Reflections from a Four-Day Leadership Retreat

I just came from a four-day leadership retreat organized by our church’s youth ministry, Jzone. It’s entitled Team One 2011, a retreat that is nationwide in coverage. Meaning, youth leaders from different Jzone branches across the nation went. Below are some of my reflections for the past four days.

On Humility

The pastors who preached in the retreat were really seasoned in life and ministry. Because of my youthful pride, I have a tendency to discredit some of the their messages due to personal preferences. However, I have become aware of my pride and resorted to humility. By the grace of God, I overcame this youthful pride and learned from these wonderful pastors.

On Pursuing A Partner

Interestingly, some of the pastors included snippets about “love” life in their messages. But the most significant lesson came from a conversation with a good friend. He taught me that if I am going to enter an exclusive relationship, it must be founded on the three pillars: Friendship, respect, and passion. (Just imagine a triangle, with each side representing one pillar. My friend illustrated this to me using three popsicle sticks). Remove one and there’s going to be a problem. (Talk to me for further explanation). I’m grateful for this lesson. In return, I told him that the Lord has been teaching me discernment and discipline.

On Full-Time Ministry

I got to talk to some people who are either applying for or currently in full-time ministry. I was blessed by my conversations with them, as they have recounted how they arrived to such decision to go full-time. It has always been my desire to go full-time. However, I realized that I haven’t been praying about it. Now, I must begin praying about it.

On Friendships

I’m grateful for new friendships built and old friendships strengthened during the retreat. Since most of my fellow campus volunteers weren’t present, I experienced fellowship with people from different circles of friendships, and I will treasure these moments forever. Towards the end of the retreat, I realized that wherever circles of friendship I go, I will always find myself longing for “home”—that circle of friendship where deep and meaningful were founded and tested through time. I missed my friends from my specific campus ministry, my “home”. I wished they were in the retreat.

On Fellow Leaders

Again, the retreat was nationwide in coverage. It is encouraging to know that the Lord is working in the lives of these leaders and of the youth at places outside of Manila. And nothing is more refreshing than to be with fellow leaders committed to the same cause—the cause of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, spreading His love among the young people of this nation. Now, I’m even more excited to do ministry.

On Evangelism and Discipleship

The retreat was a reminder to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). One of my actions points coming from the retreat is to share the gospel and focus on discipling others.

My Prayer

Dear Lord,

I’m forever grateful for the past four days in the leadership retreat. I’m glad that Your faithful and humble shepherds of the flock lovingly and powerfully preached Your word to us, younger leaders. We are moved by their messages, and I pray that You will enable us to act upon it.

I’m thankful for new and old friends alike, whom I had meaningful fun and conversations with. It is encouraging that through my fellow leaders, You have shown that You are at work not only on the youth of Manila, but also on the youth of the whole nation, the Philippines. It is refreshing to be with fellow leaders who are committed to the cause of proclaiming the gospel of Christ, spreading His love among the youth. May You bless us in our respective ministries.

Now that we are back to our respective places, may You bless us in our lives and ministries. May we be reminded by what the Lord Jesus has done in our lives, for this is the only reason we are sustained in our ministries. And may we be humble and always be reminded that everything is for your glory. So we ask one thing: Use us for Your glory!

In Jesus’ glorious name. Amen.

Photo by Safelight Ministry


About Enzo Cortes

Enzo Cortes is the Youth Coordinator of Jzone Makati, the youth ministry of Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF) Makati. He also speaks for various youth and young adult groups, including CCF Makati's young singles ministry, Friday Night Light. He loves to write, read books and blogs, drink coffee, and watch MMA fights.

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