Monday, December 05, 2005

The Youth Retreat

It's sitting at -18 outside right now, and I've finished writing all of my e-mails that I wanted to today, and I'm still waiting for the car to warm up. So I guess it's time to write a note as per what happened this weekend! I think I'll start today by giving rules for anyone who attempts to plan a youth retreat, and give you the recap tomorrow when I have a little more time.

Rule #1 - Always plan far ahead of time

Don't leave the messages and devotionals until the last day. This is never a good thing, as it will generally leave you without dinner, and stressed out. If you can plan to have your messages and devotionals done at least a week ahead of time, then you can leave the last week to touch-ups and minor details.

Rule #2 - Don't have another major message to give before the youth retreat

In my case, that meant teaching the gr 5 religious education class. Things may go well, but it takes up almost a whole day when what you really want to be doing is working on the youth retreat.

Rule #3 - Know your limits

Don't commit to doing more than you are physically, emotionally, or spiritually able to do. There are people that are willing to help. Let them. If someone wants to help you do something, give them a job to do! That's less for you to do.

Rule #4 - Take a deep breathe

It's guaranteed that if you are seeking after God's will, there will be some serious attacks. That means that you need to take a deep breathe a lot of the time and lean on God. Your patience and abilities are not enough to do that job, we all recognize that. So remember instead that you could have never gotten this far on your own, and give the credit where it deserves to be... God.

Rule #5 - Have some good friends

People that are removed from the situation, but that love you dearly are your best friends. They will pray for you, help you, love you when you need it. Being on the planning end can be very lonely, and having someone like this can really help you through the rough patches when you're ready to give up (thanks dad!).

Rule #6 - Remember that it's a retreat

This means that when you actually get out there, if you've done Rule #1, you should be relaxing just as much as everyone else. You do have responsibilities, but take some time to throw yourself down a hill on a crazy carpet, and while you're at it, try to bowl someone over!

Rule #7 - God

This is the most important of them all. Don't even try to go it alone. You need to be spending even more time with God before a retreat when things get hectic than before. Satan is going to come on strong, so don that armour soldier and fight with what God gives you. He's there with you every step of the way, and you need His strength, not your own, to get through this. Don't forget that.

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