Sunday, January 9, 2011

Confirmation Retreat

I just got back from Timber Bay camp near Lake Mille Lacs, about an hour and a half north. It's an amazing camp and we had about 60 people there from Central for our freshman Confirmation retreat. I was privileged to speak four different times to this gathering. So I organized the four talks around two questions:

1. What will you do with Jesus?
2. What will you do with Jesus' followers?

I had fairly detailed plans for each talk, but God had different plans, so I ended up rewriting all four of my talks at the last minute -- meaning anywhere from two hours to two minutes before the talk, God provided a different -- and way better -- direction for the talk to go, and I proceeded to rewrite it. God proved himself, which is of course no surprise. Each of the talks seemed to engage the students in significant ways.

The adult leaders we have are amazing. It was so cool to watch them with their groups, just hanging out, building relationships, enjoying the kids and being real with them. What an amazing thing to see!

One touchpoint we came back to over and over again is that in the Bible, there seem to be five general ways for people to respond to Jesus. Going from "least preferable" to "most preferable" as they're presented in the Bible, here are the five:

1. Ignore
2. Reject
3. Admire
4. Use
5. Follow

Of course, the best response, from God's point of view, is to follow Jesus. But I'm convinced he recognizes that any response other than ignoring him may someday lead to following him. The biggest gap within the list, however, is between "Use" and "Follow." All the others kind of blend together, but "Follow" very much stands on its own.

It will be fun to see what conversations grow out of this retreat in the coming weeks. Of course, I'll never hear about most of them, but once in a while I hear, "We were talking the other day about that thing you said on the retreat ..." Those are always fun moments.

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