Recently I was able to take our youth ministry to Fusion, a weekend retreat up at Miracle Ranch a couple hours north. We had a great weekend. There were horses, paintball, a ropes course, great food, fun games, carpet ball, hot chocolate, worship, a speaker, cabin time, and a dead van battery.
It was a hoot.
Sometimes we look at all the fun stuff of a retreat or conference and think the weekend is just about fun. And sometimes retreats get a bad reputation because students have so much fun and spend so little time sleeping. Sometimes I still find it crazy that having such a fun weekend is part of my job as a youth pastor.
But here are three reasons I think retreats are great:
- Students hear four talks from one guy over two days. We usually get to meet with them once a week, but at a retreat they are saturated with hearing about God for two days. The speaker has a chance to build on each talk and the students can process through what they are learning.
- Cabin tim/small groups. We do these on a weekly basis as part of our youth ministry, but something about being able to sit around and have students share at a camp/retreat is amazing. We get to process with the students what God is saying to them.
- We are away from home. I love parents and one of my focuses in youth ministry is partnering with them, but once in a while it is great to have students away from home. They are away from school and routine. They can (though they don’t always) have a renewed focus during the weekend.
Getting away from our hustle and bustle is needed so we can focus on who God is and what He is calling us to.
So there are my thoughts on camps/retreats.
Do you love ’em? Hate ’em? Let me know in the comments below.