Man, oh man. It was such an encouraging & fun time this past weekend with our Crossroads family! From the endless snacks, to the crazy games of Mafia and "Sculpture," to praising Jesus together in One Spirit, there was a lot to thank God for during this year's Winter Retreat.
One of the things that stood out for me personally was just seeing the body of Christ really practice exercising our gifts to build one another up. Whether it was the logistical side of the retreat, to the small conversations or notes of encouragement, to seeing each of the youth really embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, there was much to praise God for as He unified our youth group family in a beautiful & celebratory way.
The theme of our retreat this year was somewhat of a throwback to the youth staff's youth retreat days, as it was centered on Paul's encouragement to a timid & fearful Timothy to "fan into flame the gift of God ... for God gave us the Spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:6-7). In the same way that the strength and warmth of a fire fades in strength when it's not being fanned or put into use, so Paul calls Timothy (and us) to spur each other on, to stir up our affection & devotion to Jesus. And in so many ways, by the end of the retreat, we were seeing the beautiful fruit of doing just that, as the youth were verbally encouraging one another in praise, speaking against the fears of looking silly or sounding weird, inviting one another to play games, showing gratefulness to one another, and enjoying each other's presence. By the end of the retreat, we each got to take home a bag full of encouragement and jokes to remember the call to "fan into flame the gift of God," especially when the fire is not as strong and it's easier to drift.
Crossway family, would you join in praying that what we practiced in that AirBnB not so far away would carry over in our meeting places in Brea? That the same Holy Spirit that moved in us and brought together that Christlike unity would dwell in the hearts of each of our youth? May the encouragement and love they experienced only be a foretaste of the type of life & vitality our youth group and church could be. May the power of the gospel do this great work of producing such faith & love in Christ, for the glory & treasuring of His name.
- Director Jon Lau