I listen to a youth ministry podcast called Rethinking Youth Ministry. This is a podcast with a bunch of the youth pastors that work for Orange and write our curriculum. These people are smart as they have been in youth ministry for a long time. A couple of weeks ago they were talking about retreats and as I was in the final prepping process for our Bedlam Retreat, I turned the volume up and settled in for their wisdom.
One quote really stood out to me. They said one-weekend retreat is the same equivalent as one whole year with the students. What they meant by that was that relationally, if you spend 48 hours together, away from the normal of life, you bond. I have experienced this many times before but that thought had never really settled in. I guess this is why I am always so excited about retreats.
As we set out towards Muskoka the relationship building started in the drive up. Those 4-5 hours there and back are crucial. This weekend we laughed a lot, had some fun experiences and were all challenged in our faith. Our Speaker challenged us to shake off our fake identities and to be ourselves before God. It was truly an amazing weekend to be with these students. To be able to worship beside them and to dig in deep in our small groups it was an experience I wish everyone at VG could be apart of.
As we were driving home on Sunday afternoon as everyone was asleep in my car (except for me) I glanced at everyone in my vehicle and after chuckling as some of their tongues were hanging out from exhaustion, I thought to myself that this will be a hard weekend to forget. As I drove with the music playing softly my heart was full. Thanks to all our awesome parents that trusted me and my leaders with your students. I can’t wait for next year 🙂