HS Retreat Notes

Not able to go on the high school retreat this year?

Or maybe you went and wanted to remember some of the things we talked about?

Check out the notes below!


How to Read Your Bible


– We need spiritual nourishment just like our bodies need physical nourishment


– Three ways to receive spiritual nourishment:

     – Regular diet of God’s Word

     – Pray Regularly

     – Time to be Still


– We need to develop a habit (just like brushing our teeth)


– 15 minutes a day challenge: 5 minutes to read the Bible, 5 minutes to pray, 5 minutes to be still and listen


– There are many ways to READ the Bible

     – Read a book of the Bible (but please don’t start from the beginning and try to read all          the way through!) 

     – If doing so, some basic steps when reading: Observe, Interpret, Correlate, Apply

     – Use a reading plan – There is an app for that!!!

     – Use a devotional book – Remember, I have some you can have!


– There are tons of resources out there to help with reading your Bible! Feel free to ask Dave, Josh, Ashley or one of your small group leaders. You can also check out cool apps such as the YouVersion Bible App which full of different bible reading plans to guide you through!


How to Pray


– We often get caught up in thinking there is a special formula to pray to get what we want from God. But when we pray to God, we are praying to our Father who knows what we need even better than we do. With a God like this loving us, we can be free to simply pray to him, talk to him, come to him as we are.


– If you aren’t sure what to pray, scripture gives us so many examples. On the retreat we prayed through The Message version of Matthew 6:9-13. This passage is a great place to start when we don’t know what to pray:


“Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.”


For another verse on prayer, see Philippians 4:6-7.



– God designed fasting for a number of reasons a few are below:

     – Asking God’s intervention: 2 Samuel 12:16

     – Asking God’s Forgiveness: Daniel 9:3-5, Joel 2:12-13

     -Asking God’s Guidance: Acts 13:2-4

– When we fast something we remove what we have been using to “stuff” our emotions and thoughts.

– We can see more clearly what is “inside” us and deal with it.

– Fasting doesn’t cause the negative emotions we feel, rather it reveals what is inside us that God wants to refine.


Digital Faith

–  Let’s be honest, we don’t post something that we don’t think looks good/other won’t like/isn’t funny enough/etc.


– But when we do this, we are only living in partial truths. And it’s really easy to hide and not be our whole, authentic selves on the internet. Check out this article by author Shauna Neiquist: Instagram’s Envy Effect.


– In Romans 12:1-2, Paul begs of us, “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God.” What if that meant our insta-tweeting-snapping-liking-double tapping life too?


– It is so common that we worry about talking about Jesus in front of our non-church friends. We can be ourselves with God at youth and church because those people already know and believe what we do. But when we post something out in the digital world, we don’t always get to choose who sees it, who learns about that part of us. This can make us braver with our faith. Because once it’s out there, it’s out there. And it’s often surprising who in our lives relate to us or feel more encouraged by us sharing our faith – our whole self just as God made us – in every part of our lives. You never know who you might inspire to be brave in “sharing” their faith because they saw you do it too.


– We also become most like what we look at, listen to, talk about every day. Who do you follow? What do you post? Is it building you and other around you up? Is it challenging you to grow? Check out this list of people to follow for some daily encouragement in your feed.

Filed Under: High School, Youth, Youth Retreats