Many studies have shown, & I have personally experienced, that one of the greatest indicators of a student’s involvement in anything is the relationships they enjoy in that context. What this means in practical terms is that if your child knows & enjoys being around their student pastor, small group leader & peers within the student ministry, they will pursue Jesus in the context of his church more passionately & with more dedication.
Events of more than a day provide students with an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with others: unique circumstances, new challenges, extended time together & special memories are crucial parts of forming more authentic friendships. Our lives are hugely impacted by the company we surround ourselves with: who do you want your children to be closest with?
These extended periods of time provide us as a student ministry with opportunities to delve deeper & more repetitively into a topic, which enhances impact & memorability. While the “spiritual high” of a weekend retreat may fade, we go to great lengths to train our students on these trips how to pursue God in personal devotion time & honor Him in every circumstance. We also attempt to cultivate an atmosphere of love that provides an extended experience of the love of Jesus among the group, which helps your child grow to love the church & the people in it more.
Quite simply: students who attend retreats experience God in ways impossible to convey in a couple of hours a week in a church building. They are also much more likely to enjoy & be excited about being a part of the student ministry.