Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 3: Getting Down To Business

Friday was the day we had all been looking forward to and planning for: day one of our discipleship retreat with the youth of our sister church. We were excited to see the disciples arrive at camp with their overnight bags, ready to start the weekend together. 

Debbie started our morning with an introductory overview of the Bible, walking the disciples through some of the basic elements they need to know as they get started with their discipleship walk. The disciples were challenged to continually grow and sharpen their spiritual swords for battle by spending time in God's Word. The first session of the day continued with the SOAP method of Bible study, led by Jessica, and the "doodling in the Spirit" method of prayer, led by Diane. The SOAP method (which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer) is an effective way we are teaching the disciples to spend time reading their Bibles, and they have already had several chances to practice what we hope will continue after they return home. Several times today they took part in individual study times, reading assigned chapters and figuring out how to apply them to their lives. It has been exciting to see the disciples eagerly flipping through their Bibles, and to hear the insight they have on even the most challenging passages. 



This afternoon we had a lesson on the spiritual gifts, led by Travis, and were able to walk the disciples through a spiritual gift inventory. Each disciple completed a test of their own, and at the end were able to give a name to the specific gifts God has given them. 



A highlight of the day was definitely a special dinner the team out together (under Claire's creative guidance). As a part of the spiritual gift lesson, the disciples were asked to walk around the campus here and find one thing God had created that seemed particularly beautiful to them. As they came to dinner a couple of hours later, they found the dining room transformed into a wonderland. The tables were beautifully decorated with the things they had found on campus, vividly illustrating the idea that something beautiful happens when we all bring what we have to the table. 



After some games (and a lot of laughter), the team enjoyed a time of reflection and prayer with the disciples before returning to our rooms for the night. As I write this, it's after midnight and the camp is still buzzing with laughter. It's probably safe to say we aren't going to get much sleep tonight, but it's all in the name of relationships. That's more than worth it.


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