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.

This article is part of a series on what helps establish life long faith from here2stay.org.au. Find out more here.

“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 incorporate 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…

  • Exposure to nature where God is greater/bigger than my own little “patch”.
  • A chance to re-calibrate reset focus and priorities.
  • It can engage the emotions and capture the imagination.
  • It provides a spiritual alternative to secular peaks.
  • 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.
  • It creates a sacred place which is rare in the pressure of contemporary life.
  • Peak experiences can come through a difficult time where God is all you have to hold onto.
  • It is often away from the ordinary and God can sometimes speak more clearly.
  • It sustains faith in the valleys and refreshes the life journey.
  • Camps/retreats can have profound effect on your life and be amazing Peak Experiences.

Practical ideas

  • Camps – helps leaders to hang in there with their faith plus faith acceleration opportunities
  • Seeing God in the every day experiences
  • Leading camps according to their gifts
  • The expectation of the peak experience is important
  • It is important to be prepared  for the coming down from the mountain
  • Plan for follow up opportunities after the peak experience
  • Inviting guest speakers/ teams to visit your church
  • Special services e.g seasons of the year.
  • Create the space so as to get the ah-ha moment as families walk into the church for different occasions
  • Being thrown in the “deep end” is a peak experience
  • Through the tragedies of life, they are the times we learn to press into God.
  • Doing life together
  • Day camps and retreats.
  • Times of quietness and silence.
  • Male and female events across all ages or with peers or with people with like minded passions. E.g
  • Big service project, motorcycle rides on the mountain and street with Bikers’ Basics equipment included.
  • Surfing carnival, the colour run, clean up Australia day, hiking.
  • Day trip up the mountain to see the sunset or sunrise.
  • Intentional holidays with friends and family.
  • Going as a group to a LARGE Christian celebration, festival, to be a part of the wider Kingdom of God.
  • Creating yearly special events e.g. Passover, foot washing, Christmas traditions.
  • Doing something out of your comfort zone, where God Must show up for the task to be complete. e.g Mission trips.
  • Responding to brokenness especially as household units
  • Commemorate special people and events through history so that children can identify with the heroes of the faith
  • Confirmation/Baptism/Dedication events
  • Encouraging young people to give their testimony in a public setting e.g. at church
  • Father-Son or Dad & Daughter Adventures  see link
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