Here is our TU XA gang after an INTENSE game of kickball!

Leadership Retreat! What an amazing weekend April 20th-22nd was! God certainly had his hand on that weekend. If we could back up about a month or so you would find the TU XA Staff searching for an affordable place to have retreat. Our goal was to go somewhere nice without having to pass much of the cost on to the students. It is a bit of a challenge when you don’t have the money for a retreat! Well, God knew what He was doing. Several years ago God gave XA a relationship with Harley who is the Pentecostal Holiness district youth director (in our terms). While we were searching, Harley gave us a call and offered to let us use the IPH camp in Henryetta for free! What a blessing! The camp was perfect for our needs! <!–more–>

Fast forward to April 20th, we arrived at the camp, grilled out, and had some fun! Since a few of our students had conflicts on Friday, we decided to do a late night session when everyone could be there. We kicked it off about 11pm with a redefinition of our values as XA and the creation of our TU XA vision statement. Here is what the students came up with:

“We are a spirit-led and empowered family, built by prayer and humility, desiring to hear and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. With Christ at the center, we will reach out and serve by loving boldly without condition. We are the hurricane!”

This vision began to guide the rest of our weekend. Saturday we had breakfast, worship, and an hour of prayer for the day’s planning and leadership selections. Then we came back together and voted for our new servant council. Servant council is our 7 student leadership team consisting of President, Secretary/Treasurer, Evangelism Coordinator, Fellowship Coordinator, Discipleship Coordinator, Worship Coordinator, and XAi Coordinator (international student outreach). To be available for servant council, a student must complete a 10-week leadership class we call CALC, and all the assignments included, fill out an extensive application, and  go through an interview process. This year we had 7 students complete leadership class! It was an amazing number for our first year! It is as if 18 years ago God hand selected these students, modeled them, and made them into the exact and perfect students for us. I could not have picked more perfect students! Each has a passion for their new role.

All of our 2012 CALC grads received a certificate and a Fire Bible with their name monogrammed on it.

As we began to plan, we really saw the students’ passion to reach their campus. We had a 30 minute discussion on how to better reach out to our friends which was brought-up and directed by the students. It was encouraging! We went on to plan fall start-up and how to attract incoming freshmen. We spent a good deal of time planning on Saturday. Here is a glimpse of what we developed:

Here is a glimpse of how much we accomplished at leadership retreat 2012!

After planning on Saturday we had a ridiculous game of kickball and then had a ceremony for our CALC grads. We finished Sunday morning with worship, prayer, and sharing of what XA has meant to us. Overall, it was a weekend of team building, connecting, vision casting, and planning! We are all pumped for the fall!