This last weekend was our first “Spring Challenge” the Youthmark Mission Venture Spring Retreat. It took place at Northwest Bible Church in Spring, Texas. It included the youth groups from NWBC and another from Vinton, LA. The students from Vinton are going out this year, one year after having a team from West Seattle serve in their community last summer! It was so exciting to have them there. I did post more about this retreat here.
So, today’s top 5 is a little different in that it’s sort of a report and a top 5 at the same time. The criteria is pretty simple, my top five memories of the weekend.
Without further ado, the list:
Five: The launch of Mission51. I’ve been working on this little project that I’d say summarizes what we’re about at Youthmark… We do mission trips, but our passion is the 51 weeks of life outside of the mission trip. Mission51 is really the call to be a missionary always, all ways a missionary. You know it is an official movement when you have zip-up hoodies with the logo. By the way, you can become a fan of mission51 on facebook and stay tuned for the mission51.org website.
Four: The Moment. There is a moment in the retreat that I was really looking forward to, and it did not disappoint. Because many have not attended who will attend, I can’t describe it, except to say, it was pretty powerful and God made Himself clear.
Three: Neil. My friend Neil Moloney, who is galavanting across the nation on a road trip right now timed his trip in order to be in Spring at the exact same time as us. I put him to use right away. Not only did Neil do some behind the scenes things, he helped with the worship with Joe Poppino as well. Because we all got in on Thursday we had some quality time outside of Youthmark stuff as well.
Two: Time with the Leaders. The team leaders for both NWBC and Crossroads of Vinton are such sweet people. NWBC is heading into two communities in Idaho this summer, so the 8 leaders they had at the retreat were anxious to be trained. Another Rob (the Sr. Pastor in Vinton) was not able to attend, however, the Crossroads youth leader, my friend Michelle, was there in all her Southern Accented glory. The time chatting, encouraging and being encouraged by the leaders was sweet.
One: The Album. Joe Poppino, who is the worship leader for Youthmark–oh, and a worship pastor at a church in Mt. Vernon– was with me on the trip. For the local retreats we have a band that plays with Joe. but to keep costs down, we have just Joe go on the out-of-area retreats. Because Joe is such a gifted leader/teacher, we encourage the host church to bring in their musicians on Friday afternoon so that Joe can form a band for the weekend with his leadership. Well, the NWBC students were excited to do this, that is, until someone Googled “Joe Poppino” and found out that Joe has “an album.” The intimidation of a legitimate musician got the students too nervous to play. This, of course, became the running joke of the weekend. Humble Joe (and he is humble) became known as Mr. Bigshot who has “an album.” I started referring to him as “the talent.” And we all wanted signed autographs, because, afterall, he does have “an album.”
Looking forward to our other five retreats this spring, but this one was special!