Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Final retreat thoughts

One more post about the retreat.
See previous posts for some background - 1, 2, 3.

For our onsite prayer team, I brought a few things with me to help out:
- a big map of the campus (printed at kinkos on plain big paper, $6 a copy)
- a lot of index cards
- post it notes
- markers, pens
We setup a shoe box right outside the session room so people could jot down their prayer requests. When we got any of them, we would tape them up to our prayer wall. We holed up in a dressing room behind the stage in the session room, taping up a bunch of stuff. In this picture, you can see the map, some postits with prayer requests and a comprehensive list of each person on the retreat.

Each person on the prayer team also had this list so they could pray whenever they wanted to by name. There were four of us on the prayer team - 3 guys and one mom. Us three guys split the middle of the night into three shifts, 12-3, 3-6, 6-9. During that time, we were to pray for the retreat and walk the grounds, making sure kids weren't outside. I got lucky - I had 12-3 the first night and 6-9 the second night.

On another topic, the speaker, Greg Speck, was really good. Very funny, totally engaging, the kids loved him. He is also involved in student missions every summer and has been leading teams overseas since the mid 80s. The organization he works with is Royal Servants International. We talked for a few minutes about student missions, they seem to have some pretty good goals and perspective on doing missions the right way - working with local indigenous ministries, proper pre field training, specific intentional discipleship of students as a part of mission. He also mentioned that any time I wanted to come and see their pre field training, he would work it out for me. Nice. One thing I noticed about their leaders was how experienced their leaders seem. Not just college kids running this operation. They are also members of the Standards of Excellence in Short Term Mission association.

What I also appreciated about Greg was that the big invitation that he did Saturday night was not focused on emotion. It was a clear Gospel presentation and invitation, but it wasn't all about feelings, guilt or coersion. In fact, Sunday morning's message about going home included the point that "feelings don't last."

Finally, one of my guys from my NYC team can and brought a good friend and neighbor. Apparently he has been trying to get this friend to church for a long time. After the invitation on Saturday night, his friend decided to follow Jesus. I watched as my friend Ben just weeped about the significant decision that his friend just made. It's something to see high schoolers cry for their friends, isn't it?

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