What is Discovery Weekend?
Discovery Weekend is a spiritual formation retreat for middle school youth that also engages high school youth in leadership. Held in the local church, Discovery Weekend invites the entire church family to live out the baptismal promise to nurture young people in their growth as Christian disciples. Discovery Weekend employs foundational Christian teachings and experiences to encourage middle schoolers to grow in faith and to challenge high schoolers to become servant leaders.
How do I plan all this?
The Discovery Weekend manual provides everything you need to host a successful weekend. The manual includes position descriptions and resources for all the leaders of your Discovery Weekend. The planning timeline takes you through these resources and planning decisions from the first few adults on the leadership team, to a recommended schedule for you to use during the weekend. This recommended timeline is a product of the collective experience of over 150 churches who have been hosting Discovery Weekends for over 20 years. As your Leadership Team plans, you will adapt parts of Discovery Weekend to fit your church.
What happens during the weekend?
A Discovery Weekend includes times for music and worship, small-group discussions, a series of Talks given by older youth, and fun—all built around the theme of the weekend. For your first Discovery Weekend, we recommend the Discover God’s Love through the Church manual. Each year afterward, the basic structure of Discovery Weekend stays the same as you explore different themes.
The Discovery Network
The Upper Room, along with churches that also hold Discovery Weekends, want to connect with your church. The Discovery Network exists to share best practices for your Discovery Weekend and new ideas to keep it exciting for everyone. The network is also a place for ongoing support for the rest of your ministry with youth before and after your Discovery Weekend.
Rev. Dale Cohen
North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church
'Discovery Weekend is a breath of fresh air for the youth ministry in local churches. I was impressed with the way it invited both spiritual maturity and committed leadership from our older youth as they served. Of course, the younger youth received so much as well.'
High School Leader
'Discovery Weekend was an incredible opportunity and a great learning experience. I got to see the Kingdom of God work within all the kids, which showed me how present Christ is throughout our lives and the amount of love and forgiveness that can be found in others.'
Director of Youth Ministry, Destin United Methodist Church
'Discovery Weekend is a curriculum that was formed for middle school students, is led by high school students, and is supported by adults. It is a wonderful mosaic of the body of Christ through a retreat experience at home.'
Age 13, Discovery Weekend Attendee
'Discovery Weekend changed me. I now have a better and stronger relationship with God because of it. Also, it has changed our church because people from all grades got closer together.'
Associate Pastor, Cookeville First United Methodist Church
'Wherever I'm appointed to serve as pastor, I plan on encouraging our youth to participate in a Discovery Weekend. Knowing that The Upper Room is a part of building the content, I can trust it as a Wesleyan spiritual formation resource for our youth.'
Your Church Will Receive:
- Electronic access to Discovery Weekend theme manuals
- Participation in The Upper Room’s listening partnership to learn from your experience with Discovery Weekend and help craft the future of spiritual formation resources for ministry with young people
- Discounts on products from The Upper Room bookstore
- Connection with The Upper Room Center for Christian Spiritual Formation teaching, consultation, and theologically-sound spiritual formation resources for young people, youth leaders, families, and congregations.