Friday, February 16, 2007

Better late than never!

I know it's been almost 2 weeks since the aforementioned Youth Weekend but i thought i'd give you an update of how it went anyway!

This year’s retreat was held at Castlewellan Castle and including leaders we had 62 attendees. I have been on many YF weekends both as a young person and a leader but without a doubt this was the best ever! I say this for a number of reasons:

1. The programme as a whole was excellent and every aspect of it was delivered with excellence by our team of leaders. I had to take no responsibility for any of the games & entertainment stuff. A group of leaders (mostly students with time on their hands!) looked after that aspect and it was excellent. You can tell this by how much the young people enjoyed it.

2. The worship (provided by our young people) was of a very high standard. It was encouraging for me to see young people engage with worship and really enjoy it.

3. The teaching streams were all encouraging.

  • Fusion (1st-3rd year) looked at a programme exploring the Fundamentals of faith e.g. sin and grace. This was led by 4 of our leaders and approximately 16 young people were part of this programme.
  • The 20:20 age group were split by gender. The girls programme was facilitated by 2 female leaders and explored the area of identity and self esteem – a major issue for young girls. 20 girls were part of this programme and feedback has been very positive with a lot of girls getting the opportunity to open up and share some of their experiences in the group.
  • The boys programme was led by myself and another male leader and explored the issue of ‘Purity of heart’ (Matt 5:8). There were about 20 guys involved in this programme and our goal was to make it very discussion based – tackling less talked about issues that young guys struggle with in an open forum. This worked really well and feedback from some of the guys involved has been very positive.

4. One of the major encouragements about the weekend has been the leaders. I have been chatting to many of them since the weekend and they are all buzzing and excited about being involved in this ministry. Many have told me they can’t wait until Friday night again! For me this is so encouraging because as a group we can see progress and development with the young people – relationally and spiritually.

All in all it was a very encouraging weekend. I am excited that we can offer programmes to young people that are obviously meeting their needs. As I look to the future, it excited me as I can only see this area ministry growing!

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