We all hide. We hide behind filters that distort reality. They may seem harmless, but the truth is that filters are dangerous. Our view of God is affected. Our view of ourselves is inaccurate. Our view of others is skewed. When we see God clearly, we aren’t worried about the past mistakes we’ve made or about gaining others’ approval. God has made you to reflect his image to the world. It’s up to you to stop hiding, and live unhindered.
God is constantly communicating with us. In a world full of noise and distraction, it’s easy to miss what God is saying. Sometimes, he speaks in predictable ways. Other times, God uses the unexpected to get his message across. God is speaking to all people and he's calling us to a lifelong adventure. We just need to learn how to listen to God’s voice—how to tune in to his frequency. When God speaks, he calls. Are you willing to listen to what he says and let him change your life?
Lost. We’ve all been there. And we’ll probably be there again. Jesus was pointing to that truth when he told the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32). When he compared the brothers in this story, Jesus showed us that there are two kinds of lost people: those who know they are lost and those who don’t. Thankfully, he also gave us a way to come back home—by receiving the father’s unconditional love. Wherever you’re wandering, are you ready to come home?
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35) Community can be hard to find. As much as the things we like can pull us together, they tend to tear us apart just as frequently. As Christ-followers, we’ve been given something greater than our preferences to hold us together: Jesus. He gives us so much more than a rallying cry, he gives us a purpose for our unity.
Outsiders welcome. We see outcasts everyday—people who fit under a different stereotype, don’t look like us, like what we like, or believe the same things. It’s easy to walk away from the outcast, leaving them forever in that category, but Jesus never did. Instead, he walked into the difficulty of their lives to bring them the ultimate insider experience—belonging in his family.
When we start following Christ, we're brand new...but we don't always feel that way. It takes time for our lives to sync up with our new identity. There are parts of us that still need to be renewed so we can follow Jesus' words in Mark 12:30 and love God with everything we've got—our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help students start down this road with RENEW!
John 3:16 is a verse many students have grown numb to. From Sunday school to bumper stickers, this verse makes a lot of appearances. And it has good reason to show up as much as it does. The entire story of the universe culminates in this verse, clearly laying out the mystery of God’s rescue plan. Loved. Broken. Redeemed. Called.
In Micah, God’s people let him down. Attempting to make it up to Him, they tried sacrifices and rituals, completely missing the point. God didn’t want their sacrifices; he wanted their hearts. So Micah sent that message, bringing them back to the basics. Help your students navigate what it means to follow God with all their hearts.
Most think that service is a good idea, something everyone should do more often. But serving doesn’t necessarily make one a servant. Becoming a servant is more than that; something that happens as we follow Christ and become more like him. Help your students move from serving occasionally to consistently, like Christ.
Generation multitask. It’s a fitting label for an overcommitted, over-entertained generation of teens. School, band, sports practice, and work all create a tremendous drain on their lives. Where is the time for cultivating their relationship with Christ? Help your students to “hit pause” to spend time growing their relationship with God.
We live in a world that craves authenticity. We expect it from everyone around us. But what about our own faith? Do we even know what an authentic faith looks like? Are we willing to do anything about it? It all starts with becoming a Christ-follower. Help your students see what a real faith looks like and how to live it out.
In an exchange, something is given up so something else can be gained. The Gospel is about one powerful exchange when a flawless Savior took the flaws of humanity to the cross, exchanging His life for ours. Death for Life. Self for Christ. Help your students see the Gospel’s impact through the lens of these exchanges.
The concept of imitation alive and well all around us in culture today. And it’s alive and well in us, too. We are who we imitate. This can be a negative thing. But by imitating Jesus, we can discover an incredibly powerful and positive life. Help your students live the life of a God-imitator and understand what it looks like in the world they live in.
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“DNow” stands for Disciple Now. In its simplest form, a Disciple Now weekend is a retreat for a youth ministry. While many do some form of a retreat for students, there are a few distinctions that provide a unique environment for your students to grow spiritually:
DNow Weekends point students deeper into relationship with Jesus and deeper into relationship with their peers by bringing the gospel into their lives.
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