Justin Atwood, Youth Pastor at Village Church shared with us an incredible testimony of how God has been working through their students. They ran LIFE ON PURPOSE at their Senior High Retreat and had 82 students participate and explore what it means to be on mission and share their faith. At the end of the retreat, seven students made the decision to get baptized!
“Overall, I would highly recommend this content to any youth group. The discussion breaks in the video were really great. The questions sparked lots of conversation, and the leader discussion guides were extremely helpful. Our leaders were able to have lots of very meaningful discussions with their small groups. Some small group times lasted well over an hour after the video was over. The prayer session in particular played a huge role in our weekend, with tons of students utilizing the prayer cards and praying for their friends by name. Very powerful session, and felt very intentional for our group. Our students were in gr 9-12 and in my opinion, they were all locked into the videos and very responsive. I love how practical the material was for our students to discuss and engage with.”
Here are some of their highlights:
The final session (power of invitation) was a huge win for us.
We planned ahead and made the following youth night a “plus one night” to provide students with an opportunity to practice invitations right after retreat. Since January, we had been getting an average attendance of 61 students on Tuesday night, on our plus 1 night after retreat we had 112 students come to youth, with almost 40 of them coming for their very first time. This was beyond any of our expectations, our students were very inspired by the life on purpose content and wanted their friends to experience the gospel and our community at Youth.
About a week after retreat I learned that a group of Village Youth students felt passionate to pray for their school.
A prayer group was formed at Sullivan Heights with 15 Village Youth students gathering at lunch to pray for their friends.
After this retreat our grade 12 boys and girls students have pretty much formed a community group where they gather together to worship and pray without any adult leaders.
One grade 12 boy has sent me videos of them in a living room praying and singing together on their own initiative. Praying for their friends and seeking God in their everyday lives.
Just last week, a group of our students were hanging out at the beach. They met another student there (for the first time) and they thought it would be fun to talk with him about Jesus.
They ended up buying him ice cream and sharing Jesus with him for over an hour. He had so many questions. These students were spamming their leaders all night, just so stoked that they did that as a community. This new student said he would join us at youth next week (fingers crossed!).
God really used this content to spark a fire within our students at retreat and post retreat. We have seen our students bond together in community like never before, and we are seeing an openness to sharing faith, praying for their friends, and inviting new students to youth like never before. So encouraging.
The LIFE ON PURPOSE Series was created to empower and equip young people for a life on mission and help them make the connection between meaning, belonging, impact, and the joy of having their friends come to know Jesus.