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This past weekend, I was the speaker for the youth at the ATPC Retreat. It was held in Toccoa, GA at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center. It's been several years that I've attended their retreat and even longer speaking at a retreat.

The facility was pretty good. Accomodations was a cross between dorm rooms and a hotel - spartan, but adequate. It was nice to have the meetings rooms in the same building as where you slept. They even had a workout room, but I didn't have time to use it. And they had a wireless network available in the main lobby (which I was able to use briefly). There was a nice lake there also, but I didn't have much time to check that out.

I was asked to talk about "rejuvenation and reinvigoration with the Spirit and bring out the passion to serve." So, the verse I chose was Phil 3:13-14. "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." And the theme I chose was "Press on".

I was scheduled to speak 4 times. And I was preparing the messages, I was thinking about doing it a bit differently. Instead of focusing on me doing all the talking, I wanted to give everyone else more of an opportunity to talk. So, for all the sessions, I split them up into groups and gave them questions to talk about. Then in between the questions, I shared a little bit. This was the first time I've ever done this at a retreat and it worked out very well. Practically everyone got into the discussions and very few people got bored.

On Sunday, one person commented, "I've been to many churches and this was the best retreat I've ever been to." And I believe one of the main reasons for that was that I let the youth do most of the talking rather than listening to me.

Overall, it was a good retreat and I think the youth got a lot out of it. And as for me, I'll need a couple of days to recuperate from this past weekend.

I have some pictures of the retreat over at Webshots.

Posted: 2004-09-13 11:52:32

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