Thrive Church will ALWAYS make Students going on Retreats a priority

Thrive Church exists to help people find and follow Jesus. One Youth Profile

Yes, it’s that Simple!

We’re we put our most energy is into our Sunday experience, our Growth Groups and our Impact on Central MI.

Of the same importance, if not more, our kids ministry and student ministry are so most important  to Thrive Church! 

One of our HUGE values at Thrive is not to give our kids and students any left overs or scraps.

That’s why we’re launching a student ministry in a few weeks and that’s why we’re sending any student who needed financial help on this winter retreat weekend!

Here’s what I believe to my core and I know I am wired this way because of my 15 years as a youth pastor:

Retreats, more than anything else, have an amazing catalytic power that can change lives DRASTICALLY!


1. Students get away! Yes, this is a good thing! Today’s students are busy. They have so many voices that are bombarding their heads all the time. It is great for students to be able to get away from the regular rhythm of life.

2. Students get to have fun! I know the cynical adults are saying, life isn’t about fun…it’s about working hard. Yes, I believe that too. But, kids are growing up way too fast now a days. They need to be able to have weekends where they can just have fun. Retreats provide that in an amazing way.

3. Students can make new friendships. Ok, maybe they won’t, but I think, 60% or more of the time, they do. And, that’s good! They need to broaden their inner and outer core of friendships. Learn to be there for people that are different than themselves. Retreats can provide that!

4. Students can and will meet Jesus. Over my almost 20 years of church ministry, time and time again, as I talk with Jesus followers…as the question comes up…where did you meet Jesus…

More often than not, people say they met Jesus when they were a kid or a teenager and so many times people say it was a camp or retreat or conference!

5. Students have an entire weekend to be poured into from an adult other than mom or dad. And, that’s HUGE! It’s so important. I can say a million things to my kids, over and over, and then an adult can say something to them and it clicks! I’m praying for the God conversations that will happen this weekend!

I just can’t for the life of me understand why youth pastors and churches willingly don’t send students on retreats! I’ve heard all the excuses…it costs too much, no one would go, etc.


There’s too much at stake. Do what it takes to get students on retreats. 


1. Pray like crazy while they’re at the retreat.

2. Thank the adults who went with them like crazy!

3. Cast vision to students the entire weekend to think outside of themselves.

4. Beg God to move in students hearts.

Leave a Reply