Retreat 101

Snowbound 2008 Group Shot

We just wrapped up our winter retreat this past weekend, and I thought I would share some tips and helps with you should you be looking at running your own retreat. Sure, most of these will seem like common sense, but sometimes when we neglect to state the obvious, we wind up forgetting the obvious.

When leading a retreat for your Student Ministry…

Start your trip in prayer – Many times we forget who is in charge of our trips and programs. Spend some time individually and as a group asking God’s blessing and protection over your trip. Invite parents to join in as well. Many times they will jump at the opportunity and may even pray for items that you forgot about yourself. Additionally, if parents do indeed join in, you are encouraging the Spiritual bonds between a parent and their child by inviting them to pray together.

Our group circled up just before leaving for the retreat, and I invited 4 students to pray for our journey. I would have opened up the floor to more, but we were running behind schedule as it was, and there were just over 40 people in the room. In the interests of expediency, we opted for just a few vocal prayers (and invited our teens to pray themselves too). We asked for protection and blessings for the trip, for comfort and peace for a family of our church who are having some health problems, and for the victims of the school shooting in Illinois. We did all this to help our students remember that just because we are going away for the weekend, the world does not stop spinning, and we should continue to lift others in prayer.