the Monday Morning Debrief: Benefiting from Trips & Retreats

circle of hands250Today I am embarking on another trip with my youth program.  Although weekend and week long trips can be very draining on an older guy like me (38…I’m not as young as I used to be), I still view these trips as some of the most important work I do all year.  And here is why…because, if done right, my group will come back stronger in their faith and more united together as a group.  That will translate into a more committed core group in the fall which will be able to successfully reach out to their friends and community better.

Last year, my group lacked some real strong student leaders.  But this year we are taking some rising juniors and seniors (even some freshmen stand out) with lots of potential so I’m really excited about that.  I’m excited about spending time with them for the next 5 days and giving them the vision for where we want to go this year.  It is through this time together and the fun we’ll have that our community will get deeper and this will be the springboard to a well united and excited group headed into the fall.

What about you?  What do you hope to gain when you go on trips or retreats?  Take a minute and share your thoughts and experiences as we seek to learn from each other and benefit.

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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