I love weekend retreats with students. They are such a great opportunity for students to get away from their normal routines and distractions and focus on growing with God. Every year, I wish every student could attend. So in order to take as many students as possible, we promote these trips like crazy. But with recruiting, comes a few pet peeves:
Pet Peeve #1 - While I know sports teams are important to students, I have always found it to be a huge pet peeve of mine when a student or parent decides it better to not miss a game or match than to attend a retreat. Honestly, this could be a weekend that has an eternal effect on your student's life with Christ. I would think that would be a high priority. This is why I was so happy today when I had a parent sign their daughter up for our trip who has a soccer game on Sunday of the retreat. While this student is so good to even be in an Olympic development program, her dad is willing to drive an hour and a half Sunday morning to pick her up, just to drive her two more hours to her game Sunday afternoon so that she doesn't miss what God has for her at the retreat. Awesome!
I've always said, chances are your student will never remember that one game they will be playing in, but will never forget the experience they had with God at the retreat.
Pet Peeve #2 -Another recruiting hurdle I have faced and wasn't expecting is how many students can't afford the trip cost. Not that their families don't have the money, necessarily, but now that they are in high school their parents require them to pay for their own trips. I really hate seeing students not have the chance to let God impact their life on the retreat due to financial reasons. Unfortunately this is the case for some of our students this fall. So, if you want to help a student experience a weekend that will grow them closer to God by sponsoring their way to our fall retreat, pray about it and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org