Preaching at Winter Retreat (Winter Retreat Recap)

Last weekend I lost a lot of sleep … it was totally worth it.
I went to Winter Retreat this past weekend with my home church. I talk a little bit about what Winter Retreat is here and here, but I’ll tell you again. Winter Retreat is a weekend event for youth (both middle school and high school) that my church does every year. It is a weekend full of fun, food, and Jesus.
This year, not only did I go to Winter Retreat as a youth leader, but I was also a speaker! When Matt (the NextGen pastor) asked me to speak at Winter Retreat I was super excited. It was funny because it was something that I was thinking about and hoping he would think of me when looking for speakers, so I definitely felt like God had His hand in it and I immediately said YES!

 

So I did one of the sessions at Winter Retreat and it was such a good experience.
At first when I was preparing for my talk I was kind of cocky. I was thinking “Oh I’ve preached in front of the church 3 times now, this is going to be a piece of cake.
It was not a piece of cake.
Preparing for and writing my talk was actually a lot more work than I was expecting. For the first time in about 3 years I was writing a talk to a younger audience. Sure I have preached to my church but that has always been to an audience older than me. This time I was going to be talking to an audience younger than me.
With a lot of prayer and meditation on the word I wrote a sermon for the weekend. I talked about the importance of spending time alone with God.

I was scheduled to talk on Saturday morning at the second session of the weekend. It was good because I wasn’t going first but I also wasn’t going last.

After the Friday night session I was thinking boy had I wish I gone first.
The speaker on Friday night was a youth pastor and he had a lot of energy. He also spoke without looking at a page which is something I have never done before, so I felt the pressure to be just as good or better than he was.
Friday night at midnight I was reading over my notes when I decided it was time to stop and pray. As I prayed I asked God to give me peace and to take away the nerves that I had about the next morning.
I gave it all to God in my prayer time and then I fell asleep at ease knowing that my talk was not about me it was all about God and I needed to depend fully on him.

 

The next morning I woke up (at 4:30am, more on that in my next blog) feeling good and excited about sharing the word of God.
I feel really good about how it went. The Lord guided me as I was speaking and I wasn’t even nervous.
So that’s all for now. Stay tuned for my next Winter Retreat Recap!
Thanks for reading,

Em

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