Prepping Them

Posted: January 24, 2010 in Development, Programming, Youth Ministry

I tried something new this weekend with one of the parents in my youth ministry. We did an upperclassmen retreat. Because this was the first time we did this, we invited those juniors and seniors who have been regularly attending NHSM and have played a big role in the way our youth ministry looks. I had a mom join us who is a qualified and trained in Strengths Finder coach. She pretty much ran the retreat. Each student, before attending this retreat had to complete the StrengthsFinder test.  Here’s a recap of our mini-retreat (Friday night through Saturday afternoon).

Friday Night – We started out meeting at the hotel. The evening began with me sharing a vision for our youth ministry. This vision included student leadership and student ownership within NHSM. Feedback seemed OK. Granted that most of the kids on this retreat aren’t critics, the way I read their faces seemed that they were excited. Then after the vision casting we went to see the movie “To Save A Life”. I saw this when I was in Atlanta at the NYWC and loved it. Here, I was excited to see and hear my student’s reactions. They seemed to like it and resonate with it. This is a must see for parents and teens to see. Parents need to see this so that they can get an idea of what’s happening inside the high schools. Students then need to bring their friends to see. it. After we got back to the hotel, we stayed up late playing cards and watching TV.

Saturday – we woke up at 8:30 to go eat breakfast at 9. Breakfast was HUGE! We eat at the Machine Shed. Oh My Goodness! We were all stuffed. After that we sent the kids out on their own for a devo time. We handed them verses that matched with their strengths from the StrengthsFinder test they did. They were to reflect on the passages and listen to God’s voice telling them about themselves. After that, we sat down and started going through all the strengths that were represented in the group. The was fun and interesting. The most common one among us was Belief and Adaptability. But as we learned about each other, my mind was racing with things we could do as a leadership team. This part took the remainder of our time. We did stop for lunch half way through the list. We ate at the famous BWW.

All in all…I’m excited to see what will happen to each student now that they understand themselves and even the way others work. This is going to be a fun, adventurous journey with these students.

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