Five Rooted Resources to Teach on a Retreat 

While retreats are a fun way to experience rich fellowship with our students, they also provide an opportunity for some more in-depth teaching of God’s Word. With a plethora of good teaching material out there, choosing what to teach on a retreat can be overwhelming. So, Rooted has created a list of 5 books and themes youth ministers could teach during a retreat or Disciple Now weekend. We welcome you to peruse these resources, perhaps using them as a springboard for your upcoming teaching material. 

No matter what you choose to teach, we pray that any retreats you have planned will allow students to connect more deeply with themselves, others, and with the Lord. 

A Prophetic Book of the Old Testament:

It’s likely that your students are less familiar with some of the prophetic books of the Old Testament, so a weekend retreat would be the perfect opportunity to introduce them to this rich corner of God’s Word. On Rooted Reservoir, we offer “The Prophets” Package: a bundle including five studies in the Old Testament prophets, totaling 31 lessons. 

While you probably won’t have time to cover all the books included in this package, you could use the remaining books for Sunday School or in small group teaching.  

For a weekend retreat, consider a smaller book like Haggai (three lessons) or Malachi (six lessons), both of which will remind students of the relevance of God’s Word for their lives today. 

The Prophets Package is available for purchase on Rooted Reservoir and includes: 

Jonah (six lessons)

Daniel (seven lessons)

Haggai (three lessons)

Malachi (six lessons)

Old Testament, Messianic Prophecies (nine lessons) 

If you are not able to purchase the prophets package, we hope you’ll check out articles on the Rooted Blog on teaching Jonah, Daniel, Haggai, and Malachi. 

Five Apologetics Every Student Needs: 

In an increasingly post-christian world, it’s important for teenagers to have a defense of their faith and a “reason for the hope within them” (1 Pet. 3:15). A weekend spent studying apologetics could therefore be the perfect topic for your next retreat. On the Rooted blog, we have a series “Five Apologetics Every Student Needs,” in which Rooted writers address some of the culture’s most prominent objections to Christianity (the resurrection, premarital sex, marriage, the canonicity of the Bible, and the living authority of scripture). You might decide to choose a different set of five objections, but we hope these articles give you a helpful starting point for addressing the important topic of apologetics with teenagers. 

“Knowing Jesus”:

Of course, we hope that any retreat would leave teenagers with a deeper knowledge and love of Jesus, but the “Knowing Jesus” curriculum on Rooted Reservoir is a guaranteed way to introduce teenagers to the person and work of Jesus. “Knowing Jesus” hopes to unpack who Jesus is and what that means for teenagers.

 Like the prophets package, it’s unlikely you’d be able to cover all 10 lessons of “Knowing Jesus” in a weekend. However, you could choose 3 or so of what you consider to be the most important lessons in the curriculum and cover that on a retreat, using the following lessons in Sunday School or in a small group. 

“Knowing Jesus” is available for purchase on Rooted Reservoir. 

Shepherding Students Through The Psalms:

It’s hard to imagine a life scenario in which one of the Psalms would not apply. The Psalms give us language for prayer, praise, and lament, all while pointing us to the Messiah. With 150 Psalms to choose from, there is ample opportunity to teach through some psalms on a retreat. 

On the Rooted Blog, we have an ongoing series, “Shepherding Students Through the Psalms.” In this series, you’ll find 12 different articles covering 12 different Psalms. In these articles, Rooted writers uncover how a particular Psalm addresses a particular wound or issue a teenager might face today. 

You might decide to choose different psalms for a retreat, but we hope these articles spark some ideas as to how you can teach and shepherd students through the richness of the Psalms. 

The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School”:

A Rooted staff member once heard an encouraging story from a youth pastor at the T4G conference: this youth pastor used “The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School” as a teaching theme on a retreat. We loved that idea so much, we are sharing it with you now! 

In “The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School,” 30 different writers share stories about how their high school experiences would be different had they known Jesus then as they know him now. The book covers everything from bullying, eating disorders, academic stress, depression, and more. Consider studying a few select chapters in the book, and maybe even sharing your own story of the Jesus you wish you knew in high school. 

We pray that doing so encourages your students to ponder how Jesus can heal and transform even the most broken and shameful parts of their lives. 

The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School is available on Amazon. 

We thank God for your willingness to teach his Word, pour into students, and eat copious amounts of junk food with little to no sleep. We hope that these resources will help you prayerfully consider what God might be leading you to teach on your next retreat.