Saturday, September 23, 2006

Favorite YM Memory #7

Often times memories become memories because what you are remembering are highlight moments in time that seem to have more significance then the everyday mundane moments. Whether the mundane or the highlights have more or less significance then each other is debatable and would be fit for a future post and doesn’t really play a role in today’s favorite youth ministry memory number seven.

This memory is actually a collection of memories from HistoryMakers Youth Convention, Merge, Chubb Lake Teen Camp, Scotland missions trips, Full Life, Reality Check, and other various retreats. These are the memories of deep and focused times of spiritually building into the lives of students and leaders; these were times of defining the direction of Christian spirituality in many teenagers lives and act as the hinge points in why they follow Jesus today.

Focused spiritual retreats and getaways in youth ministry do a number of things:
1. Community is built through shared spiritual experience.
2. Community is maintained through shared spiritual history.
3. Christian spirituality is built in the context of community.
4. Spiritual sensitivity is expected among students and leaders.
5. Spiritual leadership among emerging leaders is tested, cultivated, and encouraged.

Many students, when reflecting back on their spiritual history, point back to a retreat experience as the defining moment(s) in their Christian commitment. I am sure that many who read this can very likely remember a time away from home in some over cramped chalet, hot broken-down bus, or bug-infested campsite when God seemed more real to you, simply because you were away from the normal everyday distractions of life.

Have fun creating amazing retreat experiences this year!

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