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    Author: Ryan Warner

    Category: The Pulse - 2017.01 Issue 1, The Pulse 2017

    Youth Winter Retreats

    For all of the ministry activities throughout the year, there isn’t any other that has the same kind of impact as a weekend retreat. There’s just something about pulling away from our everyday environment, away from technology, together with peers and leaders that opens students’ hearts to hearing from God. That’s why I’m so excited about our upcoming Winter Retreats at Camp Spofford for our Middle School Ministry and our High School Ministry. In fact, there are a few things I am specifically looking forward to that have nothing to do with how incredible the food is at Spofford:

    1. Meaningful Connection – The nature of spending every hour with the same people over 3 days brings about a relational connection that is unique and difficult to attain otherwise. Students often leave a retreat feeling more a part of the group, and more a part of something bigger than themselves, than they did before they came. The strong bonds formed on a retreat provide students with the relational resources to navigate life and faith back home in the everydayness of life.
    2. Hearing From God – We’re all busy people, all connected to and through technology, all moving quickly through each day from the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we fall asleep at night. This is especially true for teenagers today who are all what we can call “digital natives.” They’ve never lived in a world where social media didn’t exist. For them, space for listening to the voice of God through His Word does not come naturally, it must be created. I love hearing testimonies of students at the end of a retreat as they share about how they connected with God, how they experienced the conviction of the Spirit, and what passions the Lord has put upon their hearts.
    3. Fun - Fun is seriously underrated. No, really. Not because we all don’t like having fun, but because we don’t recognize how meaningful fun is in our lives. Borrowing from church leader Reggie Joiner, here are a few things fun specifically does: fun convinces someone you actually like them; fun fosters resilience; fun authenticates forgiveness; fun makes friendships go deeper. So we always have fun in youth ministry. We just have even more fun at Winter Retreat.

    If you know a teenager, or the parent of one, poke them with a stick until they sign up for our Winter Retreats at Camp Spofford. It’ll be the best decision you ever coerced them into!

    Middle School Winter Retreat – January 6-8: Register Here

    High School Winter Retreat – February 10-12: Register Here