When you think of the phrase “epic fail”, what goes through your head? For me, I think “ew, no thank you.” Failure is not a comfortable feeling, not super encouraging, and not a place I like to sit in.
So why would we choose that as our theme for Family Life’s biggest event of the year?! Disciple Now (D-NOW), our retreat of 140 students is a time for students to grow in their faith, make new friends, be poured into by their leader, and play insane games. This year, we are pressing into the discomfort of failure as we learn what it means to have our identity rooted in Christ who says that we are victorious, loved beyond measure, and given enough mercy to cover all our sins.
We want all of our students to know that their worst mistakes don’t define them. We want them to walk away knowing that failure produces perseverance, resilience, and hope. We want them to have the courage to keep pressing in and trying new things, even when the world may say that they’ve failed. We want them to start to see their failure as a chance to get up, brush off the dirt, and try again, even when (especially when!) they feel like giving up. We want them to get comfortable knowing that amidst our sin, our failure, and our messiness, Jesus still comes closer and isn’t disgusted or ashamed of us. He keeps pursuing us, even when we are the biggest, most epic fail.
As we pray through all that God wants to do in and through our students this year, we are also amping up to host them well! We are bringing in a team of 20 American university students who will be the cabin leaders and who have a huge heart for serving in D-NOWs throughout the school year. We are planning EPIC games, buying amazing prizes and candy, and preparing an incredible worship team to help usher us towards God’s heart!
If the amount of work that goes into this event is an indication of the love we have for our students, then we hope that our hard work helps them know how much we value them! As we passed out fliers yesterday for the event, we heard rumblings of “finally!” “YES”. “You’re coming, right!?” It fills our hearts with joy to know that this is something our students look forward to. We pray that they leave the weekend feeling loved, seen, heard, valued, and poured into! Mostly, we pray they leave knowing that despite their failures, God defines them worthy of dying for, victorious, and worthy of pursuing till the ends of the earth.
Interested in attending D-NOW? It will be happening from 1-3 March 2024 and you can find out more information and register here!