Refuel by LeaderTreks. When you find a ministry like LeaderTreks that does what they do, and they do it top rate, then grab on and use them. I know two years ago I blogged about my Refuel experience but I feel I need to do so again. LeaderTreks isn't just about selling product to us youth ministers. LeaderTreks is concerned for us, loves us and wants to invest in us because LeaderTreks loves students and wants to see them greatly impacted by the gospel and growing in their faith.
I arrived a little early Monday and was greeted by Doug and Dan of LeaderTreks, these two guys are awesome and wonderful teachers. I was greeted as if we were old friends getting back together again. I watched and it wasn't just me, even though we all know how lovable I am, they greeted each person attending that way. Doug took started off with the intro to the retreat and a glimpse of where we were headed then there was a catered meal. Guess what? NO PIZZA!! I had sirloin steak, potatoes, veggies, pumpkin AND apple pie. Top rate!
That night and the next two days we sat at round tables together and unpacked what student leadership is and how to do it. I was also invited to sit in and learn about discipleship in an extra session. Great teaching with a lot of wisdom and experience to back it up.
The two early morning sessions focus on us and our spiritual health. We did some personal Bible study then came back together to talk about it. LeaderTreks provided us with a week long quiet time journal and prayer journal. We also took time to do a life map for the coming year. So there was an intentional time to help us focus on our spiritual health and to take care of us.
Matt and Lee were there from PACT Ministries but I'll post about them in another blog post.
One of the best parts of Refuel is that it is small. I have been to the big national youth minister events and they are fun and have great speakers and bands and good break out sessions but it isn't focused like Refuel. I sat at tables with 15 to 20(?) youth ministers and not only did we listen and learn we were able to talk and discuss and learn from each other. It was such and encouraging time. I was able to eat meals together with total strangers. But it didn't take us long, because of our mutual calling to invest in students lives, to become friends.
Now what? As I write this I'm home with my family the next tow day. Next week, when this post is published, I will spend some time unpacking what I have learned and to start implementing.