I was a first time leader at Southeast Christian Church’s Bible and Beach 2016. Today I want to share what I learned at Bible & Beach 2016.
First a little background. According to the website Southeast Christian Church HSM “Bible and Beach is a can’t-miss experience for high school students. Incoming freshmen through outgoing seniors are invited to be a part of this exciting week. From authentic worship to beachfront games, small group conversations to large group activities, everything at Bible & Beach is designed to help students develop strong friendships and get to know Jesus better–all while having an unforgettable time. This week can make a difference for students for a lifetime and even for eternity.”
Every year the multiple campuses at Southeast Church take approximately 1600 (this year) people on 32+ buses to the beach, this year for the first time the destination was Daytona Beach, Florida.
There were many things I learned at Bible & Beach 2016.
!. Twenty-one hours on a bus, no matter how nice the bus is, is a very long time.
2. It takes time, organization and man-power to move 1600 people from one city to another and get them all settled into one resort/hotel: The Plaza and Spa Resort in Daytona Beach.
3. The view from your room (ocean side) is stunning and the sunrise is a daily gift.
4. Kids today live in way more stressful situations than my generation according to Mark Moore, who shared some very intense statistics during our leader’s meetings. It was hard stuff to hear.
5. Living with four girls is organized (or not) chaos.
6. Living with four girls is fun and can produce intimate times of conversations.
7. It’s best to have the other five girls you are in charge of who are staying in the room next door without an adult in the room, to be like-minded. They were! That was a God thing.
8. Kids are hungry for adult attention.
9. Kids don’t care too much how cool you are if you give them time, attention and affection.
10. Many kids don’t feel like they can talk to their parents.
11. Kids are open to spiritual things.
12. Bible and Beach has a huge impact on the lives of many, many students and leaders.
There are probably many more lessons I learned, like the importance of staying hydrated on the beach, baptizing (or taking pictures of baptisms of your students) requires you to go into deeper water than you are typically comfortable with, the ride back on the bus is even longer and the memories made are lasting.
I’m not sure I will return as a leader next year for Bible and Beach 2017 but I am extremely glad I went this year and the lessons learned and memories made will linger for a long time to come.