CBC YOUTH: PARENTS EDITION
'17 Winter Retreat Follow-up
A NOTE TO PARENTS
Hello Parents! I hope that your students enjoyed winter retreat this year. From our side, winter retreat went as well as we planned and our expectations were met and exceeded. I cannot tell you enough how important these retreats are for students especially students who have so much stuff going on during the school year. This is a great time for them to pull away from the numbing routine of studying and video games and reorient their souls back towards the Lord as well as with each other.
I wish you could have seen this retreat yourselves. Hearing about it (or not hearing about it) from your students is one thing, looking at pictures is one thing, but being on the ground with the students and experiencing this with them is a totally different thing. We hope that you're able to join us one of these retreats.
LIVING IN LIGHT OF ETERNITY
Instead of a speaker this year we allowed Pastor Francis Chan speak into our students this year. Each session we played a short 15-minute video from Francis Chan's Youth Eternity series. Afterwards we would split up into small groups and debrief the message and talk more about what each person was thinking about.
One of the main points of the whole series was when Francis used a piece of rope to illustrate what eternity looked like. You have this entire piece of rope to signify eternity and yet our lives are represented in a little bitty piece at the front. And his point was that if there is such a thing as eternity then how do we live in light of that? Do we focus so much on the here and now that we miss out on the "rest of the rope?" If you're interested, we have the handouts for you to follow up with your students.
It's a sobering reminder for all of us but we wanted to drive this home to the youth because it is so easy to get trapped into thinking that everything is what we see now. But as leaders and parents, I have to ask the question "Do we enable them to do this? Are we at fault when it comes to discipling our students into thinking that this is all there is?"
Now that retreat is over, what is next for your students? How do you transition them into the next year? I'm glad you asked, here are a few things for you:
- APPRECIATE THE LEADERS: Parents, like i always say, the backbone of this ministry is built upon the faithfulness and quality of the leaders. I know i'm bias but I truly believe we have some of the best leaders in youth ministry. After serving in youth ministry for the past 18 years and visiting hundreds of other youth ministries, the quality of youth leaders, admins, and interns here is amazing. They truly love your students. They prepare well, serve faithfully, discipline graciously, and continue to give of themselves. So parents, would you continue to love and appreciate these leaders who serve your youth? Words of encouragements and appreciation go along way. Remember their birthdays and anniversaries. Gift them with meals and things they love. But most of all, continue to promote them and acknowledge the work they do.
- REMEMBER THE RETREAT WITH YOUR STUDENTS: Even though it's over, retreat is still fairly fresh on the hearts and minds of your students. We had everyone journal the first night of retreat about their hopes, fears, and desires...maybe ask to see that with them. Another thing you can do is to look at the retreat pictures with them and ask them what happened. Go to this link to find all the pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chewywong/albums/72157664263153858
- JOIN US: Parents, we truly do want you to participate in our youth events. Yes we know that it will be awkward and yes we know that sometimes you don't want to be there and sometimes your youth doesn't "want" you to be there. But we've already explained to your youth that the direction we want to move towards in this youth ministry is that more and more parents are helping out and discipling the students. Granted there are easily things for you to do than retreat, but maybe consider it in the future? We always have space and places for you to serve in this youth ministry and we would love to have you.