High School Retreat Recap

This past weekend, 370 students learned that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Rather, as the earth revolves around the sun, so our lives should revolve around the greatest commandments in Scripture, given by the Son:

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Valentine’s Day weekend provided the perfect occasion to talk about love. Sure, there were a few roses and valentines, and we even helped the guys out with some godly pickup lines, but this sure wasn’t a couples’ retreat. We were focused on our relationship with the Lord. Our goal was to learn about loving God and loving others.

By speaking on loving God with all of your heart, Pastor Casey Kendall focused our attention to the right place by saying, “It’s not about finding the right one, but it’s about realizing you are found by the right One.” Regarding the soul, Pastor Chuck Lindsey reminded us, “The only thing God wants is you. And that will never change.” And to help us connect our heart with our head, Chad Williams said, “Loving God with all your mind is cultivating a mind that thinks God’s thoughts after Him as revealed in His Word.”

The camp was closed out with Pastor Jason Powell and his wife, Mary Powell, sharing about loving your neighbor–the one neighbor you’ll always be closest to: your future spouse. In a contrasted world of fairy tales and rampant sexual sin, they explained how a godly relationship should look. By hearing them sing love songs from Tangled, share funny and embarrassing stories, be real about victories and struggles in dating, and express the joys of marriage God’s way, Pastor Jason and Mary Powell taught us that the best way to find and love the right person is to start being the right person now–by waiting and loving the Lord. Despite the pressures and pleasures of sexual sin, when we truly love God the way we should, we’ll be in the right place to pursue the right person, in the right way and at the right time.

Everyone except the weather knew that it was Winter Camp. But even though there wasn’t any snow, we still had a blast on the zip line, leap of faith, and spreading the love in the Zombie Run. As always, we had a ton of fun at Amateur Hour. The girls came in like a wrecking ball and smashed the boys’ proverbial snowman. And as expected, we had great memories as we connected with others in our cabin groups. Not only did we grow in our faith, but we also had a ton of fun!

Student retreats are pivotal in the lives of today’s youth. They provide a time to get away and gain some undistracted perspective; they connect students with their peers; they cultivate an environment for students to draw near to God through Bible studies and intimate worship. They are unlike anything else. Here are a few responses from REVOLVE:

– “Church camp has always and will always be the best weekends of my life. I learned so much this weekend, and it’s soooo awesome to be able to just enjoy and fellowship with other teenagers like myself, who have their hearts in the same place as me. Even though I just got back an hour ago, I miss it LIKE CRAZY!” –Sabrina
– “I had an awesome weekend at church camp! Nothing greater than getting away from the world and just focusing on the Lord, and getting to know people from all different backgrounds.” –Carlos
– “Camp has been such a great experience. I can’t even describe how renewed I feel! I know leaving that mountain and coming back to the real world will be a struggle, but I know I can keep my commitments with the help of my Lord and my friends to keep me accountable. I’m so thankful for this opportunity that was given to me; it’s one that I will never forget!” –Jazmine

We praise God for such a great camp! Would you pray that our youth would continue to grow in their faith? Would you pray that their lives would revolve around loving God and loving others?