By Hannah Madden
When you go to a Sovereign Grace regional youth retreat here in Texas, one thing is obvious. The believers in these churches love each other. This year’s Alive; Young and Awakened youth retreat was full of wonderful teachings by Jared Mellinger and Bart Lipscomb, as well as smaller breakout sessions taught by Aaron Mayfield and others. We had plenty of food, worship, games and times of fellowship!
Before the retreat, I went to Pastor Bart and expressed my desire to serve in some way. He asked me a few days later if I wanted to be a team leader, and I said yes! As a team leader, my job was to encourage my team during games, speak truth to them, involve everyone and to prompt God-honoring behavior. It’s a youth retreat, so I expected I could come across some teen drama.
That never happened.
Instead, one of the aspects that stuck out to me the most was the unity that all the churches in our region share. During the entire retreat, I only saw encouragement and true fellowship between all the youth and the leaders/parents. In 1 Corinthians 1:10, it states, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement”.
Because of what Christ did on the cross, we, as believers, have an instant connection every time we get together! I really got to experience the reality of that at the retreat. When all the churches in our region come together, we are one body in Christ and it shows!
Another part of this retreat that was so special was the “Evidence of Grace” cards. Someone would write down an evidence of grace in someone else’s life, and we would celebrate that! It was a joy to hear about all the ways God was and still is working through believers of all ages for His glory.
The final teaching of the retreat by Bart Lipscomb, entitled “Alive Together,” was one I will remember for years to come. Bart spoke from 1 Peter 2:4-5, which reads, “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
We are the building that shows off the cornerstone of Christ. Being alive together makes much of Jesus!! What a wonderful way to end such a powerful weekend.
I was encouraged and refreshed, leaving the retreat knowing that WE ARE ALIVE TOGETHER. Each church in our region is being built upon the Cornerstone, bringing the gospel to our communities!