A LIFE-CHANING WEEKEND.
If you are anywhere near social media, you’ve read countless tweets and viewed hundreds of Instagram photos elevating an event as “epic”, “transformational” or “God showed up!” (as if He wouldn’t show up anywhere else). Admittedly, I’ve used the same terms because it is hard to describe in more than 140 characters how moments in time impacted your life.
This past weekend, a couple of NJ young adult ministries decided to have a summer retreat called “The Remix Retreat”. After a conversation with my good friend and brother Pastor Segun Aiyegbusi last year, it was clear that we needed to host an extended weekend that allowed for young adults to connect, have fun and grow together.
As a result, I can confidently say — it was a life-changing weekend. Here are a couple of reasons why:
Our heart’s desire was to see young adults make real connections with one another. Too often, surface “hellos” have been deemed as conversations. The start of the weekend began with a “speed fellowship” that allowed every young adult to connect with someone and ask questions. It opened up healthy conversations, hearty laughter and a dose of good fun. The bonfire with the delicious s’mores and HEADS UP / CATCHPHRASE games stole the night. All weekend long, these real connections led to real conversations about life, faith, and identity. There’s nothing like real connections. It happened at the Remix Retreat.
I was honored to join a team of speakers that (in my humble opinion) are some of the most profound presenters of the Gospel in our generation. Pastor Segun Aiyegbusi of Grace Church (Netcong, NJ) shared on the theme Climate Change and how we need to confront the “climate” we bring into a room, relationships and in life. The next day, Colleen Batchelder, shared a profound message on The Unstable Climate and how personal difficulties can become triumphs when we remain in Christ. On Sunday morning, I shared on The Christ Climate and how God desires us to have his temperature and change the climates around us to be more like Him.
The real talk was personal in the messages. But, it was not limited to large group gatherings. We had time for small group discussions (aka Families — shout out to the “Shaloms”). We had meal time talk. And had the opportunity to let our guard down. There’s nothing like real talk. It happened at the Remix Retreat.
Some of us have been accustomed to abusive, emotionally wounding relationships that it is startling to even consider healthy ones. At the retreat, young adults were able to see how real relationships can make the difference in how one thinks, makes decisions, and move forward from past mistakes. The retreat offered the unique opportunity to get away from the clattering noises and hear the heartbeat of God. Whether in our times of worship or quiet time, God opened our hearts to hear His. There’s nothing like real relationships. They were formed at the Remix Retreat.
Without a doubt, the presence of God was evident throughout the entire weekend. The times of worship (on Friday – lead by Anne Joseph and Allison Lebo) were intimate and deeply reflective. One memorable moment was the Night of Worship on Saturday night. With the collaboration of the Quest/YAM worship team and Eleventh Hour Band, the night was electric and yes LOUD in worship, celebration but also contemplation. We were blessed by the impromptu moments that only God could orchestrate. There’s nothing like our God. He showed up the Remix Retreat.
In the busyness of your schedule, I want to make an appeal — take time to retreat. The most popular response line is “I’m too busy to take a retreat.” My response: “You’re too busy not to take a retreat!” We all need time to get away from the demanding schedules and listen closely to what God would have us — not to do alone — but to become!
A SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT!
A special shout-out to Segun Aiyegbusi, Colleen Batchelder, the entire Remix Team, our own Quest College Ministry/Young Adults Ministry team (Quest/YAM), Eleventh Hour Band, all the participating young adults and Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center for an amazing weekend!
The Best Is Yet To Come,