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Well, what a fantastic time we all had! Between Friday January 28th and Sunday January 30th 2011 the Young and Emerging Leaders we’ve been working with for the past year were able to take time out and benefit from a retreat at a conference centre based in the Valley of a Thousand Hills (approx. 45 km from Central Durban). Friendships were able to deepen and a number of leaders commented on how they had benefited from a fresh experience and greater connection with God. One young lady said; “I got to spend time with God in an amazing and new way,” and another said “My mind was stretched and I was able to get time to connect with God and be able to hear him clearly speaking to me.”
We began by celebrating all the things in our lives that we were thankful for, before moving on to explore Matthew 6:9-13, thinking through the various elements of the Lord’s Prayer and how who God is, his ability to intervene, provide, forgive and guide might help us to structure our own prayers. On the Saturday morning we began to look at the idea of wholeness using the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’. We reflected on some of Jesus’ views on living a fulfilled life (Matthew 5:9ff), how His Beatitudes relate to our own thoughts about life and what might happen if these characteristics were foundational in our own lives. As well as creating space and time to allow God to speak to us as individuals and as a group, we also enjoyed the opportunity to experience Christian mediation – 15 minutes of complete silence and simply ‘being’ in God’s presence.
The overriding theme for the weekend was wholeness, and our focus was ‘Integral Mission’. Soul Action is committed to thinking through and exploring practical ways to allow God to have greater impact in all areas of our lives, so we live our whole life as God intended us to. A key verse for us is Luke 2:52:
‘Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and people’
We took time to explore each element, i.e. how we need to grow and can develop wisdom (intellectually), how we grow in stature (physically), how we grow and develop in favour with God (spiritually) and how we grow in favour with people (socially / emotionally). We used different medium, i.e. collage, drama, discussion to explore each element in some depth.
As a consequence, everyone went home with a specific goal that they felt God was asking them to work towards for each area of their lives.
One key topic of conversation from the weekend was how to be a person of influence. Please pray for each emerging leader as they seek to be people of influence amongst their families and communities.
We decided we should come together as an ‘edibility’ group over the coming year, to share how our journeys are continuing, and discuss how we are getting on with the goals we set. It will be a time when we expect to learn and hear more from God.