The Solution to Your Retreat Planning Struggles

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” While no doubt Charles Dickens wasn’t referring to women’s ministry retreats, many of us would borrow those words to describe our retreat and retreat planning experience. The best of times being: That something special that happens when a group of women travel together, break bread together, and spend concentrated time together worshiping the Lord and digging into God’s Word. … [Read more...]

Is your event budget realistic?

Perhaps you can relate to our recent budget dilemma… Our women’s ministry team has been working through the initial plans for our next retreat. Often, over the past several years, the team has been blessed by church members that have provided their vacation home for free so that only one home needed to be rented. God has provided in multiple ways over the years that has allowed the team to keep the retreat costs minimal. Last year the … [Read more...]

Day 31 – Retreat Planning Timeline

I thought the perfect way to end our 31 Days of Retreat Planning would be to give you a Retreat Planning Timeline. We've worked through a pile of details and it can be helpful to organize the pieces all in one place. I hope this series has been helpful to you and your team. If there’s something I haven’t addressed or need to make clearer, please comment or email me (Cyndee AT womensministrytoolbox DOT com). I don’t want to leave you with … [Read more...]

Day 30 – How to Keep the Momentum Going After Your Retreat

A neat thing happened after our retreat this year. Quite by accident we were able to keep some of our retreat momentum going. I had taken a lot of photos at the retreat (with the intention of sharing many of them with you). I realized after we returned that we didn’t have a way for our ladies to share their photos easily with each other. So I quickly put together a closed Facebook group for our women’s ministry. I invited all of the … [Read more...]

Day 29 – Photo Booth Ideas for Your Retreat

I did not know one of our team members was going to have a photo booth set up for us to use at our retreat in September. But I am so glad she put one together for us! I don’t normally like to have my picture taken, but I can play with a prop and strike a pose with the best of them. I'm super excited to share some fun photo booth photos with you all today. I've been waiting all month to share them! A little background so these photos … [Read more...]

Day 28 – Retreat Goodie Bags and Gifts

It’s a really nice touch to give your attendees a goodie bag or small gift when they check in at your retreat location. Goodie bags and gifts don’t have to be expensive or extensive. Our teams have used retreat goodies bags to provide each woman with some practical items for the weekend and to give them a small gift or memento that will remind them of our time together. You may be wondering: How much should we spend? What should … [Read more...]

Day 27 – Discussion Group Leaders For Your Retreat

Yesterday we talked through the logistics of retreat discussion groups. Today we’re going to spend some time talking about your discussion group leaders. I strongly recommend you recruit and train your discussion group before your retreat. Your retreat planning team should have some recommendations for you. Several of the women on your retreat planning team may need to serve as discussion group leaders. This is especially true if your … [Read more...]

Day 26 – Retreat Discussion Groups

Today I’m weighing in on retreat discussion groups. We’re going to take a look at: Discussion Group Options Pro’s and Con’s of Assigning Groups Roommates in Groups Ideas for Assigning Groups Code of Conduct for Groups Group Size Where Your Groups Should Meet Discussion groups give your women the opportunity to go deeper with each other and discuss your retreat topic together. I’ve been on retreats that have … [Read more...]

Day 25 – Name Tag Tips for Your Retreat

Name tags are a must for every women’s ministry event. Retreats are no exception! Today I’m going to share: What types of name tags are best for you to use on your retreat What you should put on your name tags Additional uses for your name tags What types of name tags are best? You want to give your women a name tag that can be used for the duration of your retreat. I recommend purchasing either clip on name tags like … [Read more...]

Day 24 – Evaluating Your Retreat

Yesterday we talked about having the women at your retreat complete a retreat survey. But there’s a second piece to evaluating your retreat – your team evaluation. Years ago we came up with a Post Event Evaluation Form. It’s something I recommend teams use after every women’s ministry event. I’ve taken that form, made some changes, and have a brand-new Post-Retreat Evaluation Form for your team to complete once you’ve returned from … [Read more...]

Day 23 – Retreat Surveys

We can’t see, hear, and be everywhere during the retreat. The best way to gather real and honest feedback is to have your women fill out a survey at the end of the retreat. Having collected information at the retreat and after the retreat, I can tell you from experience you’ll get more responses if you can find a way to do your survey at the retreat. As I mentioned in How to End Your Retreat, you may want to give your women time to … [Read more...]

Day 22 – How to End Your Retreat

Most, but not all, of the retreats I’ve been on have had a time of sharing at the end of the weekend. It can be encouraging to your retreat planning team and your attendees to hear how God’s been at work during the weekend. Your women will have some ah-ha moments to share. When we share out loud and write down what He has done, we’re more likely to remember. I admit, I don't have a recipe for the perfect retreat ending. I'm still … [Read more...]