For the past 4 years I've partnered with a friend & brother in ministry and life named Brian. We pull our high school guys together, retreat to the desert & have a blast in more way than one. This event is probably a top 3 event our high school ministry does because of the value it has in my life as a pastor and the life of the young men in my ministry.
This year we focussed on some great visuals on how to communicate some great truths to these young men. Truths about their actions & the power they have, lying and their mouth, purity of their heart & sexuality, avoiding temptations and living life with a different perspective. We had some GREAT visual aids from this resource that helped us be able to emphasize the fun factor and the truth elements of our talks.
The trip includes guns, explosions, bonding, paintballs & a whole lot of laughter. But here are three take aways for me;
1- God moves. God moves in desert places be it either life or physical desert places but God moves. God tugs on young men's & old men's hearts to be willing to align life with Him. God, in His moving, also reveals to us where our lives seem "off" from the life He would have for us. To watch & listen to young men verbalize, process, reflect an embrace that brings tears to my eyes at the hope of the difference of the life this young man can now live!
2- Dangerous things are fun. We allow guys to be guys, to experience things they can't do in their backyard without being charged with a felony and just laugh at it. Fireworks, gas explosions, guns, things that make BIG BOOMS...guys embrace it & love it! It helps with bonding & also encourages guys to realize that what this weekend is about is different for them than any other weekend they experience together.
3- Modeling a healthy call to a faith in Jesus that is dangerous. Brian says it often and I echo it that I don't want to raise SAFE guys in my ministry but dangerous guys that'll live dangerously in their faith for Jesus. To be safe means no risk and last I checked EVERY disciple of Jesus had to embrace risk in their life as they lived in pursuit of the faith. I want guys to remember what we model to them so 10 years from now they'll remember that they aren't alone.
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