The start of the year brings great excitement, with every milestone taking us closer and closer to Impact Retreat 2019! For the first newsletter of the year, we are highlighting 10 things Impact is already thinking about for the upcoming year.
What started as a ministry fair idea to expose students to the local body has turned into a 501(c)3 bringing in over 1,600 freshmen each August with a staff of over 550. God is so faithful and 2019 marks the 20th year of Impact! We praise the Lord for this growth and for continuing to use our staff to advance the gospel. We want this year to be a celebration of all we’ve seen him do over these past two decades.
Every year God’s faithfulness is seen through a staff of over five hundred, 390 of which are Impact counselors. They are on the front lines fighting for the lives of the freshmen and proclaiming the truth of the gospel. These students learn to facilitate small group discussion, effectively share the truth, and convey how God has worked in their lives with the incoming freshmen. These counselors will then use these skills to go out into the world to continue advancing the Kingdom. In three short weeks, our staff will be 100% complete!
IMPACT SHARING VISION
We have seen the arms of Impact extend beyond the walls of Texas A&M and Blinn as Impact helps different universities from across the nation strategize. Since Impact is the largest ministry that helps with the transition from high school to college, we get to be one of the molds that many other schools use to shape their own ministry. This spring we will have visitors with ties to Oklahoma University and the University of Florida who desire to learn and glean ideas that can be implemented in their respective locations as they aim to best reach freshmen.
IMPACT AND THE CHURCH
Partnering with over twenty churches in the Bryan/College Station area, Impact continues to strengthen its relationship with the local church. This relationship helps Impact fulfill its mission: helping plug freshmen into the local church where influential community and growth is found. We keep this relationship strong by regularly meeting with local church pastors and praying weekly with our co-chairs and prayer teamers over specific prayer requests submitted from these churches.
Every Family Weekend, Impact hosts a banquet for current staff and their families to raise funds for scholarships and operating costs so freshmen can have all they need to get to retreat. At this banquet, the mission is shared and the gospel is presented to families that may not know Christ. This is also a great opportunity for families to see what their kids have been doing with us all semester. This April, Impact will host over 1,100 people to raise support for freshmen to experience the love of Jesus at Impact Retreat.
During the timespan of August 4-13, we will have over 1,600 freshmen go to Latham Springs to make memories with their camps, share in some fun and competitive activities, and experience the craziness of the dining hall. Freshmen also talk with local pastors and experience unforgettable worship. Most importantly, freshmen hear the gospel and witness how God has worked in and through their counselors. They will learn that their worth and identity is in Christ as they are stepping foot into college.
IMPACT PRAYER ROOM
Prayer is the backbone of Impact. This is so strongly believed that an entire role is dedicated to covering this ministry in prayer. In August, there are many freshmen at retreat with weight on their shoulders. Whether it is nerves and anxiety or hard things from their past, we have a prayer team that will be praying in shifts 24/7 during the ten days of retreat. This team is already praying weekly for the eternities of these freshmen and we are excited to witness the amazing ways that God will answer these prayers at retreat!
IMPACT FUNNELING FRESHMEN
The national average of ‘churched’ high school seniors no longer attending church after entering college is 70%. The heartbeat of Impact is getting freshmen connected to the body of Christ. Our staff strives to lower that statistic by helping freshmen visit churches, connect to a small group, and find lasting community throughout their course of college.
IMPACT’S INITIAL SUPPORT
Impact does not just end after retreat. We continue to orchestrate hang outs through the entirety of the fall semester. During Howdy Week, each camp will provide fellowship opportunities for freshmen and their friends. These events range from bonfires, cook-outs, Lake Bryan hangouts, and worship nights. Opportunities like these help freshmen feel comfortable as they begin their transition to college. This fellowship provides an opportunity for freshmen to see that glimpse of Christ-centered community.
You heard us right! Impact 2020 is already on the radar! August comes like a wave with retreat and the start of a new semester. But in September, new directors will take the lead to prepare Impact 2020 staff to show the love of Christ to the freshmen class of 2024. The directors will then add an exec team, training team, co-chairs, and prayer teamers, all before the new year!
We praise Him for His continued faithfulness in growing this ministry and cannot wait to advance the kingdom in His name in 2019. We are thankful for your investment and partnership!