What a privilege it is to be able to go on a youth retreat with my kids and their friends! For those of you unfamiliar with what a youth conference is, here was an outline of our weekend:
Disturbing the Peace is a youth conference in Grande Prairie, Alberta. It is hosted by the churches of Grande Prairie. The targeted age group is from about age 13 to 18. There are cool bands, wonderful speakers, individual workshops, a spoken word artist, and a music/comedian. Of course there is pizza times, mall time, lots of meeting new friends time and most importantly, God time. The speaker was an amazing young man, named Jason Ballard. At 26 years old, Jason loves to talk about Jesus, his beautiful wife and his baby Hudson. He has been in youth ministry for over ten years! Over the last seven years, Jason has spoken to high school students across the country and internationally. As the current Director of Campusfire, he is devoted to seeing a student led prayer group for every high school in Canada. He is fun and engaging to listen to. His message was basically this: what is the thing that is standing between you and your relationship with Christ? Get rid of it. My kids loved him and we hope he is there next year.
Another talented young man, a spoken word artist named, Justice Brown shared his talent with us. He is only 18 years old! We had the opportunity to meet him and for the kids to speak with him. He was very humble, personable and encouraging. Here is one of his videos with music artist Derek Gust. Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOB1rEyRyNY
There was a music/comedian who was very entertaining with extremely creative, fun songs! None of his stuff was overtly “Christian” but his message at the end of his performance was clear: Sometimes, God gives us creative gifts. He want us to use them to glorify Him. http://www.rileyarmstrong.com/
The band The Color did a concert and led one of the workshops called, “So you wanna be a band”. All our kids went as they are all musically inclined. These young men were all in their 20’s, relatable, cute 🙂 and very real with the kids. Their music is appealing to their age bracket, yet the lyrics are clean and all of the band members will tell you that they put God first in their lives at all times.
There was some fun to be had with the 7 foot stuffed bear body surfing the crowd, wildly dancing on the dance floor! In all seriousness though, I think my favourite part of the weekend was the worship band Pete Christensen. It was powerfully moving to see 400 kids worshiping the Lord through their music.
Overall, it was a great weekend, worth the effort and I would do it again! We are already looking forward to next year.