Our winter retreat is one of, if not the biggest, events across our Jr. high and Sr. high ministries. Bethel United, the youth group, hosts this annual retreat so that students can retreat from the world and spend four days fully immersed in God’s word. Through this time, they are equipped and empowered to live out and share the good news when they return to their homes.
I’ve had the privilege of serving at eight of Bethel’s youth retreats, but the 2018 winter retreat was my favorite. “Why?” you may ask. The answer is because we were UNITED.
“22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one”.
I was encouraged to see that members of Bethel, regardless of age, came together in UNITY to worship and serve at this retreat. Thank you to Pastor Justin, Pastor Dan, and all EM members for serving as small group and family group leaders. Thank you to Intern Sam for serving with media. Thank you to Pastor Tim, Deacon Harold, Deacon Tim, and all EM members who served behind the scenes in preparing dinner for us.
As we move forward with Bethel Generations and incorporating the “family style” of worship, I believe our students began to see the importance of learning from the older church members. Through this retreat, our 7th-12th grade students were taught the impact our EM congregation could have by helping them grow in their faith through studying the word together, faith-based conversations, praying together, and being served.
In my own upbringing, I saw the importance of learning from the older generation at my previous church. The impact the English congregation had on my faith as a youth student was so powerful. From the EM, I had multiple mentors and teachers I could look up to. I felt like I had older brothers and sisters I could learn from in the faith.
What drives me to serve in the youth ministry now is simply the fact that God could use my experiences and redemption story to impact the life of even at least one student and help lead him/her to Jesus. Though I’m lacking in many areas, I want to share how God loved me even at my worst, and that our God is worth following.