Home > Leadership, Student Ministry > Creating a LOW 2 NO budget Retreat with Maximum Impact!

Creating a LOW 2 NO budget Retreat with Maximum Impact!

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

This past weekend was our second year to host ONE Retreat for our Fusion Students.  All of the prayers, recruiting, planning, and dealing with last-minute changes all came together when that first student arrives with a huge smile on their face excited about the weekend. As a leader, it can be challenging to offer a life changing event, let alone, a retreat, when money is tight.  However, it can be done.

Here are a 3 things I have learned over the years:

1. STAY LOCAL!
The temptation is always to go somewhere else and not utilize the facility and people who are within your own church. Students don’t mind grabbing a sleeping bag and crashing on the floor of someones house, they just enjoy the time together. But this not only creates momentum in your group, it allows others within your church get involved in the weekend! This creates a church wide vibe about the Student Ministry.

2. USE YOUR OWN LEADERS!
The temptation is to bring in known speakers, worship band, and even professional leaders. However, doing so, limits the ripple effect from the weekend! The speaker will leave to speak somewhere else, the worship band will lead worship somewhere else, and the professional leaders, more than likely Student Pastors you may know, will return to their Students within their Student Ministries. The only people who remember details of the retreat are the students and a handful of leaders.

When you use your own leaders, it allows what happens at the retreat to affect other areas of your ministry. It brings the student and their leaders together because they have shared in the same experience. Conversations can be deeper, laughter can be richer, and commitments can be stronger.

3. USE RESOURCES WISELY!
The temptation here is to be over the top! However, over the top cost a lot of money and limits who can afford to go to a life changing weekend. A lot of cost can be sucked into facilities, transportation, food, housing, equipment, print materials, and personalities. Much of this can be minimized by using resources wisely!

With today’s technology you can use a podcast of some of the best speakers in the church today at the click of a button. There are people/parents of teens in your church that would open their homes for students to stay in over the weekend. There are other volunteers in your church that would be willing to cook some meals for individual groups, or participate in a large cooking team for each meal. Parents, Leaders, and other Church Members can provide transportation to & from the Church to the Host Home and an afternoon activity if you choose to have one. When it comes to facilities and equipment, they are already set up because you use them every week!

These are just some things that I’ve learned over the years as we try to maximize our resources to create life changing events for students. Please note, having low to no budget, or using any of these steps doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. You just provide high quality with minimal cost and more participation!

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