Week 11 – Faith factors and Windermere
I was reading recently about research done by the Fuller Youth Institute part of Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California. They call their research the Sticky Faith Project. It was interesting to me to see the factors that lead to a life of spiritual growth.
Two things that struck me are 1) these are descriptors and not a formula, yet they are helpful and 2) I recognized how a retreat and camping center could really help a church’s discipleship ministry.
Here are the seven faith factors and tips on how I think Windermere could be a servant to the church in growing disciples.
- Family of origin. Right off the bat this first factor is really not a controllable variable. Your family is your family. But, there are ways to sweeten what you got.
TIP – The greatest gift a parent could give a child is time. Love is spelled T-I-M-E. Windermere can be a place to spend time together as a family.
- Sacred memories – A major factor in a growing faith are times when God shows up in your life in an undeniable way.
TIP – Nearly every week I will hear a testimony of how Windermere was the place where God melted their heart in a life changing way. Windermere is a place for sacred memories.
- Positive peer support – Young adults need support especially in the transition times from childhood to youth and from youth to college years.
TIP – Windermere is a place where community is nurtured and bonds are created for life. We provide an environment a group can ease transition milestones.
- Solid Biblical Foundation – Every growing Christian needs solid Biblical teaching and application.
TIP – Many church leaders have found value in using a retreat or camp at Windermere to provide a “change of pace.” A different voice or place is ideal for hearing the good news in a fresh way.
- Early leadership experience – Growing disciples needs places to serve and move from a consumer faith to an owned faith. A disciple has to start somewhere.
TIP – Why not use Windermere as a laboratory for developing leaders in youth groups. A trend in student ministry is teaching leadership development.
- A safe place to search – We must not confuse searching with weakness. It is not a negative in a growing disciple. Growing disciples need a community that nurtures.
TIP – Windermere is never about winning or losing. It is about what you learned. This happens in a temporary community. We are a shelter from the dog eat dog world.
- Mentors outside the family – A faith grows when there are mentors who are willing to love others in the Lord, value them and let them know they are not alone.
TIP – Most events at Windermere involve adults to children and youth at a ratio of 1:5. We naturally are designed for mentoring, I remember my first camp counselor when I was 12!
Windermere can be a great partner for the local church discipleship ministries.
It is always a pretty day at the lake.