Why Youth Retreats Change Teens

I remember reading a quote from Mark Batterson that a change of pace and a change of place equals a change of perspective. I think when we get away from the craziness of everyday life, God can really speak to our hearts.

We just got back from a 4 day youth mystery retreat. We didn’t tell the youth where we were going, we just got in the van and started down the road. We did tell the parents when we left so they knew how to get in touch with us. We ended up in Isle of Palms, SC near Charleston. It’s a place we have been to quite a few times. It’s funny how all of us in the mountains always go to the beach to get away, while everyone on the coast goes to the mountains.

We had some weird things happening with our housing accommodations. We had a block of hotel rooms reserved just in case. Then we found a cheap beach house to stay in that we could rent directly from the owner, so we canceled the hotel rooms. We then got an email 2 days before we left that the house had been hit by lightening and had serious electrical damage so we couldn’t stay there. We then called Island Realty who is located down there and they came through for us in a big, big way. They hooked us up with a house that looked like it was going to work good for us. When we got there to pick up the keys, they let us know that the power had been cutoff to that house and they were going to have to put us somewhere else for the same price. We ended up here, in a huge beach house a block off the beach. The place had 7 flat screens. They put a group of teenagers in one of their nicest houses, what were they thinking? But I have to give them a huge shout-out, because they took care of us. That is some serious customer service. So if you are ever going down to the Charleston area, check them out.

Our trip was really incredible. The only challenge we had was not letting our house get in the way of our retreat. Having 7 flat screens is not ideal when you are trying to focus on God. But the teens really stepped up to the challenge. The purpose of our trip was really training for a community outreach that we are planning for July. So while we there, we helped another youth group with handing out fliers for a community outreach at a housing project in North Charleston. We also read and studied through 2 books of the Bible while we there, 1 John and Philippians. And of course we had time to shake and bake at the beach and play outdoor laser tag. All in all, it was a really good trip for the youth to get to know each other better and connect to God. I’m expecting big things through these guys and girls in the future, and that’s why I love retreats and mission trips so much. It allows them to focus on God and His will for their lives.

change of pace + change of place = change of perspective


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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1 Response

  1. Kendra says:

    Hey Mike!The trip was awesome! One none of us will ever forget, thanks for everything!
    Love always!

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