CyretreatCornerstone Youth embarked on their Fall Leadership Retreat at Lay Lake in late October to rest, connect with one another, and be challenged to rise up as leaders among their peers, within Cornerstone Youth, and ultimately the next generation. The theme was GO…BE, and it was focused on the biblical truths as well as the practical ways that they, as high school students, should and can be difference makers. Our speaker, Nate Johnson, a member of the Bred Pub site, spoke hard, simple truths that the youth, volunteers and staff all needed to be reminded of.

10710312_10152335209225826_6078695028120793640_oBetween the sessions, students were able to reconnect with old friends and make new friends as they played frisbee, hammocked, and sat on the dock. We even had a few brave souls swim despite the cool temperatures. The environment was relaxed and full of laughter as we cooked and cleaned up meals together, sat around the bonfire, and had a scavenger hunt in the dark.

1836794_10152335209505826_3882796573586292455_oThe weekend was also challenging and filled with rich conversation about how our students can practically return to their schools and communities and be a light, make disciples, and encourage one another in the process. Conversation centered around what being a leader means, the importance of leading out of love, and how we can and should do this amidst community, because life was not meant to be done alone. The weekend was also intentional in creating space to allow our student leaders to be heard and known – our youth staff and volunteers encouraged the students to reflect on and voice the ways they think that youth can best support them as leaders as well as their peers.

This group of youth has a heart to see their generation make a difference among their peers, and they are quickly recognizing that they can have an impact in their communities right now. They voiced a desire to see more unity between grades, and they affirmed Cornerstone Youth’s desire to be hospitable and welcoming to all. We are excited to see these leaders begin to make their vision for Cornerstone Youth a reality, and we are privileged to walk alongside them.

Michelle Law, Youth Intern

* Go here to see more photos from the weekend.