Do you take your students on a weekend retreat every year? Are you thinking of making the same withdrawal that you have made in recent years without making any changes? Maybe you want to get a little more creative this year! Here are some quick tips you can use to make your next retreat a little more creative and hopefully a little more memorable for your students!
Give leaders creative jobs
Don’t just make warm bodies come to the retreat! Have the leaders come to the retreat and give them some really creative jobs. Maybe assign a leader to be the snack connoisseur: hands out bananas and granola to students they see as friendly or encouraging. Have another leader be the Deep Questioner. Print five or six questions they can ask students during the retreat to drive the theme forward or to help students unpack for the weekend. Or bring an adult whose job it is only to encourage the adults who come to the retreat to minister to the students! That way, you have adults ministering to adults who are ministering to students!
Worship Stations instead of Worship Band
Instead of having a worship session, give your students stations that they can be a part of. Make one station an opportunity to read the Bible, another to write prayer requests on a poster, and another to have small group fellowship. Fill in the blanks with other ideas that might work with your group. Think outside of singing for a time of worship!
Personal reflection time instead of another session
When do I do my best to engage students with scripture? Instead of having another teaching session, give students passages to read and questions to engage with, and then ask them to spend the time you would have spent in the session engaging with the scriptures. Once the time is up, ask them to come back to share their insights and interactions.
Team up with other churches
Do you feel like you do the same retreat every year? Take some time to reach out to other churches in your area and ask what they do. Or, better yet, try going on a retreat together! Make a plan two years from now and have a really different retreat than the one your churches are not used to! You never know what ideas may come to mind when you include other churches!
Take advantage of travel time
Plan what the adults and students will do on the trip to the retreat center and on the trip back! Make a specific playlist to listen to. Ask the adults to ask two or three questions to prepare for the weekend. Make the ride back a time of quiet reflection (aka spiritual nap time) or something else that makes sharing the ride there and back something special.
Do you have another idea? Let’s hear it below!
Need more ideas for a retreat? Check out these DYM resources!
This resource includes everything you need to create a rock-solid retreat for your students. This resource provides information and direction for every aspect of the retreat process, including preparation, schedules, teaching scripts, small group discussions, themed games and activities, charts, and more. The goal of this retreat package is to allow you to spend more time with your students and less time on your computer!
We want your retirement planning to be a piece of cake! We’ve included the Mountain to Valley Weekend Retreat because of how comprehensive this resource is: 4 teachings, worship games, PowerPoint files, session schedules, and much more – seriously, it’s all there! And to help you plan all the details (because retreats are ALL the details!), we’ve included a retreat planning pack that will help you check off every item on your to-do list in half the time.