Berean Blog

How Church Youth Retreats Foster Growth & Personal Development in Our Kids

There's no doubt about it: social media dominates our society today, especially the lives of our youth. In a world where everything screams at our kids to spend more and more time addicted to a screen, youth retreats offer the perfect opportunity for them to find meaningful growth and connection. At Berean, we recently wrapped up our Youth Fall Retreat, where 246 students and leaders went to camp. If your kids have never had a youth retreat experience, please don't let them miss the next one! They face pressures from our world day in and day out and need a safe place of rest, connection, and renewal. Read below to learn how a youth retreat can help your kids spread their wings and experience God in a way they haven't before.

by Lucas Nelson on November 14, 2023


As we look around at our world and see things rapidly evolving, technology and social media dominate so much of our culture, especially the daily lives of our youth. It becomes crucial for students to find opportunities for meaningful connection and spiritual growth apart from a screen.

Youth retreats offer a place for students to spread their wings and explore by providing a unique blend of adventure, camaraderie, and spiritual reflection that can have an incredible impact on their lives.

Getting students out of their comfortable home and school routines to attend a retreat provides a unique platform for them to embrace a little more independence and self-reliance apart from their parents. It can be a time when they begin to step into their faith as they grow in their relationship with Christ. It can be an outstanding opportunity for them to understand what it means to live All In (the name of our recent Berean Youth Fall Retreat) for Christ. Let's break this down below by exploring two primary reasons for every student to attend a youth retreat.

Youth retreats help students cultivate meaningful connections and friendships.

Youth retreats take away the distractions of everyday life and allow students to genuinely interact with each other face to face. Students find more opportunities for authentic, deep conversations that go beyond the weekend getaway. These discussions and interactions with peers often pave the way for deeper relationships to be formed, ones that will hopefully go with them throughout life.

Youth retreats also provide students with the opportunity to make meaningful connections with their adult leaders. At our recent Berean Youth Fall Retreat, I regularly watched our leaders meet with students one-on-one in their cabin small groups to connect with them, help them dig deeper in their faith, and challenge them toward growth. The importance of having multiple positive Christian adult role models in a young person's life cannot be overstated.

Youth retreats can be the catalyst for deep relationships to impact students for years to come.

Looking back, I remember my own first youth retreat. I accepted Jesus on that retreat, and the leader who walked alongside me as I made that decision is still in my life. That relationship went beyond that weekend, as my leader repeatedly sought me out at church and poured into my life. That first youth retreat was just the catalyst to put all that into action. Youth retreats provide a unique opportunity for special relationships to develop twice as fast as they otherwise would.


Youth retreats help students cultivate a deeper relationship with God.

The second primary reason I love youth retreats is hopefully apparent, but it does not make it even slightly less important. Spending time in God's creation, in God's Word, and in God's presence on retreats makes more room for God. At the retreats, time is set aside to be intentional in his Word. Students are with a group of believers who encourage them throughout the entire weekend.

Retreats provide time for students to spend with God to intentionally seek after him as they grow in their faith and relationship with him.

God is always at work, but sometimes, we look for him and expect him in different ways while on retreats. It seems that when students are on a retreat, they allow their hearts to be fully prepared to worship God. The levels of worship we experienced on this year's retreat were incredible. Students praised God at the top of their lungs, hands held high, declaring his name. Retreats allow us to lower our walls when our defenses are down, giving God more room to move in our lives.

God can take that 'camp high' and continue to work far beyond it, too.

I think often we place God in a box and say to him, "This is where you can operate in my life." Whether we do that consciously or subconsciously, when we go on a retreat at any age, we open ourselves up to that experience. We expect God to move at a retreat because we have intentional time set aside to be with him. But did you know God can operate in our lives far beyond a special weekend camp or retreat?

Did you know that the 'camp high' we talk about doesn't have to go away?

We simply must rely on God more, be willing to live with our guards down every day, and allow him maximum space in our lives to move.

We must let down our walls for God to move in all aspects of our lives.

That is what I love about youth retreats: Whether we realize it is happening or not, we let our guards down and let God in even more. We allow him to move through our lives, touch our hearts, and become real to us in ways we may not have experienced before. When our walls are down, we become open to all the goodness God desires for our lives. The lesson we take from retreats that we can implement in our lives every day is to allow God into every aspect of our lives. Always be in eager anticipation of God moving in your life, just like you would if you went on a retreat!

Want to Know More About Berean Youth?
At Berean Youth, every student belongs. This is a dynamic ministry for students in grades 6 to 12 to learn, grow, connect, and have fun. Each week, we offer engaging teaching, uplifting worship, awesome games, and encouraging small groups. Students have the opportunity to find and experience the God who loves them and wants to do this life with them. They can connect with other students and caring staff to build lasting relationships while growing in their faith to impact their generation for Jesus! Click HERE to learn more.

Read more on the berean blog:


Tags: youth for christ, church blog, churches near me, faith blog, churches in lakeville, berean baptist church, berean youth, berean blog, churches in burnsville, churches in apple valley, youth group near me, inspirational blog, youth for jesus, activities for youth, youth ministry near me, programming for youth near me, student ministry near me, christian youth group near me, investing in our youth, the importance of youth retreats, helping our youth find and follow jesus, helping youth in their relationship with god, helping youth develop meaningful friendships, helping youth grow in their faith, christian adult role models for youth, connection for youth

Previous Page

Subscribe to our Blogs Here