Step 21: Big Break



As you walk through the campus year, the Fall Retreat sits squarely in the middle of the first semester, the Christmas Conference bridges the gap between semesters, and Big Break provides the major rallying point of the second semester.

College students have a wide variety of Spring Break trips and options available to them, few, if any, being helpful or productive to one’s walk with God. A mission trip or the Big Break conference, however, not only provides an opportunity for spiritual growth, but is also a catalyst to ministry as a whole: deepening relationships, developing spiritual leadership, generating excitement and momentum, and providing training in basic ministry skills.

Big Break provides an opportunity to absorb new people into the movement who have yet to really get connected. Unlike the Christmas Conference where students often want to stay at home during the break, there is already an intrinsic desire to ‘do something’ or ‘go someplace’ over Spring Break and thus it is a golden opportunity to get new people (and those loosely connected) involved. For those already involved, Big Break is an unparalleled opportunity for fun, challenge, worship, community, and deeper involvement in the ministry – Big Break puts the Christian experience on steroids.


Of the different Spring Break options the most popular is the Big Break conference. Big Break is a one-week mission experience that gathers students from colleges and universities from all over the country in Panama City Beach, Florida for Spring Break.A beautiful hotel, Florida sunshine, a gorgeous ocean, mini-golf, worshipping God with college students from all over the country, and all for $250. Seriously, what’s not to love? The long drive down is itself the ultimate community builder.

What is both unique and challenging about the Big Break conference is that the outreach and ministry training is a much larger part of the program than at other conferences. Over the course of the week students will venture out together on the beach looking for opportunities to share Christ with other college students down on break. It’s in taking big steps of faith that our spiritual lives soar, and while challenging to students, the evangelism component of the conference is truly life-transforming. Not to mention the fact that hundreds of students actually come to Christ through the days of outreach.

While there are other missions opportunities over Spring Break for the more spiritually mature, this conference is for everybody. As community-building is one of the biggest benefits of a conference where ever you go as a campus, look to go together. Find more information at


This Spring Break, why not impact the inner city? There are great needs in the city and there are many people who need to hear about the love of Christ.

This event is sponsored by Here’s Life Inner City, the compassionate urban ministry of Cru, Urban Immersion will expand your view of the city and give you a greater understanding of God’s heart for the poor. You will minister cross-culturally, making you more effective back on campus and in your home community.

During Urban Immersion you will have opportunities to share your faith in Christ with children, youth, and adults. You will work alongside seasoned inner-city Christian workers at various host ministry sites doing a variety of activities including work projects, assisting in children’s after-school programs, and community outreach. Your week will be “packed,” “fast-paced,” “challenging,” “faith-stretching,” and guaranteed to be one you won’t soon forget!

Cities hosting groups for Urban Immersion include:

  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis
  • Seattle

Check out the cities that offer trips that fit your schedule. Then contact the Urban Immersion Coordinator to register.


If you are a part of a large staffed-campus ministry then there is a good chance a team of students will be going to some country where you have an on-going ministry involvement, is such cases there is usually an opportunity for a Spring Break mission trip to that country.


You want to begin promoting Big Break to students in the ministry by the beginning of February. Make sure you have brochures for everyone and each week promote Big Break in your small groups and weekly meeting.

For student-led ministries the most important logistic is making sure everyone has transportation to and from the conference. You need to know how many vehicles you have, who is driving them, and who is riding with who.

There are always some students who would like to go but simply can’t afford it. There are several solutions for raising money that you can read about in the article on Raising Funds for Conferences.

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