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So this past weekend I was faced with a choice – I could either have A) Attended a conference in Baton Rouge, LA that focused on the theology of the Torrance clan B) Gone on a retreat with our high school students from church.  I opted for the second, and didn’t regret it a bit.  

This retreat was a collaboration of about ten churches, whose youth workers all knew one another in college.  It was aimed at training students for discipleship and helping students discover their “Spiritual Pathway”.  The retreat was centered on Gary Thomas’ “Sacred Pathways” book.  While I appreciate what Thomas is trying to do, his approach concerned me going into the weekend (by the way, any approach to spiritual development has numerous pot holes in it).  Basically what he did was develop different ways in which people connect to God (traditionalists, contemplatives, ascetics, intellectuals, sensory, naturalists, caregivers, etc.) and came up with a quiz that the kids took to discover what their top two pathways were.  Then they went to a workshop for each of their top two.  I was leading the “traditionalist” workshop, which as you can imagine drew exactly zero kids across the two sessions.  But, some of the other sessions were extremely well done and the kids absolutely loved them.  I think what was important was that the leaders of the sessions emphasized that just because you’re a naturalist (one who experiences God through nature and the outdoors) or an intellectual (one who experiences God by learning) that isn’t an excuse to skip out on things such as worship services, bible studies, etc.  Rather, it’s a way to enhance your spiritual life.  Since I had no one show up for my workshop, I sat in on the intellectual workshop (which is the area I scored highest in anyway) and had a whole lot of fun.  The rest of the retreat was an absolute blast, and our speaker, Dr. Terry Thomas (A professor at Geneva and a Grove City/Pittsburgh Seminary grad) was absolutely incredible.  He honestly spoke for an hour and held every single person’s attention in the room.  He was authentic, funny, engaging, and most importantly, challenging.  No matter where you were on your journey with Jesus Christ, his talks were relevant because he talked about discipleship.  

So, the workshops, the speaker, the free time activities, etc. were wonderful.  And although I came home with no voice and had to preach on Sunday night (check out the audio here or the video here) it was a great weekend.  

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 28, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    Good for you! I true practitioner!

    Sounds like a long way to travel to hear what you already have heard anyway. Though, for those who went, I’m sure it was a great weekend.

    I’ll see you tomorrow night at the emergent cohort thing.

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