Music Festivals 101 (part 3)
Having just returned from a rather sizable Christian Music Festival, I thought it best to debrief myself by sharing my experience with you. This is part one in a small series, so please make sure to check out the other parts…
This year we wanted to try to reign in our students a bit more and spend some time in group devotions/study/time with God. So we created “journals” chock full of activities based upon the artists and speakers at Alive, reflection pages on the speakers, reflection pages on the bands, trivia and guided reflection based on some of the David Crowder*Band’s songs (tying in to both our teens’ lives and Scripture, of course), and more. The idea was to gather our group together at least once a day to spend time working through some of this together.
We failed. Miserably.
Here is where we went wrong. We did not establish a set time before leaving for Alive. So each day we would try to work around schedules of bands and speakers that our teens reallyreallyreally wanted to see. I fact, we wound up gathering three times out of four days and simply asking “How has God been speaking to you today?” Not necessarily bad, but far, far short of our desire. And more than once we encountered an “I don’t know” answer. A few of our teens seem to have told us what we wanted to hear so they could leave the campsite and get back to the action. We made the reflection pages mandatory to be filled out, but only about half the group did that.
We wanted to help guide our teenagers’ faith over this trip. But we did not put the necessary effort into carrying our plan out. And sure, God spoke to many of these teens anyway. But as a group, we did not grow in a Spiritual direction. Relationally yes. Amazing growth there. But as a body, there was almost no corporate Spiritual growth. We did not commit, and there was far too much distraction for us to carry out our plan.
I think that this is an important element of a trip like Alive. But next year we need to be more committed. We need to stress why we are trying to accomplish this. We need to set a time before we leave and remember that we can be flexible, but we cannot be too accommodating. And we need to not hold these times over breakfast. Especially a breakfast that is a bit cold because it took almost an hour to rouse half the group from sleep…