Have you noticed that the same core group of women attend your out-of-town retreats each year? Is your heart heavy for the women that are missing? A daytreat might be just what you need to add to your event rotation.
Or maybe giving at your church is down, and you’ve been asked to find ways to cut your retreat budget. A daytreat can allow your women to meet at a much-reduced cost.
Perhaps your team doesn’t have the energy or time to pull together a 3-day retreat with an outside speaker this year, a daytreat might be the answer to your prayers.
What is a daytreat?
I first heard the term “daytreat” when I interviewed Lisa Roberts-Corrao for episode 3 of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. While the women’s ministry teams I’ve been on have hosted one-day events (we often called them conferences), framing those events as a daytreat was new to me.
A daytreat is a retreat that is hosted “at home.”
It could be hosted on your church grounds, or it could be hosted at another venue locally. However, if part of the goal is to minimize the cost, you may find it best to host it at your church if you have the space.
Why host a daytreat?
While I love to get away for a women’s ministry retreat as often as possible, out-of-town retreats aren’t always in the ministry budget. Daytreats can cost much less for your team to host and for your women to attend.
Out-of-town retreats can also be difficult for some of your women to attend.
- May not be able to take time off from work
- Have young children and can’t be away overnight
- Can’t afford the extra expense of an away retreat
- Have health issues that prevent them from traveling
- Aren’t comfortable sharing a room with a stranger
Daytreats provide a great solution to these and other situations that prevent many of your women from attending longer out-of-town retreats.
4 Great Reasons to Host a Daytreat
1. Daytreats are more inclusive than out-of-town retreats.
Even rotating in a daytreat every two or three years can give every woman in your church the opportunity to attend a retreat.
2. Daytreats can be less stressful.
Planning for one day instead of 2 or 3 days out of town can be less stressful for your retreat team.
3. Daytreats protect your Sunday volunteer pool.
Weekend retreats can severely impact the Sunday morning activities at your church by pulling away much-needed volunteers. Your church staff may thank you for keeping your women “home” some years, so they don’t have to try to find additional volunteers the weekend you are away.
4. Daytreats offer concentrated depth.
Women are given a large chunk of uninterrupted time to dive into God’s Word. Relationships have more time to grow and deepen during an all-day event.
What does a daytreat schedule look like?
While there are many ways you could arrange your day, breaking women into smaller groups for part of the day allows women to connect with one another. Another option is to host multiple workshops allowing women to tailor their day to meet their personal needs. You’ll find a list of workshop ideas here.
Here’s one schedule to consider:
8 – 9 AM – Doors Open/Registration (optional breakfast)
9 – 10 AM – Main Session 1
10 – 10:15 AM – Break
10:15 – 11:00 AM – Small Group Discussion/Workshops
11 – 11:15 AM – Break
11: 15 – 12:15 PM – Main Session 2
12:15 – 1:45 PM – Lunch (on your own – off campus)
1:45 – 2:30 PM – Small Group Discussion/Workshops
2:30 – 2:45 PM – Break
2:45 – 3:45 PM – Session 3
3:45 – 4:00 PM – Wrap-up and Dismiss
But what if your team doesn’t have the budget or time to plan three teaching sessions with workshops or group discussions?
Is there an easy button somewhere I can push? Yes, there is!
Retreat kits can simplify the process of planning a daytreat.
If you’re looking for a retreat kit to ease the planning of your daytreat, I’d suggest the Masterpiece Retreat Kit from CTA, Inc. The focal verse of the Masterpiece collection is Psalm 111:2, “The works of the LORD are great.”
Your women will learn to see themselves as God’s masterpiece. Sessions include devotions and discussion, all crafted to help women see themselves as part of God’s Kingdom.
CTA, Inc. does a fantastic job with its retreat materials. They know and understand what retreat teams need from the initial planning stages to the event to the post-event, at-home application.
Every retreat kit includes detailed information that smooths the planning. Sessions can easily be led by small group leaders as everything your small group leaders will need to say, read, and ask is included.
As women’s ministry leaders, we know how little details can make a big impact. CTA, Inc. understands that too.
In the Masterpiece Leader’s Guide, you’ll find four activity ideas for your registration (or welcome) table. While detailed instructions are included, here’s a quick summary.
- Women can write their name on a leaf, decorate it, and add it to a tree trunk.
- Women can build an architectural masterpiece with plastic cups. How high can your group build it before it falls?
- Women can contribute three words to a word cloud which can be printed and later distributed to all attendees.
- Each attendee can craft their own name tag necklace.
I’ll admit, I’d never given much thought to having women complete an activity when they check-in, but I will now!
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from women about all-day conferences is that they get tired of sitting and listening.
The key to a fabulous daytreat is providing lots of interaction.
The authors of the Masterpiece Retreat Kit have included several hands-on activities and icebreaker games – no sitting still for hours! The Leaders Guide and sample schedule will help your team strike the perfect balance of activities, discussion, and Bible study.
Here’s a quick look at the suggested one day (daytreat) schedule:
8:30 AM – Arrival, light breakfast
9: 00 AM – Session 1: The Master’s Brushstroke (small group discussion and fellowship)
10:15 – Break
10:30 – Session 2: Folded and Creased (small group discussion and fellowship)
11:15 – Crafting Fun (the guide contains several ideas)
Noon – Lunch
1:00 PM – Session 4: Patched Together (small group discussion and fellowship)
1:45 PM – Break
2:00 PM Session 5: Formed and Re-formed (small group discussion and fellowship)
2:45 PM – Closing Worship (large group session)
3:15 PM – Departure
(Session 3 can be completed by participants on their own at home after the retreat or used as Bible study material on a Sunday morning.)
The Apprentice Sketchbook for the Masterpiece Retreat will help your women engage with the content and stay focused. Attendees will be able to read and refer to the devotional materials for each session. Space is also provided for women to reflect and respond. The Sketchbook also includes devotionals and activities for women to complete at home after the retreat extending their interaction with the retreat content.
Coordinating activities with detailed directions are included in each session. For example, Session 2: Folded and Creased notes in the devotional, “The Holy Spirit is at work in your life right now to fold, crease, and shape you as you become the perfect vessel to carry the Gospel light of Jesus into the world.” The coordinating activity is folding an origami treasure box. What a great reminder that God transforms our lives as He grows our faith!
And if you want a little extra help or coordinating graphics, additional downloadable resources that coordinate with the Masterpiece kit are available online for free online. You’ll find a budget sheet, Ministry Message, bulletin cover, name badge, postcard invitation, flyer, water bottle labels, PowerPoint slides, cupcake topper, theme art, table tent, coloring page, wallpaper, and a notecard. You can view those resources here.
And if you’re looking for coordinating door prizes or favors, they’ve got those too!
Many women’s ministry teams are finding themselves in a place of restructuring and rebooting. Swapping out a retreat for a daytreat this year might be just what your women need.
If you’ve hosted a daytreat for your women, please share your best tips with other leaders in the comments below.