#community: Our prayer for this retreat was that our youth and leaders would understand what real biblical community looks like. From the messages to small groups to the worship…we learned that “community” comes from the Gospel. The Cross creates a people - one priesthood, one baptism, one faith.
1. During one of the corporate prayer sessions we had split up between middle school, underclassmen, and upperclassmen. I had asked the counselors to stand up and spread their hands over the youth and pray for them. And I wish you could have seen what I saw. It was like the the counselors were protecting these youth and shielding them. And the counselors were praying that each generation would equip the next generation.
2. It was after one of the messages where the sermon was over the Gospel that changes us. And our worship team (which was made up of two churches) get up and sing this song called “All Glory Be to Christ”. When the lights, acoustics, and the perfection of the singing all joined together…it was unbelievable. I was just sitting in the back and watching our youth and leaders all together singing to our King and all i could do was smile and join them in worship.
3. At our final farewell we wanted to do a last prayer. So we had the ACC youth get in the middle of the room while the SWCBC youth surrounded them and lastly the CBC youth surrounded them. It was a picture of how each church is praying, protecting, and encouraging each other. It was a perfect ending to the retreat. The challenge was for the youth to take what they’ve experienced and bring it back to their respective community.
4. There was no countdown. There was no ticker for the new year. Instead, we ushered in the new year with worship. Ending 2013 and starting 2014 with unhindered worship was simply amazing. And what made it even better was that you’re doing this with family.
1. Reflect and Respond: Take some time and remember what God showed you this retreat. What were some lessons he revealed to you? What did you learn about yourself? Go over your notes and ask yourself, “How should I apply this truth?” But also, if you have unfinished or unresolved things, don’t wait till later but do it now. So if its that you have to disciple, confess, repent, or work…then go do it.
2. Plug in: After a retreat about community, it would only make sense to go back and develop this community back at your church. It will take work. It will take effort. At times you’ll succeed and at times you’ll fail at it. But remember, that the Gospel continues to anchor us and provide the sustaining power to actually see it accomplished. CBC youth & leaders, let’s get to work and help each other out to really build this community. Let us commit to one another and not stop.
May the Lord challenge us to grow and grow all the more this year…