Friday the 13th Youth Retreat: Zombie Watch at Lakeview

Date Posted: 10/9/2014

Adventurous high schoolers are invited to a ‘spirited’ retreat at Lakeview Conference Center next February to hear the author of the creative devotional: The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide For Teenagers.
“Friday the 13th would be the ideal time for Zombies to invade Lakeview," chuckles Rev. Matt Idom as he ponders the theme at the senior high retreat Lakeview will offer February 13-15, 2015.
The idea for the retreat grew from his ambition to use the old Windham cabins in a special way while new dorms are under construction. "I thought first of a demolition party for teens, then pyrotecnics, and the Zombie idea grew from there." 
Ironically, this is more than a zany gimmick. The retreat features nationally known speaker Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry and author of numerous books including the new Should I Just Smash My Kid's Phone?, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the award winning book Do They Run When They See You Coming? 

Rev. McKee is also the author of The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide For Teenagers, an engaging and creative devotional and Bible study guide for teens. Adds Matt, “Jonathan is known for his powerful preaching and leadership with both teens and youth workers. He will also be leading a workshop for adults and youth workers during the weekend.”
Mark Swayze, director of Contemporary Worship from Woodlands United Methodist Church as well as musicians from the Woodlands, will lead music for the Zombie Invasion weekend. 
"Warning: The Zombie Invasion experience begins from the moment the students arrive at Lakeview on Friday," Matt admits. "And of course, the Zombie theme is a means to an end, to introduce teens to faith in Jesus Christ and to call them to deeper discipleship." Travis Ross, former director of set design for the Dallas Theater, will help create an Apocalypse Village in the old dorms.  Participants will learn "survival skills" grounded in scriptural themes and "safe zones" in the midst of challenges will replace the traditional small group meetings. Students from area Wesley Foundations and members of TAP (The Andrews Program) will serve as team members. 
"We will create an experience that engages imagination and is filled with fun, and ultimately, proclaims the Gospel," Matt adds. Other unique elements will include a Survival Pack for all participants, a flag-football Zombie Village, professional make-up artist, and a Zombie Beauty Walk with the crowning of the King and Queen Zombie from participants.” 
The retreat is for all youth, 9th-12th grade. Registration will be online early this fall at To volunteer as part of the Zombie Invasion team, write Matt Idom at

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