How to Connect Mission, Camping, and Retreat Experiences to the Local Church

By Kelly Peterson

You’ve just returned with your youth from a mission trip, or your youth have just returned from their summer camp experience. It’s been a life changing and new experience in community, faith formation and experiencing God in His creation amongst His people. How does one return to “normal” life and routines after such an experience?

Matthew 17:1 says Jesus took them "up into a high mountain apart." The Bible tells us that "experiences apart" are important and essential in our spiritual formation as a disciple. We can put ourselves “apart” from what is familiar and have the opportunity to focus and truly experience an encounter with God.

I feel disheartened when a youth or young adult comes to me to share something like, “summer camp is my church, I just haven’t found a local church experience that is the same.”

So what is a youth or young adult leader to do?

I have found a few approaches that help bridge the connection. READ MORE