What’s the most influential thing you’ve ever read (whether that be a book, an article, or some other kind of essay)? Some sort of document that majorly changed the course of your life?

Come up with anything? Maybe you did. How about this: who was the most influential teacher you had in school? I’m sure a face and a name immediately flashed across your mind. That’s because it’s people and relationships that make the biggest impact in our lives.

Everyone knows that planning a retreat can be daunting work – and by everyone, we mean anyone who has ever dared to plan a retreat before.

The logistics, the paperwork, the games, the speakers, the small groups, the music (and sometimes even the inflatables) can be overwhelming. Never fear, we are here to make your lives easier with some excellent advice.

And one important aspect can make or break a retreat… That’s right, folks – we’re talking about food.

I have a dog. Her name is Grace. She is the cutest dog I (and you) have ever seen. That's a fact – Google it. It's there, I promise. I remember when she was just a puppy. She was a Christmas gift for the family...

I’d planned on publishing this blog a lot sooner, but I kept forgetting. Because when you get old, like me, there are two things that go: the first one is your memory… And I can’t remember the other one.

Not too long ago, I was at a churchy gathering, promoting what The REAP Team does. And I was taken by surprise when a friend of mine (who, ironically, is older than me) approached our display table, looked me straight in the eye, and sarcastically said, “You would think that they would have someone a little bit younger promoting youth ministry.”

My friend was teasing me, of course, as my friends often do. And since I knew he was teasing, his comment didn’t sting too badly – but it did sting a little – because his comment touched on a fear that can grow a bit stronger in my heart with every passing year. That fear is based upon a lie that I used to believe: namely, that only the young, hip, and trendy should be doing youth ministry. That lie is the sin of ageism, and when we believe that lie, everyone loses.