December 2, 2013

ENGAGE Retreat Update




God blessed our church and youth ministry greatly on the ENGAGE Retreat. Thank you to everyone who made this weekend a joyous occasion for us. Your prayers, support, and financial sacrifice went a long way in providing a great opportunity for our students to spend a weekend in fellowship with other students as they sought to grow closer to God.

The ENGAGE Retreat was a partnership of Homeland Park Baptist Church, Varennes Heights Baptist Church, Southside Baptist Church, and Andersonville Baptist Church. The intent of the retreat weekend was to teach and challenge our students how to engage with God, other believers, and non-believers. This was done through worship rally gatherings, personal Bible studies, specialized small groups, and fun activities while hanging out.

The worship rallies were the highlight of the retreat. Chris Comstock, the weekend speaker, and Justin Putnam, the weekend worship leader, provided a fun and challenging environment for our students to learn and grow. Chris’s messages were centered on the Gospel of Jesus, showing the students that the first and most important encounter with God is repenting of sin and trusting alone in Jesus and His work for them for salvation. Then, using that foundation, he taught the students what following Jesus as His disciples really means in a lost and dying world. His instruction gave clear examples of how students can engage with their friends, believers and non-believers, in a way that points each person to Jesus in the appropriate way. Our students were also really challenged about what living as a Christian looks and areas of sin they need to address.

Our students really loved the time to have a personal Bible study and prayer time with God. On Saturday and Sunday morning, every person at the camp spent time alone reading the Bible and praying to God. They were given devotionals to help guide them through different passages. The first devotion centered on putting away distractions which take away from following God more faithfully. The other devotion focused on Jesus’s continual and unceasing love for us in the midst of trial and failure.

Another fun aspect of the weekend was the “Huddle Sessions” the students attended. On Saturday and Sunday, students went to small groups for special discussion topics. Some of these included seeing your identity in God, guy/girl topics, friendship, and missions. This helped students see what being a Christian looks like in different, practical areas of life.

The final major activity of the weekend was the recreation time. This included sports and non-physical activities as students were able to relax and have fun with one another.

The retreat was a great success. We’ve heard testimonies of how God used this weekend to challenge and encourage them. Our students not only had fun, but they have seen the beginning of real life change as they seek to follow Jesus more faithfully. Please pray for our students as they adjust back to normal life and seek to live as faithful Christians, please pray for them as they seek to reach others in their schools with the Gospel of Jesus, and please pray for me as I continue to teach and lead them.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support!


Jason