This weekend we leave for our Winter Retreat. I am so pumped about it for many reasons. One of the main ones is that we have student lead workshops. After one of our sessions students will break out into different meeting areas of the camp and they will be lead in a workshop by one of their fellow students. There will be 5 workshops and they will run 20 minutes. Students will get to choose 2 of the 5 workshops to go to. It really is a great time to see what students have felt God put on their hearts to share with their peers. They step up big time.

Here are 4 main reasons why I favor student lead workshops:

One-on-one discipleship

  • Each of our student workshop leaders is partnered with one of our staff members. Staff’s job is to coach and mentor them and to help them develop their workshop during the weeks prior to camp. It is such a great time for some student leaders to get great one-on-one discipleship and help them process all they would like to teach peers. Most of the workshops have to deal with personal stories and as they work through them it can turn into a great ministering moment.

Teaches responsibility

  • In the weeks leading up to camp, there are deadlines for students to meet. They know that leading a workshop is a privilege and it will take some work to get it rolling and to meet the standard we have set for them. To be honest, we set a pretty high standard and when we do, students step up and meet it. For the student who I am working with, I have given her certain deadlines with different goals to make sure she is one track to developing a message that is both engaging and teachable to other students. I have them write down their main points they want to give backed up with Scripture, then I have them weave in their personal touches in essay form and then we will refine, change, work on making it great.

Helps them process

  • Like I stated before, workshop topics are usually personal to the student teaching it. We have had some on anxiety, business, what to do when God seems far etc. And these are usually things the students have dealt with or still are dealing with in their own lives. When we have them write it all out the who, what, when, where, why and the points they want to make it makes them have to think about it and then talk about it. When they are talking about it it makes them think about it more and it helps them process it fully first before getting up in front of others. When they can process it first it first ministers to them and this is huge.

Students listen to students

  • Every time we do a student lead workshop students respond in a huge way. I will spent hours praying over, studying for, practicing a message and it will not get the same response as student lead workshop or testimonies get. They are powerful. They are powerful because students speaking to students is one of the most powerful things in our line of work. They listen more intently. They relate better. God works through them in a way I have never been able to understand…and it’s awesome. If you don’t have students sharing in your ministry regularly, I recommend it highly. Watch what happens.

Needless to say, Winter Retreat is going to be so good. I pray God moves in a mighty way. I would love it and appreciate prayers for life change as we head up this weekend!