- There is a huge list when of MUSTS when our kids are babies.
- There is a huge list of MUSTS when our kids are toddlers.
- There is a huge list of MUSTS when our kids started school.
And now…there is a huge list of MUSTS as they enter the teenage years.
But, here is ONE that I will make sure is on top of the MUST list.
Sending my teens to Retreats and Camps.
The course of my life was drastically changed because of a retreat that I went on in the 8th grade. My dad, who was my youth pastor, took me aside and spoke words from scripture, words of truth into my life and it changed everything. I grew up in church. I went to christian schools. But, I had an amazingly low self-esteem and hated myself. My dad, using scripture, helped changed the direction my life was headed. I still remember it. It was powerful. It was real.
It’s the reason I’ve devoted my life to ministry.
That’s why I’m passionate about getting teenagers on trips like this! It gets them out of their comfort zone and helps break down the walls that have been set up in their hearts.
My own kids (Bekah-12, Bob-10, Zach-8 and Madie-4) have been on dozens and dozens of retreats and camps. But, they’ve attended as the speakers kids. That’s a cool experience and I’m blessed they get to do that. But, it’s totally different as a camper, as a student.
Let me also say this…I’m not as passionate about getting them on mission trips. I know, right?!? That was a probably a shocker for you. But, I’ll post about that later. Mission trips play a huge part and I’ve been on, lead, spoke at about 80 trips over 20 years. But, I would much rather get my kids to a retreat or a camp.
1. Our prayer is that God would break their hearts. By getting them out of their normal element and into a space where they can be immersed in God, I hope God breaks their heart and turns them completely toward him.
2. We want God to wreck their lives. YES, I want God to totally wreck my kids lives. I want my kids to know that life is not about want they want, but what God wants for them. That can happen powerfully on a retreat.
3. I want my kids to turn their entire focus towards HIM. Gosh…this can also happen at retreats and camps in a major way. I have had thousands of conversations with adults and kids over the years that remember an experience like mine. They were at a camp and God met them.
4. I want them to have them a store house of memories. I believe memories are so important! As a dad I want to create tons of memories with my kids. And I want to help give my kids a chance to make memories of their own at a camp or retreat. memories.
If you feel absolutely differently, I would love to know why.