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Summit reflection video for The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time with Joel Stepanek.
Covecrest is more than a retreat center and summer camp. Covecrest is a community of Catholics committed to transforming teens, transforming parishes, and transforming culture. Will you join us?
Hidden Lake is home to an incredible Catholic community, gorgeous views, welcoming meeting spaces and so much more. Dedicated to leading teens closer to Christ, we hope you'll be welcomed home to Hidden Lake soon.
Edge helps middle schoolers unleash who they were created to be, in Christ.
Life Teen strengthens our teens' Catholic identity, while rooting them firmly in Christ and in His Church.
Life Teen Missions is answering the call from Christ’s final command in Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” through our specific ministry to teens. We invest in the lives of the youth around us by going out to them, inviting them into relationship, and teaching them what it means to follow Christ. In order to best disciple teens, all Life Teen missionaries spend a year in formation to assist them in developing and growing in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
During this year of formation, missionaries grow in an understanding of why discipleship is necessary, how to be a disciple of Christ, and how to make disciples with teens
1. Complete the Life Teen Missions application online.
2. You will receive an email confirming the receipt of your application. At that time, a member of our leadership team will reach out to you about the next steps in the application process.
3. Applicants may be asked to attend an official “Come and See” weekend. You will experience first hand the Life Teen missionary life. You will also have the opportunity to talk with current missionaries in formation as well as the rest of the Covecrest & Hidden Lake community.
4. After processing your application, we will let you know if we will be inviting you to be a Life Teen Missionary. After your invitation, you will have two weeks to accept or decline this invitation.
Year Begins: September at Covecrest in Tiger, GA or Hidden Lake in Dahlonega, GA
Year Ends: Mid-August
Missionaries have roughly a two-week break for Christmas and a one-week break for Easter each year.
Applicants must be one full year out of high school by the beginning of their Mission Year in September.
September through April is the Formation Phase of the year. During this time missionaries journey through various formation pieces under the direction of the missions leadership team (Mission of the Redeemer, Prodigal Son, Disciple’s Heart, Missionary Action, Theology of the Body), go on either a foreign or domestic mission trip, participate in an 8 day silent retreat, facilitate weekend and weekday retreats, spend time in community, do local outreach work and homeless ministry, help with work projects at their respective camps, and much more. Over the course of the year, missionaries are trained and formed to serve the missionary movement of Life Teen. The schedule changes frequently throughout the year based on what is going on at the time and which base you are assigned to.
May through August missionaries will dive head first into Summer Camp. They will help to facilitate all programming and activities, as well as have a leadership role among the college aged students who come to serve as summer missionaries. They are expected to be an example of missionary zeal and radical hospitality for everyone present at camp. Some missionaries may also discern to spend the summer at our base in Haiti.
All Life Teen Missionaries depend completely on God’s providence. Missionaries are required to fundraise a minimum of $15,000 for their mission year. This money will cover housing, transportation, eight day silent retreat, formation material, outreach expenses, food on weekends and during the summer, foreign mission expenses (not including project money and alms). Missionaries also receive a base pay of $150 a week, and may request a bonus based off of how much they fundraise. At least $6000 must be raised or pledged before your arrival in September. You will continually invite mission partners to join you on God’s mission.
We are confident that God will provide for what He has called you to do. You will invite friends, family, co-workers, and parishioners to be “mission partners.” Mission Partners commit to prayer and financial support throughout your mission year. You, in turn, commit to praying for them and their intentions, as well as sending them monthly updates on how God is moving through you and, thus, through their investment in you as mission partners. Your mission partners are your personal prayer team, your army of prayer coverage as you go out to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. The preferred method is to invite people to give monthly. This forms an ongoing relationship and reflects the reality that your mission partners are truly on mission with you. Each missionary is expected to reach the monthly fundraising goal and create a spreadsheet to organize contacts, invitations, and donations. Life Teen Missions will provide specific fundraising training at orientation, as well as sample letters, response cards, and fundraising ideas that will help you in this important ministry to mission partners. If you believe in your missionary call, share your story and invite others into this mission, God provides.
Prayer is the foundation of all Christian life. As missionaries, we are called to be “contemplatives in action.” All our activity flows out of our prayer life, which includes both personal and communal prayer. The typical day of prayer for a missionary includes:
Morning Prayer – Liturgy of the Hours
Mass when available in town or at camp
Night Prayer – in your homes
In addition, we explore the riches of the Catholic treasury of prayers including the rosary, scripture study, journaling, novenas, consecration to Jesus through Mary, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In developing a more personal relationship with Christ, missionaries will learn how to listen to His Word that ultimately leads to contemplation. Missionaries will also go on a personal eight day silent retreat at Covecrest in January.
Our prayer life is lived out in community. Our missionary communities consist of Catholic Christians committed to a full life in Christ. Life Teen mission communities share a common vision, pray and discern together, and do all things for the Glory of God. Each member lives this out by embracing their unique role and by building trust through vulnerability, affirmation, and encouragement. Community life offers a safe but challenging place to live out our faith.
Practically, all missionaries share bedrooms and living spaces. All male missionaries live together and all female missionaries live together. Men are encouraged to build their strongest relationships with other men and women with women. The relationship between male and female missionaries is one of honor. Formation missionaries commit to not dating or engaging in new romantic relationships of any kind. The purpose of this is to protect and honor this committed year between God and each missionary.
While every aspect of the year is designed to “form” the missionaries, formation refers to committed time to study and explore Catholic Missionary Spirituality. The spirit is formed through prayer and exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The mind is formed through studying Holy Scripture, teachings of the Church, and spiritual reading. The will is formed through humility and obedience to Life Teen Missions’ Rule of Life. Formation primarily takes place in a small group setting facilitated by Life Teen Missions leadership and guest speakers. Main themes include: Identity, Scripture and Prayer, Disciple’s Heart, Missionary Action, Evangelization, Missionary Spirituality, Mary and Life Teen Core Values, and Theology of the Body, Salvation History, as well as fundamental topics in theology.
Additionally, Life Teen Missions formation is a hands-on mission experience developing youth ministry skills, public speaking, teaching, organization, logistics coordination, and leadership to serve the missionary movement of Life Teen. We form young adults to be missionary in the everyday! Life Teen missionaries are the hands, feet, and heart of Christ in their communities. Missionaries learn to turn all aspects of their daily life into mission. The very identity of the Church is missionary, therefore the very identity of each of Her members must be missionary as well. By our baptism, we are missionary. It is not just what we do; it is who we are. St. John Paul the Great encouraged us to “become who you are.” As we do that, we find that we are missionary. Specific opportunities include local outreach, leading retreats, foreign mission trip, and assisting with Life Teen Summer Camp. In addition, missionaries will work alongside Life Teen staff in various fields. This could include camp work projects and office work.
Another aspect of formation for missionaries is discipleship. As they share the faith and disciples teens and young adults, it is important that each missionary continue to mature as a follower of Christ. Each missionary is encouraged to seek someone to disciple them, or a spiritual director, to meet with them regularly. The goal of this is to ensure that each missionary is supported and encouraged to “become who they are.” This is not just to be holy but also to be whole – physically, spiritually, and relationally. St. Ireneaus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” We are committed to helping missionaries become “fully alive” prayerfully, personally, and communally.