Winterfest Southwest 2005

This weekend was awesome. I and 10 other adult chaperones took 26 teenagers to Arlington, Texas for Winterfest. This year’s theme was the Real Master and Commander. I think this year was probably the best year of Winterfest I have been too. At the same time I write that, it is hard to say that because Winterfest is just an awesome atmosphere, and every year I have been is amazing. My teens loved it, as did my chaperones.

Friday night we arrived on time, and I and another sponsor walked over the front desk of the Wyndham hotel and well, they wouldn’t take my church credit card, because the elder whose name is on the card wasn’t present. Argh! I had a credit card, and well they accepted my card. Before the Audio Adrenaline concert, I began to pass out room assignments, and I had a dilemma. I had invited my in-laws to come with us along with my sister in-law. My father in law has been in youth ministry for twenty years, and well this year would have been the first year that he didn’t get to go because he is no longer at the church he used to serve. Anyway, I didn’t think any of my people would have been weirded out about staying with them, and such, and we had around 39 total people so someone was going to have to sleep on the floor in one of the kid rooms. I was asked by one of the sponsors, “if she paid $80.00 so her kid could sleep on the floor?” Now, that was not my intention. I didn’t want anyone to sleep on the floor. I was crushed. I had spent all that time planning, and preparing and then I realize I looked over this detail, I was crushed, and wanting to avoid any upheaval by my volunteers I walked back over to the hotel and booked another room. Problem resolved, but boy did I feel crummy.

Saturday in the adult class we talked about the importance of our relationship to Jesus, and how important feeding our weary souls is. We got to experience a prayer chapel, where there were several stations set up for us to reflect, pray, and soak in God’s presence. I walked out of that time with God a different man. My worries and feelings of crumminess lifted, and when I saw my teens walk out of their classes glowing, I knew God has answered my prayers for all of us to be sponges this weekend.

Saturday night’s message from Jeff Walling was great, the singing was incredible and our group devo time and group singing was awesome.

Sunday morning when we assembled, some 4000 or so of us it was moving. Several of my young went forward at the invitation. One because he wanted to solidify his relationship with Christ and to answer God’s call in his life to enter full time ministry, and the other two young men went forward to accept Christ’s invitation to become His children. One of those two young men was baptized into Christ last night at church.

I love the worship times at Winterfest. It is so freeing to be able to raise our hands and worship uninhibited. Why do we feel free to worship this way at a retreat or a youth rally but not at church? Hmm? I am not saying we go back to church and just tick off all the older folks, but we needn’t leave our enthusiasm for Christ behind when we come home.

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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