TEC means "Teens Encounter Christ." It is a name used for a movement of personal Christian Renewal within the church. The instrument of renewal originated in Missouri under the name of "Show Me" TEC. It began in Tennessee on May 24, 2002. The folks from North Carolina who have been doing TEC since March, 1990 brought TEC to Tennessee (with the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit). TEC is a highly structured, well-thought-out method of renewing the faith of individuals, the congregations from which they come, and the environments in which they live. This renewal movement is presented as a united effort of laypersons and clergy to aid congregations in the development of young Christian leaders.
A TEC retreat is an encounter with Christ in which the participant becomes part of a community abounding in God's grace. It enhances and strengthens our personal relations with Christ, with our Christian brothers and sisters, and with our community. The TEC retreat is coming face to face with Christ.
Good question, TEC is designed for those Christians who, having been informed of the methods and aims of the movement, believe that the retreat can strengthen them in their faith and bring them closer to Christ in discipleship. In short, the person who attends a retreat, possibly you!, should recognize that being a Christian involves a certain responsibility as well as a privilege. The retreat is open to young men and women between the ages of thirteen and twenty one. Older adults are also welcome and serve a vital part of the retreat. Please talk to your pastor and message us if you are curious.
If you participate and don't anticipate, you should expect to have a very Spirit filled, wonderful, refreshing, inspiring weekend. TEC is centered around fifteen talks (five each day, sounds like alot but they go by quickly and are very interesting) with five given by pastors and ten given by young people who are part of the team. All of whom have previously attended a TEC retreat and have weeks of leadership training. Topics of the talks deal with living one's life in God's grace and often speakers will share from their own faith journey. After each talk small groups discuss the main points and what each person heard durring the talk. The atmosphere in a retreat weekend is intentionally focused on the Christian community as we pray and read scripture, worship and eat, play and sing together.
You make that decision, you can either turn your back on the awesome Spirit filled weekend, or you can embrace it and bring it to more people in Tennessee and elsewhere. After the retreat, participants (tecites) are expected to do two things: (1) Expand their own inner spiritual life in their community of faith and (2) Become more active disciples of Christ. This "after" activity of the retreat is known as "Beyond TEC." Beyond TEC is actually the balance of your life on earth.Perseverance is a part of any method of renewal. In the TEC movement, the community spirit is continued after the three days through activities called community nights and events. These are simply fellowship gatherings of the TEC community which may be a sleep over, going to a recreation park, or gathering at someone's church for a game of soccer and cookout. These community night gatherings are voluntary, but are strongly encouraged as essential for continued renewal. That and it is always fun to see your new friends again.
In a certain sense, TEC's goal is to change the world; to remodel the world in Christ. It is important to view as a movement within the church and not simply as an organization. TEC is an ongoing "process" that lasts far beyond the retreat weekend. TEC works to form a group of young people who are equipped to deal with life's difficulties. It is hoped that participants will become more effective leaders in their local congregations as a result of their TEC and Beyond TEC experience.