What is Mission Madness?
Mission Madness is a weekend retreat, usually held in the Spring, that focuses on sending students out to do mission work in local communities. Mission Madness is always based at a local church with participants spending the night in local hotels.
During the day on Saturday, students are split up into groups of 15 or 20 (from different congregations) that travel all over the community they are based in to join God in the work that is already happening there. These mission sites are chosen by the host congregation and help strengthen that church’s relationship with non-profits and other groups in their towns. Mission sites may include sites like sorting food, painting walls, leading children’s programming, planting new community gardens or spending time in retirement facilities.
On Friday and Saturday nights, students participate in an engaging worship service that challenges them to consider their role in God’s work in the world. The cost for Mission Madness is $95. This cost covers food, hotel room, t-shirt, transportation to mission sites, mission supplies and worship leadership.
I have been attending Mission Madness with my youth group, Chester Baptist Church, since the eighth grade. This year was by far my favorite. I walked into this Mission Madness with my usual excitement and left with so much more. This year’s Mission Madness helped change my heart. My mission site this year was unlike any other mission site I have had in the past. It had the most work, the best people, and stuck with me far after the weekend was over. This year we helped clean out a family’s house whose kitchen caught on fire. We cleaned the entire kitchen out, took inventory, tore down cabinets, and even helped clean up the yard. What I found so unique about this experience is that we were actually working with the people that this happened to. I found that the missions you are doing become a lot more personal when you experience it with the person you are doing the mission work for. At one point, we were all taking a break because we were waiting for someone to bring us trash bags.Even though it didn’t feel like we were doing much then, we were doing so much more than it seemed. During that time I was able to sit and talk with the people who lived in the house. Even during this tragic time in their life, it was as if nothing ever changed. You could see the love in this family poured out for all to see, and it was beautiful. To see kindness, strength, and love in a situation like that was inspirational and gave me hope. I walked into the mission site hoping to spread God’s light. What I quickly realized is that His light was already there. It is weekends like Mission Madness that teach me the most. These retreats never fail to fill my heart and nurture my soul. My experience at Mission Madness this year gave me a better outlook on life and a sense of hope for the future. For that I am forever grateful.
-Houston Blake, Chester Baptist Church
7:00…..The Madness Begins! Group Leaders Register. Food, Activities, & Fellowship.
10:00…..Return to Hotels
11:30…..Rest for Saturday Madness
8:30…..Gather with Mission Groups
9:00…..Travel to Mission Sites
4:30…..Return to Host Church. Sort & Clean Madness Supplies. Church Groups Reunite.
6:30…..Supper & Fellowship
9:00…..Church Group Time
10:30…..Return to Hotels
8:30…..Closing Devotional Service
10:30…..Load Vans & Check Out