Helm, gorget, breastplate, belt, fauld, rerebrace, couter, gauntlet, greave, sword and shield; everything a knight needs in battle. These are also the things students need to go back to school. No, not the literal metal pieces. I’m talking about the armor of God.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
If you are looking for a back-to-school retreat theme, this is it! Every school year brings its own challenges, and students need to be prepared to protect themselves. A back-to-school retreat is the perfect way to armor them for the year ahead.
Some of the pieces you will need for this retreat include a speaker, music, decorations, and activities.
You could have your pastor or if you want a knight in today’s world, ask a soldier to speak. Whoever you choose, ask them to use the above verse in their message. Talk about the things that can attack our faith in the world; temptation, sin, hate, etc. Then explain how each piece of the armor protects us from these attacks. Remind them that the word of God will battle anything they face.
If your students are younger, check out Armor of God, Full Armor of God, and Armor of God, which all list out the pieces of armor for a catchy way for students to memorize. There are also plenty of songs and hymns for older students such as Soldiers of Christ Arise, Onward Christian Soldiers, and Your Name is Power.
There are tons of templates online to help you decorate for this theme. From castle backdrops and archways to wearable armor pieces, you could make your event look really cool. You could even have students make their own swords out of pool noodles and shields out of poster board.
Just like the decorations, there are fun activities that are armor themed. Since the verse mentions arrows, play some archery tag. If the weather is nice, head outside with water balloons (aka the temptations of the world) and use those shields of faith to protect yourself from getting wet. Set up a scavenger hunt where students have to find the different pieces of armor and assemble them on a knight.
Armor your church's students for this school year with a back-to-school retreat.