This winter, a few weeks before Christmas, Chester and I were asked to consider leading a retreat at Glad Tidings Bible Camp for teenagers. After carefully considering the Christmas festivities schedule, we realized that it would fit, and agreed to design and lead a two-day retreat between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
It was our responsibility to create the schedule, design the lessons, create content for the small group discussions, and choose fun activities for the teenagers who would attend. Chester and I worked together to create a Bible study on Colossians 3. We studied our security identity in Christ (Colossians 3:1-4), choosing to live in a way that brings the experience of life rather than the experience of death (Colossians 3:5-17) , HOW to do this (Colossians 3:4), and finally the rewards of following Christ in Colossians 3:23-24.
Each chapel was followed by a time of discussion in small groups (guys and girls separately) to dig into the verses that Chester taught more deeply as we reviewed, and to address any questions the teens brought up. And they did. Twelve teens attended – six guys and six girls. The guys in particular had great discussions after the lessons, which carried over into late night discussions with Chester on finding victory in Christ. We concluded the retreat with an open question panel where the teens submitted questions they had ahead of time, and Chester read them to a panel of him, me, Dawn Reyes and Micah (our son), who each shared their thoughts on the questions.
Between chapel and discussions, we sledded on the fresh snow, played laser tag, played group games (like “four on the couch”), ate terrific food, watched a light-hearted and fun movie, and took part in a Davis family specialty by building Graham Cracker houses.
It was exhausting. And it was so very much worth it. Creating opportunities for these deep late-night God-seeking conversations and for deeper time over God’s word is why we do ministry. It’s often not us doing the teaching – we tend to be behind the scenes helping things go smoothly. But the rewards are similar, and we believe God is glorified.
We’re praising God for working in this retreat that almost didn’t happen. He showed up and worked His purpose! Join in praising God with us!