This past weekend was our ARK Retreat, which is an event that I have written about before. Once again, it was a weekend that required a lot of planning, and once again, all the planning was worth it. We had teens from six different congregations represented, and it was a great time of studying God’s Word, building relationships, and having a lot of fun.
This year our retreat theme was Fast Forward from Hashtag Media, and on the whole I was a big fan of it. In years past, I felt like we tended to have a bunch of good lessons, but that sometimes they were lacking in practicality: how should the teens use the lessons they had learned to make an impact in their lives? Sometimes we didn’t do a great job of emphasizing this aspect, and as a result, the lessons were less helpful than they could have been.
The Fast Forward theme was different. The entire weekend was based on the concept that there are things Jesus has already done, and as a result of Jesus’ completed work, there are certain things we are called to do as Christians. The four lessons (Jesus Created, I Will Create; Jesus Built, I Will Build; Jesus Forgave, I Will Forgive; Jesus Rose, I Will Rise) were all highly practical, and included specific times for reflection and discussion on how to apply the material to the lives of the students. Hopefully this will lead to effects that are longer-lasting than the retreat weekend itself.
It was a great weekend and a great theme! If you’re looking for material for a retreat or a summer camp, I would definitely recommend it!