Planning and Executing a QUALITY Retreat

We just got back from a retreat entitled “The Ruth Principle.”  We took 26 students away for the weekend for fun and an opportunity to talk about relationships.  I have a great friend, who is an awesome Bible teacher, that walked our students through the book of Ruth.  Here are some things I learned through the planning process and on the retreat.

* Students will sit through Bible Studies–We did 4 Bible studies that lasted at least 45 minutes each and our students loved it.  Our first retreat was in March and the same guy led and when I asked our students if they wanted me to invite him back, they all said yes.  I can’t tell you how cool it is for a student minister to hear students say, “yes bring back the guy that teaches for 45 minutes at a time.” 

* Plan to the 1/2 hour–All of my retreats have schedules that are down to the 1/2 hour.  That does not mean we stick to the schedule.  There are always things that take longer than expected or shorter than expected, but having a schedule gives you the freedom to change things on the fly. 

This may sound strange because most people think that a schedule makes you rigid, but it is the opposite.  If you plan and expect everything to not go exactly as planned then you always have to much to do.  If you don’t plan and run out of ideas, then you are in trouble.  For me it is always hard to think on the fly with 20 plus students staring at me saying what are we going to do.

* Students love board games–This sounds so strange in the technology age but it is true.  We took PIT, Imagineiff, Outburst, and a bunch of cards and they love them.  I love to watch High School and Jr. High students sit in a circle and yell at the top of their lungs 2, 2, 2, (it’s a PIT thing). 

* Quality Adults are key–I think it is so cool take quality adults along that for a weekend will focus solely on students.  They will cook, clean, play kickball, and all for the sole purpose of seeing students reached.  I am blessed with many.

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