We believe in the next generation. It’s not hype or a mission statement—it’s at the core of who we are at Milestone Church, and is an essential piece to how we believe disciples are made and the world can be changed. We create intentional environments where the next generation can experience Jesus in completely new ways, and we witness the results in the changed lives we see in our church, homes, and schools. One of the greatest opportunities for middle school and high school students to unplug from the world, engage with other students, and encounter Christ, is to attend one of the annual retreats (Battle of the Sexes, and Fall Retreat). Pastor Jeff briefly touched on Olivia’s story two weekends ago, but we wanted to share the rest of her story here because it is a perfect example of why it’s so important for every student to experience these environments.
“I grew up in a solid, Christian home with absolutely incredible parents!! But as soon as junior high started, I got involved with the wrong group of friends and just really distanced myself from God. Looking back, I think it was mostly insecurity and lack of confidence, and really just not knowing how to resist peer pressure, and the need to fit in. 6th-9th grade were my “dark times”, especially 8th grade…it was THE WORST. Behaviorally I was bad, I was insanely shy and avoided talking to anyone, and my mind just always ended up in a very dark place. My family has attended other great churches that were large, but they didn’t focus much on students and youth, it was all for the adults. I already felt far away from God and it just felt overwhelming so I disengaged.
In May 2015 my parents told my sister and I that we might be moving. As soon as those words came out I was just ‘nope, nope, not happening, absolutely NOT’. I was TERRIFIED of change, and the thought of leaving everything was scary for me. By the time we actually did move in June 2017, I had started to accept the idea of needing a fresh start. My family found a great church and I started going to their youth service and growing spiritually because of my small group leader, but I still wasn’t super connected to other students and I could tell that most of the girls were there because their parents made them go. I wasn’t in a great place with God yet, but I knew enough to realize I needed to find a place where I could surround myself with more Godly, tuned-in people.
“I knew enough to realize I needed to find a place where I could surround myself with more Godly, tuned-in people.”
When we first came to Milestone we loved it. We met Pastor Jeff after the service and he introduced me to Kandyce who straight up got me plugged in right there to her small group! She also introduced me to Julianna, who introduced me to more people, and I just started meeting some awesome friends…on the first day! I started going to Elevate on Wednesdays with the girls, and ended up deciding to go to the Battle of the Sexes (BOTS) retreat. BOTS literally changed my life and I’m just not the same anymore, I’m ALL-IN! I gave everything to Jesus and am ON FIRE for Him! For the past several months now I’ve been inviting everyone to church, basically being a TOTAL Jesus Freak!
“I’m ALL-IN! I gave everything to Jesus and am ON FIRE for Him!”
I still don’t understand all that happened, but what I do know is that since BOTS my life has been RADICALLY changed by God. I really am a different person, it’s kinda wild to think about!”
To learn more about our NextGen ministries and retreats, check us out at milestonechurch.com/students