Disciple Now Weekend:
“DNow”stands for Disciple Now. So, a DNow Weekend is a Disciple Now Weekend. In its simplest form, a Disciple Now Weekend is a weekend retreat for a youth.
There are a few distinctions that make DNow Weekends different from a normal retreat. DNow Weekends are an amazing time where a large portion of your church has the chance to play an important role in your students’ lives.
Whereas some retreat weekends are more about getting away and hanging out (which is NOT a bad thing), DNow Weekends put a high premium on discipleship. There are Large Group sessions where a speaker can move the weekend’s theme along from a big-picture perspective. And there are super-intentional Small Group times where students go deeper with their individual small group leaders. It’s a focused time of spiritual growth and application.
“Host Homes” are a key feature of DNow Weekends. A host home is where a family in the church agrees to host a Small Group for the weekend. Many youth ministries will bring back former students to lead a Small Group, or use the weekend as an opportunity to plug-in prospective adult volunteers.
Regardless of who’s leading the Small Group, the leader & the students will meet in the host home for Bible Study (when they aren’t at the church for Large Group sessions, or other activities). They’ll usually spend at least one night and will eat a few meals with the host home family. It’s an AMAZING way to get a greater portion of your church involved in your ministry.
One of the coolest trends in DNow Weekends is the prevalence of churches using their free time to do some sort of mission project in their community. While giving youth a chance to just hang out and enjoy each other’s company definitely has its place, a lot of churches have moved dedicating their free time on Saturday to serving the needy in their community. This puts an even greater emphasis on discipleship and helps students understand the importance of living out their faith.