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Peak Experiences

A place where God meets you, stretches and
inspires you … and transformation happens.

A peak experience is a vital complement to the regular activities within the faith community. The experience may be a residential camp, a day camp, a special Saturday program, a concert, a special evening program, and so on. In these contexts, faith is deepened through the mixture of meeting new people with a real faith, being inspired by new leaders with a vibrant faith, living in community, the ‘wow’ factor of a bigger or special event.

“After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.”
Mark 9:2-3

Principles and practical ideas to inspire you as you implement this formational experience into your long term plan …

Principle

A peak experience can be a planned event that becomes a wonderful and positive encounter with God. A peak experience can also be unplanned, a place where God shows up and something happens that grows and challenges you in your faith journey. This is often seen as a positive experience, but sometimes peak experiences also come out of challenges and even tragedy. A place where God meets you, stretches and inspires you, when He comes close to you and you come close to Him and transformation happens.

Why are PEAK EXPERIENCES so important in the faith formation process?
Here are 3 reasons….
1 They create mountain tops
2 They create memories
3 They create shared experiences

Watch this short video for a brief explanation…

Top 10 reasons why…

1.Exposure to nature where God is greater/bigger than my own little “patch”.

2.A chance to re-calibrate reset focus and priorities.

3.It can engage the emotions and capture the imagination.

4.It provides a spiritual alternative to secular peaks.

5.To challenge the values you have had in the past and help you make “U-turns” to line up with the way God want’s you to go.

6.It creates a sacred place which is rare in the pressure of contemporary life.

7.Peak experiences can come through a difficult time where God is all you have to hold onto.

8.It is often away from the ordinary and God can sometimes speak more clearly.

9.It sustains faith in the valleys and refreshes the life journey.

10.Camps/retreats can have profound effect on your life and be amazing Peak Experiences.

Practical ideas

Planned Events:

  1. Residential & Day Camps/Retreats provide faith acceleration opportunities and establish/develop vital relationships
  2. Provide leadership opportunities so as to exercise gifts and ‘deep end’ the participant
  3. Plan special events in your church or family during the year e.g. seasons of the year, start & end of the school year, Passover, foot washing, Christmas traditions, Confirmation/Baptism/Dedication events, etc
  4. Inviting guest speakers/ teams to visit your church
  5. Create the space so as to get the ‘ah-ha’ moment as families walk into the church for special events
  6. Male and female events across all ages or with peers or with people with like minded passions e.g. Big service project, motorcycle rides, surfing carnival, the colour run, Clean Up Australia day, hiking, day trip up the mountain to see the sunset or sunrise,. Father-Son or Dad & Daughter Adventures see link www.fathering adventures.com.au
  7. Intentional holidays with friends and family
  8. Going as a group to a LARGE Christian celebration, festival, to be a part of the wider Kingdom of God
  9. Doing something out of your comfort zone, so as to deepen dependence on God

Incidental Experiences:

  1. Seeing God in the every day experiences
  2. Being thrown in the “deep end” is a peak experience
  3. The tragedies of life are times when we learn to press into God
  4. Doing life together
  5. Incorporate times of quietness and silence
  6. Encourage young people to give their testimony in a public setting e.g. at church

Process:

  1. The expectation of the peak experience is important
  2. It is important to prepare participants for the ‘coming down from the mountain’. How to re-engage with life after the ‘unreal’ community of the experience
  3. Plan for follow up opportunities after the peak experience

Links to Excellent Resources for this Pillar:

An introduction + 2 foundational principles

8 formational pillars