It’s been a slow week here on the site. We got back late Wednesday from a 4 day retreat for our youth group. I suffered from internet withdrawal since the beach house we all crammed into didn’t have internet, but I’m finally getting caught back up replying to blogs and emails. We ended up taking 17 teenagers to focus some time on relationships. As I’ve shared before, a change of pace and change of place will give you a change in perspective. By getting away for a few days we had an incredible time to grow closer to God and grow closer as a group. And as a pastor, I really enjoy spending time with the teenagers to share and encourage them. They are such an important part of the church.
A few years ago, we did a similar retreat to talk about sex and relationships with the youth. Jennifer and I always try to be creative in naming the youth retreats. A fun name gives them something to look forward to and a good reason to invite friends. We took them to Carowinds and “unofficially” called the retreat “Sex and Roller Coasters” On all the official letters to the parents it was just about dating and relationships, but we were able to really break the ice to talk about some very important issues from a Biblical viewpoint. This time we didn’t give the retreat a title, but the youth did. They kept calling the retreat, “Sex on the Beach” We had a great time talking about purity, holiness, and intimacy, and the unofficial name kept the discussion from getting too overwhelming.
One of the highlights of the trip was our early Wednesday morning baptism service on the beach. One of the girls asked to be baptized in the ocean and we had a great time celebrating with her. Overall the retreat was really life changing. We were able to split up the girls and guys several times for discussions. Jennifer took what she learned from the girls and then shared that with the guys, and I did the same with the girls. It really helped me to understand some of the pressures and temptations that teens are facing now. Times have definitely changed over the past 20 years.
Here are some interesting pics from the trip.