Creating an Awesome Retreat Program

It’s probably no surprise that I love retreat and conference programs!

Retreat programs:

  • Keep me organized
  • Help me know when I need to be where
  • Calm that schedule-crazed part of my brain that feels better knowing there is a plan! (It’s no coincidence that my life verse is Jeremiah 29:11.)

Please, please take the time to put together a retreat program for you women. They will use it, I promise!

You’ll also find retreat programs keep you and your team organized. Not only do you have to think through every piece that’s going into it, but you’ll have a handy reference for answering questions that come up during the retreat.

What should you include in your retreat program?

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Welcome letter
  3. Retreat schedule
  4. Music lyrics
  5. Maps – include rooms at your retreat location that you’ll be using during the weekend
  6. Speaker notes
  7. Blank or lined pages for taking notes
  8. Free time options

You might also want to include:

  1. Small group discussion questions
  2. Workshop information and notes
  3. Note of thanks to the retreat planning team
  4. Women’s Ministry Event Calendar
  5. List of Retreat Planning Team members
  6. List of Women’s Ministry Team members
  7. Your Women’s Ministry mission statement
  8. Publicity for the next big Women’s Ministry event
  9. Written prayer for the attendees
  10. Morning and evening devotionals (for during/after retreat)
  11. Salvation Message
  12. Information on your speaker including her contact information
  13. Retreat survey
  14. List of on-site Prayer Team members
  15. Pertinent Scripture readings

I honestly don’t think there’s been a retreat program that’s needed every single one of those things. So please don’t feel like you have to check the box on every item listed!

How to put your retreat program together:

  • Bind it
  • Place it in a three-prong two-pocket folder

Most of our retreat programs have been printed on both sides of the page, in part to minimize copying costs and to keep the programs from being bulky.

Some years we have put our theme verse for the weekend in the footer of every page. I forgot how much I loved that little touch until I pulled out my old retreat programs to work on these posts!

Some years we have placed a gray scale graphic behind the text on every page. (I.E. grapes, sheep)

We also always number our retreat program pages.

Pulling together a retreat program shows your ladies you care

Pulling together a retreat program shows your ladies that you care.

It also communicates the effort and time that your team has put into the retreat.

I once attended a retreat that had no program. The leader admitted they had “thrown everything together last minute”. Unfortunately that was just one of many ways we could tell…

Your women are worth the effort!

What else have you included in your retreat programs?


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