10.17.23 | Youth Ministry | by Heather Morrison


    Most of our students have grown up in the Church, which is one of the biggest privileges someone can have. However, growing up in church often means that we are numb to seeing who Jesus is and even the Gospel itself. We can repeat the “Sunday School answers” we’ve learned all our lives as much as we want, but does that mean we truly know who Jesus is and how we can have life and fullness in Him?

    This year, the theme for our Youth fall retreat is “Becoming Human Again by Seeing Jesus.” We will be walking through 1 Corinthians 15.45. This verse says: “Thus it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being': the last Adam became a life-giving spirit." We are reminded that we were made in the image of God and with a purpose. But what does this mean regarding the question of what it means to be human - a living being and life-giving spirit? This is a question many struggle with because of so many opposing cultural views telling us what to think. As I think about this question, it brings up another question - how does stillness fit into seeing who Jesus is?

    At each retreat, we set time aside for the students (and leaders) to go out by themselves in nature to be still in God’s Word. It is slightly uncomfortable at first. We are so used to our fast-paced culture and being constantly in motion that we often don’t give ourselves permission to be still, especially in reference to God’s Word. I, at times, have even felt that being still is lazy and unproductive. In reality, our lives cannot be fruitful without stillness and resting in His Word and who He is.

    When thinking about this weekend’s retreat, I feel we often lose sight of a retreat’s purpose. It is supposed to be a time to pull back from “normal life” and engage in moments of stillness, prayer, and new teaching while in community. Yes, retreats are supposed to be fun, slightly chaotic, and filled with silly games; but they’re also life-giving, restoring, and filled with biblical teaching. We were made for community, and retreats certainly fill, challenge, and grow our students. The Youth come back from retreats with a fire and excitement that’s hard to explain.

    On my tour of Camp Alpine (our retreat location) last week, the director took me to a horse field and said he wanted us to sit for a few minutes and look at the beauty God so lovingly gave us. Those five minutes were the biggest reminder of the purpose of stillness that I’ve had in a long time. I left Camp Alpine feeling very renewed, and my hope is that our CPC students will feel the same way. My desire for our students going on retreat is to let those moments of rest and stillness happen; and in those moments, be able to reflect on who Jesus is and all that He has so graciously given them.

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