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...]

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 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 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...]

Day 21 – Prayer Station Ideas for Your Retreat

Prayer Stations can provide an opportunity for your women to respond to God, meditate on His word, and connect with the retreat message on a deeper level.  We used Prayer Stations at our retreat this fall and it was a huge hit! Today I’m going to share what we did as well as some resources for finding Prayer Station ideas for your retreat. Our prayer stations were specific for our retreat. We were studying the 23rd Psalm. Each station … [Read more...]

Day 20 – Setting Up a Prayer Room for Your Retreat

We’ve talked about praying before your event, but what about praying at your event? Today I want to share some ideas about setting up a Prayer Room at your retreat. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Prayer Stations. Not every retreat I’ve been on has had a Prayer Room. But when there’s been one, it has been used by both our women and our team. Ideally your Prayer Room (or space) will be: Peaceful Separate Available At one … [Read more...]

Day 19 – Using Icebreakers at Your Retreat

No matter the size of your retreat group, there will be women that do not know each other. Whether it’s because they attend a different service, a different Sunday school class, or came with a friend, they will need opportunities to make connections. I have no doubt that your women are friendly and welcoming. But it’s not worth waiting on your group of gals to bring them into the fold. Your weekend will pass by quickly! We’ve got to … [Read more...]

Day 18 – Your Letter to Retreat Participants

As was modeled before me, our teams have always sent a letter to the retreat participants. Back in the day we used to send them through the mail, however due to the fact that almost everyone has email and postage can add up quickly, we now send them electronically. Be sure to print out and mail any copies of your retreat letter for women that do not have email access. Since you’ve asked for it on their registration form, you’ll know just … [Read more...]