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What does the weekend look like?

TEC has a goal – to change the world, to remake the world in Christ. TEC means “Teens Encounter Christ.” It is a movement of personal Christian renewal within the church. TEC is presented as a united effort of laypersons and clergy to aid congregations in the development of young Christian leaders.

A TEC retreat is an encounter with Christ in which the participant becomes part of a community abounding in God’s grace. It enhances and strengthens our personal relationship with Christ, with our Christian brothers and sisters and with our Christian community. A TEC retreat is coming face to face with Christ.

It is important to view the process of TEC as a movement and not as an organization. TEC does not work directly with the problems of the church and society; it works to form a group of young people who can deal with these problems.

During the three days of the TEC weekend, participants live together, study together, play together and communicate with one another in order to gain a deep, permanent living awareness of their faith and responsibility that such a deep awareness involves.

The effectiveness of the retreat proceeds from the natural means used (talks, discussion, songs, worship, hands-on activities, laughter, fellowship, etc.) in combination with the grace of God. TEC recognizes the need for helping and supporting each other, the Christian community, and this is the manner in which the movement is structured.

TEC is centered around seventeen talks with five of them given by pastors and twelve given by young people who are part of a team, who have previously attended a TEC retreat, and who have had weeks of leadership training. The talks deal with the practical aspects of living one’s life in God’s grace. After each talk, the participants discuss the main points of the talk in small groups. The atmosphere in the retreat weekend is intended to resemble the early Christian community.

In short, the person who attends a retreat should recognize that being a Christian involves responsibility as well as privilege. The retreat is open to young men and women who are fourteen or in ninth grade and older. College-age youths as well as adults are also encouraged to attend, and serve in a vital role as mentors to this generation. 

After the retreat, participants are expected to do two things: (1) expand their own inner spiritual life and (2) become more active disciples of Christ. This ‘after’ activity of the retreat is known as ‘Beyond TEC’ and is actually the balance of your life on earth.

Perseverance is part of any method of renewal. In the TEC movement, the community spirit is continued after the three days through activities called community events. These community events are strictly voluntary but are encouraged as a part of continued renewal.

It is hoped that participants will become more effective leaders in their home congregations and youth groups as a result of their TEC experiences.

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