42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I love this passage because it shows the disciples doing things that we do with our Christian friends or churches - teaching, praying, serving those less fortunate, meeting for church, eating together, meeting to hang out, praising God, and evangelising. In terms of what fellowship includes, not much has changed in 2000 years! For me, the key phrase in this passage is verse 47 - God "added to their numbers daily!"
My challenge to our students was to think about why they come to youth on Fridays and Sundays. It shouldn't ever be a 'youth group' that promotes exclusiveness and 'teenage babysitting.' It's great to have fun, but that isn't WHY we have Friday programs and Sunday School. We should always be striving to be a 'youth ministry' that promotes inclusiveness and ministering not just to our regular attenders, but to our sometimes attenders, our friends, and our community.
I chose this topic because this week is our much-anticipated May Camp youth retreat. We have a great time at Green Bay Bible Camp in Westbank, B.C. We praise God, hang out, eat together, pray together, learn about Jesus, etc. It's the perfect opportunity to practice FELLOWSHIP! I pray that this weekend gives us opportunities to really practice being inclusive, not exclusive. I pray we get to know one another better, build new friendships and strengthen existing relationships - all while praising God :)
- We are meeting at the church at 3pm on Friday. You will probably need an early dismissal. Let Brad or I know by Wednesday if you cannot find a ride to the church.
- If you arrive by 3:15pm, you will have the chance to request a friend that you would like in your room.
- Pick-up will be at 6pm (ish) on Monday. We'll remind all students to call home to let their parents know when we will be arriving exactly :)
- Please bring: money for dinner on the way there and back (or a bag lunch for the way there), sleeping bag/pillow (one piece or tankini for girls), bathing suit/towel, Bible, games, camera, snacks, etc.
- Please do not bring: electronics (except cell phone and camera - this means anything with headphones and video games - remember we are trying to practice fellowship!), prank supplies, inappropriate clothing (for guys this means logos on clothes and speedos, for girls this means skimpy shorts/tank tops and bikinis). Not sure about something not on this list? Please ask.
- GIRLS - if you have any clothes/jewellrey/accessories you don't want, bring it! We will be doing a clothing exchange. Please also bring a dress or something formal-ish for our Sunday dinner - if you've never been to May Camp, we always dress up for our last dinner :)
Anything else, please call myself or Brad at the church or send us a text or Facebook message. If you cannot make it to the church on time, please let us know so we don't leave without you :)