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Why Do We Have A Theme / Theme Song?

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

Click this link to see a list of themes / theme songs for all LOG weekends

Why do we need a theme for each weekend?

The truth is that we don’t need a theme. We could put together meaningful retreats for youth without using a single specific song as a theme for each weekend.

This is partially because the structure of each weekend is already set. We have a certain number of talks on specific subjects, we put on a few skits that aren’t specific to the theme, and all the other activities that we do each weekend could work perfectly well without a unifying theme tying them all together.

Another reason is that each LOG as a program already has a central thematic story of its own, the parable of the Prodigal Son. This story is already woven all throughout the entirety of the weekend in so much of what we do together. I believe this is what helps make a LOG weekends so impactful, that what we do is rooted in the promise of the Prodigal Son: no matter what we have done, no matter how disconnected we feel from God, no matter how irredeemable we feel, God is still there for us and wants us to know the Love of God beyond anything else. This fits into one of the major meta-narratives of the Christian story and of our faith lives: departure and return. We are constantly departing from God, both in small and large ways, but no matter how far away we may venture, we are always welcomed back home into God’s love. It can be hard to remember that we are welcome back, and easy to doubt that it is true. We need this message told to us over and over again, which is exactly what happens at LOG.

So if we don’t need a theme song, then why do we have one?

Just because something isn’t necessary doesn’t mean it isn’t important. In fact, many of the things that are the most important to us aren’t strictly necessary. Their importance to us doesn't come from their necessity in our lives.

Perhaps the most significant reason for choosing a theme for each weekend, in my mind, is that it provides a new lens through which to view all that we do, both during the weeks leading up to the retreat, as well as during the weekend itself. The theme frames the conversations that we have together and the ways we interact. It sets the tone of the weekend, and helps us make meaning that extends beyond the weekend itself.

Perhaps this is rather esoteric, what I am saying, so let me be a little more concrete. The theme for the most recent weekend that I served on was “There is Another in the Fire”. All weekend, the message that I kept returning to was this, that I was not alone, that God is right there with me, even in the most difficult experiences that I have had, even in the midst of the greatest trials (fires) that life sends my way. God reassures us, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). This is a message of hope that can carry us through the hardest times, but is also a very easy message to forget, or even to doubt is true in the first place. While serving on this weekend, I believe that I saw this message break through to some of the participants as well as some of the team members, as they opened themselves up to God's love where they had shut everybody out before. Learning to believe that God was with them through their biggest obstacles was an important part of that journey.

Compare this to the spring of my senior year in high school. It was the last time I would serve on team as a student before I graduated and left for college. The theme was “Live My Life For You”. Once again, all throughout the team process I kept asking myself, how am I living my life for God? But perhaps more importantly, how will I live my life for God once my time in LOG is over? What choices am I making to praise God, how am I striving to deepen my faith, what actions will I take to continue to share the love that I had found in LOG once I graduated? Jesus tells us, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34). How was I going to live my life for God by loving one another, especially once I graduated? I don’t think I could have articulated this at the time, but ending my time in LOG with that theme really helped frame my transition out of LOG and into what was coming next.

One final example comes from years later when I would return to LOG to serve as an adult. The theme for my first weekend back at LOG was “Drawn to Redemption”. How fitting that after spending time away from LOG, I was drawn back to the community that meant so much to me throughout high school. We might not always use this language specifically, but at LOG we are constantly reminding each other that we are redeemed. “Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free. Because of him, all our sins have been forgiven” (Colossians 1:14). This message is part of what draws us back to God, but also draws us together as a community, and it is what drew me back to serve in LOG once again.

Would these three weekends have been meaningful without their respective themes? Sure. But because each one had its own theme, they each took on new meaning for me is ways that they would not have on their own. Each one prompted me to consider something I may not have considered before, and allowed me to dig deeper into my own faith. It provided a touchstone for myself, the other team members, and the participants throughout the weekend. It gave the weekend its own unique mark, a mark which it left on all of us who were there.

Your Name Can Move Mountains.

Come Home to Me.

These are the themes for the next two weekends. What do they mean to you now? But more importantly, pay attention to what they will come to mean to you as you serve on your weekend. You might notice something new that you hadn’t before. You may find that they leave their mark on you in unexpected ways. They may take on meaning that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.


Brandon Waggy attended LOG 25, where the theme was "You're Looking Into My Heart". His prayer to God comes from Psalm 119:23-24—“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Click this link to see a list of themes / theme songs for all LOG weekends


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