To round off my first year as a youth minister at our church, our greatest challenge loomed: "The retreat". We have always spoken of doing this. We always wanted to do this. We had worked on doing this.. but a few months ago it became clear that we were actually -oh help, what did I get myself into?- going to do this.
It's one thing to fund raise or attend a magnificent, everything organized, retreat from the diocesan. It is another to organize a complete retreat yourself. My colleague Anne and I took up the challenge and I must say, our expectations were exceeded. We have already had requests to definitely do this again. And we managed to pack so much in just a few days.
The retreat lasted from Tuesday afternoon till Thursday afternoon and was intended for our 'core group'; the teenagers who would always attend and are ready to grow into faith leadership positions themselves.
Our retreat started at 5 pm on Tuesday when we picked up our five students (T, M, N, E, and V.) Anne and I are the responsible Youth Ministers and Joseph and Emily are our wonderful helpers, university students with a passion for following Christ. That was the theme of our retreat "Follow Me", which was also the ending of our youth ministry video that we made for the kick off of our first year. I like to think that this retreat was the culmination of that first year. More about what we actually did on the retreat later, but here is the video to start with. Be sure to put the sound on!