The Theology of Revolution Weekend

By January 11, 2017Youth Ministries

“The Christian camp, retreat, or conference is less an experience than a pilgrimage. These youth travel together, literally or figuratively, toward a holy destination: life in God.”

— Kenda Creasy Dean & Andrew Root, “The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry”

As Revolution Weekend approaches I want us all to use its arrival at the beginning of 2017 as the beginning of a change in thought and ways of thinking about youth retreats. They are these things that a lot of us have experienced and have a variety of memories ranging from good, bad, and at times just plain weird. They are places where late nights, tears, Communion, worship, and that new cute guy/girl exist together suspended in time and place as the world outside plunges forward. There is something different about camp, retreats, Revolution Weekend.

There is something there that youth group and church cannot replicate on a weekly basis and that is OK. The memories and experience at a place like Revolution Weekend are a vehicle of hope. It’s a place where our teenagers experience a glimpse of God’s promises. It’s a place where all six aspects of Healthy Plate Discipleship are experienced:

— They worship every evening and morning.
— They pray together and individually.
— At all meals they have to clear and clean their tables, serving the camp that serves them.
— They play weird and crazy games alongside of experiencing spontaneous community during free times.
— Their parents give money to make this happen for them and they give up time that could be used at games or jobs to be there.

Revolution Weekend, retreats, camps, and mission trips are places that pull our teenagers out of the world they reside in and place them in an environment focused on God and discipleship. Their experience of Christ draws them back each year like a pilgrimage, inconveniencing their busy schedules. Why? Because it is one of those special places, holy if you will, where the presence of Christ is that much closer and more real. That taste of God’s promise of a better future is real and tangible in these places.

We are getting ready to take our teenagers on this annual pilgrimage filled with traditions and with the hope of transformational experiences, ones that you leave from and realize you can never be the same again. We pray and hope you will as well that God will meet us there, that our teenagers will find a place of hope, and that we will all be sent back out into the world filled with the love of Christ ready to be God’s people in the world of 2017!

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

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