A few weekends ago we had our High School Ministry Winter Retreat. We went up to Mile High Pines somewhere in the San Bernardino Mountains and spent 3 days up there with 210 of our high school students and it was a great way to get away from the business of a normal schedule and spend time with friends and leaders in a small cabin.
Here are some of my favorite moments and notes from the weekend:
- Winter camp has a special place in my heart and this was my first one being on the planning team for HSM at Saddleback.
- We made it so you had to be in a Life Group to register. This is different from out summer camp or weekend services, it is a discipleship retreat.
- Students who were not in a small group still got to register with the condition that they were placed in a small group and would now be apart of that small group after the weekend.
- We brought in a guest speaker, Ron Merrell, who did an incredible job speaking and teaching our students. He had such a read on them that he changed his last two messages because the Holy Spirit prompted him to and he was right i a huge way.
- We had Friday night, Saturday morning and night, and Sunday morning sessions. 4 messages in 48 hours, all-powerful and challenging.
- We had some student leaders lead workshops. We had 5 workshops taught by the seniors in student leadership and students got to pick 2 of them to go to. They killed it! It was awesome to see the students step up and teach and respond to them.
- We had an amazing worship leader. He knew how to lead our students into worship with a dinky sound system, but students sang SO loud.
- We stripped down worship. It was just the guy and a guitar. We did this intentionally because our students have a full band every weekend. there is something about the simplicity that students just respond to in a tremendous way with a guy who knows how to lead.
- It was amazing to walk around the camp and see all our leaders in one-on-one conversations all over the place. So many great conversations happening and God moving in their lives in a huge way.
- Saturday night was my favorite night, hands down. We had an amazing message, incredible worship, and we invited students to take communion and had all our leaders up front for prayer. And how the students responded.
- Sunday morning we had the students write letters to themselves a year from now with their spiritual goals. We had them seal it, address home, and we are going to send it to them a year from now as a reminder. (I’ll be posting on this in more detail later.)
- It was just amazing to see all of the laughter and fun all students were having. They are hilarious and it was just amazing to spend time with students who I don’t get to hang out with on a regular basis.
It was a success and I already can’t wait until next year.