Student Ministry

I got Refueled!
I had a great time of retreat last week in Destin Florida with LeaderTreks at their Refuel Retreat. This was my third Refuel Retreat and each time I have attended a Refuel I have learned so much and returned back home and to the church refueled and ready to go.

What did I get out of Refuel?

Rest. I was able to spend some extra time simply resting without having responsibility on me other than learning. I’ll admit I was able to sneak in a few naps. I also enjoyed sitting on the balcony of my room, drinking coffee, and watching the bay. Lots of fish and birds. This was a super relaxing time for me. Refuel Retreats build into the schedule opportunities to rest and relax.

Learning. I have been on a few year journey to discover the best way to disciple our students. The teaching time at Refuel in Destin was all about discipleship.

A few thoughts:
Discipleship happens one on one in relationships not in programs.
Discipleship is badly needed in the church today.
Many believers don’t disciple someone else because they themselves were never discipled.
Discipleship is built on trust.
Just because you have small groups doesn’t mean you’re doing discipleship.
Just because students come to youth group doesn’t mean they want to be discipled.
Discipleship is a high calling.
Discipleship is a process.
Create time and space for discipleship.
Students don’t need another friend, they need another mentor.
Answering questions is not learning.
Discipleship takes time.
There is no silver bullet.
Students must choose to be discipled.
Thanks to Doug Franklin at LeaderTreks for making us think about discipleship and where we are at as student ministers in the process.

More than a participant this year. Doug invited me to lead the two morning sessions on Soul Care and Life Mapping. I really enjoyed the opportunity and am humbled that I was asked and trusted enough to lead. Soul Care is a key part of Refuel. Both mornings we were allowed time and space to get off and alone and work through a journal, reading scripture, making observations and applying principles we learned. We followed this with Life Mapping. Life Mapping takes a look at the coming twelve months. What are the obstacles, challenges, temptations, and potentially overwhelming situations we will face in the coming year. We then filled our “bag” with the tools and supplies we will need to make this journey. Life Mapping is great and really gets you thinking about where you are and where you are headed.  We discussed both our journaling and Life Mapping together.

Fellowship. There is great encouragement to be found when youth pastors hang out with other youth pastors. Refuel is set up to be a time where not only do we learn from the leader but also learn from each other as we sit around tables in small groups and discuss what we are learning. Such a great time of encouragement. We also went out and ate meals together and laughed and told stories and just enjoyed the company of others who are in the same boat. The fellowship was probably my favorite part of this year’s Refuel.  I really enjoy talking with other student ministers.

My hope is I will get to attend another Refuel next year and possibly bring along another youth leader or two.

If you are in student ministry and have never been to a Refuel Retreat I highly recommend it.

LeaderTreks is top notch not just in their curriculum, camps and trips but they are the best in doing training. Check them out! Get Refueled!