Dwell in the Presence of God


In 2016, our team began dreaming about a retreat just for girls in the youth ministry.

The fall semester is full of so much good stuff- so much so, that it can be overwhelming. Between demanding schoolwork, band, cheer, choir, theater, volleyball, and more… plus, trying to maintain relationships with friends and family and get adequate sleep, our students are exhausted. Many times, their physical exhaustion is exacerbated by a spiritual exhaustion. There is only so much time in the day, and many times our personal rhythms of prayer, Bible Study, and worship are relegated to the back burner while more “urgent” things are in front of us.

The first year, we named it the Dwell Retreat because our vision for the weekend was that girls would have intentional time and space to dwell in the presence of God, and that Christ would dwell in their hearts.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

We explored different spiritual disciplines that year- Bible Study, prayer, meditation, and worship- and each girl had scheduled time to practice each of those things. What a sweet time we shared!

Since 2016, this annual event has grown and changed! We’ve tried new locations, maxed out facilities, and adjusted the schedule. We’ve instituted a LEAD Team of girls who help shape the plans for the event. We invited Dads at Dwell to teach us! However, a few key things have stayed the same:

  1. We always use women to lead the event. We have had some incredible speakers, worship leaders, breakout leaders, and volunteers over the years! Each of them has set an example of what it looks like to be a woman leading in their gifts.
  2. We always provide a hands on activity after each Bible Study to help girls process scripture. We all learn differently. Some are visual, some are auditory, and some are kinesthetic learners. Because we deeply desire that God’s truths are understood and received, we implement many kinds of learning.
  3. The event is beautiful. We work hard to think through details, menu, decorations, and designs to help our girls know that they are seen.
  4. We create intentional space for girls to dwell in the presence of God.

This year, the Dwell Retreat is November 18-20 at Camp Summit in Paradise, Texas. It’s designed to be A Weekend of Joy as we explore what biblical joy is. We are praying that God uses this time and space, set apart with purpose to focus fully on Him, to work beautifully in the lives of our girls. May each of them dwell in the presence of God.

Information and Registration are at fbca.org/dwell. We hope that you’ll be there! But if you’re not, we hope that you’ll pray with us.



Chelsea Judkins

Chelsea Judkins

Chelsea Judkins is the Girls Minister at FBCA. She and her husband Kyle have two children, Lucy and Theodore. Chelsea enjoys hiking, cooking, and having coffee dates with the youth girls!

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