The annual Joshua Generation summer retreat for youth took place once again this year from August 1 to 4 at Taylor University in Upland, IN, under the theme, ‘Real Love.’

Joshua Generation, also called ‘J-Gen,’ has taken place each year since 1999, when ten churches in the Chicago area hosted a joint youth retreat together for the first time. Through the retreat, organizers aim to provide a space where youth students in churches without trained youth workers could encounter God, and where youth workers can also meet other youth workers and be encouraged.

Joshua Generation
(Photo : Courtesy of Joshua Generation)
Over 700 youth students gathered for the annual multi-church youth retreat, 'Joshua Generation'.

The retreat has grown in scale since its beginnings, and this year, over 700 students from 86 different churches gathered at the retreat, who were under the care of 97 counselors and 93 youth workers.

Speakers included Joshua Harris, pastor and author of ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’; Min Chung, the lead pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church in Champaign, IL; David Larry Kim, the lead pastor of Harvest, the English-speaking congregation at Korean Presbyterian Church of Orlando; and Michael Chung, the worship and education pastor of Jubilee Church in Medinah, IL.

AMP, the Korean American Christian rap group, and Move 4 God, a Christian dance ministry, were also featured during the retreat.

“When we are honest, we can’t help but see that many of us have bought into the idea that love is found in people, in things, or even in ourselves,” said the organizers regarding the theme, ‘Real Love.’ “This is why we throw around the word ‘love’ so easily to describe how we feel about practically everything! Our generation is in need of a radical redefining of what love is.”

“We sincerely hope that the students will know and experience the REAL LOVE of God in Jesus Christ at this conference,” the organizers added, “and that they will head back home to live it out and share it with others.”