up White Oak Canyon to a 40ft. waterfall, adventured around the Rapidan River at Kerith Farm, played Settlers of Catan, ate some great VA BBQ at Pig N Steak (no kidding, that’s the name), and enjoyed each other every step of the way.  To King Jesus be the glory for the relationships he began, the relationships he built, the lives impacted, and for how we were able to eat, drink, game, hike, study, worship, laugh all to His glory.

Pray with us that God, by His grace, would continue to unite our group around Jesus Christ, make our youth into bold evangelists for His name’s sake, and continue to build our church and His kingdom through retreats such as this one.