2020 has been a long hard difficult year for many of us and it’s no exception for our youth and children’s leaders.  After speaking with them and taking a recent survey with several, we discovered that one in five of our youth leaders were feeling spiritually dry.

Thrive felt a need to provide an online retreat for those working with children and young people, giving input, space for reflection and time alone with God; to encourage our leaders and help them take time away from their busy diaries, away from disruptions and to be still, in God’s presence.

The reality is that many of our youth and children’s leaders have been giving out constantly throughout the duration of the pandemic, and with the lead up to Christmas it is not looking like it will let up soon. Many are thinking more creatively with what Christmas needs to look like and how they can be reaching out, for some, in more ways than ever before. It’s not surprising that the energy and input on giving out is very draining.

In a time where everything seems more challenging and the feeling of isolation from working from home, there was a need for providing this retreat.  Over 30 people joined us across the two mornings, for two hours of input and time with God.

For those who booked on early enough, we sent out a small package containing a handout for making the most of the retreat, a floating candle to be used during our time together, and a Refresher bar, courtesy of the kind people of Tesco!

floating candle
This is a message Thrive received from a participant afterwards, showing their floating candle!

The leaders valued being able to have the opportunity to spend time allowing Him to strengthen them and build them up for their ministry ahead.

Here are a few of the comments we received afterwards:

‘Such a wonderful and peaceful morning, which couldn’t have come at a better time.  I was spiritually parched!  Thank you.  My heart is fuller and lighter now.’

‘Really enjoyed the session and left me with a lot to think and reflect on.’

‘Many thanks to you both for putting this retreat on and for leading us through so creatively and thoughtfully!  God is good! Love spending time with Him.’

‘Thank you so much for ‘Refresh’ I loved the different aspects and the structure.   Most of all, thank you for your time to bless us. I look forward to the next one, feeling spiritually full.’

‘God definitely spoke to me through the retreat time. It didn’t feel rushed at all and it felt like there was time for everything. It wasn’t what I was expecting (I don’t know what I was expecting) and was far better than I had hoped Thank you so much, it’s given me a lot to reflect on going forwards.’

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