Organizing a retreat

bobinfaith

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Hello, brothers and sisters;

Our church family loves to potluck twice a month. The other times members or couples like to double date and go out to lunch or dinner. I am so blessed to see how our church family has bonded more in 2018.

Years ago after worship service most everyone would take off right away. Now, it touches my heart to see our members continue to congregate after worship service for an extra 30 minutes before going home.

I have been praying to take our fellowship a step further. I'd like to have an all church retreat and have a wonderful camp in mind with very affordable rates.
Our staff can reserve the retreat. Problem is, in our 7 year history noone has ever organized a retreat.

If anyone has organized retreats, please share your experience? We/I would appreciate learning more.

God bless you all and thank you.
 
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Apr 28, 2017
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Hello, brothers and sisters;

I'd like to have an all church retreat and have a wonderful camp in mind with very affordable rates.
Our staff can reserve the retreat. Problem is, in our 7 year history noone has ever organized a retreat.

If anyone has organized retreats, please share your experience? We/I would appreciate learning more.

God bless you all and thank you.
It's a fine idea, Pastor Bob, it may just be difficult to organize one for the entire church.Maybe limiting it to a women's retreat or a men's retreat or a married couple's retreat, or a kid's retreat, or a single's retreat, etc. I think you see what I mean.

Because this involves much work you will have to have a team going to plan it (with you, of course) arrange the place, time, communications, etc. And, of course...how housing is to be done. Determine whether it is a weekend getaway, renting rooms near an events center, getting a camp, or right there in the church but not sleeping there, etc.

I was part of such a team in which we organized yearly retreats for a regional Christian women's organization. There were usually four or five of us on the area board who met yearly once a month which sometime meant traveling from different locations throughout our region --South Central Alaska.

I was in charge of housing three consecutive years. We used a church camp. One year the stove went out in one of the buildings and 50 women had to relocate moving their mattresses to the chapel floor overnight until we could get it repaired.
Now, that was a challenge.

I would recommend using a hotel near an events center or one in which there is a large enough meeting room to accommodate your group. That way usually there are meals they can buy in a restaurant. If a church camp...likely meals done by staff there.
Otherwise food must be provided.

Over all there are various areas to plan for and cover so it will take much time of volunteers some of who will simply be organizing other volunteers. We had in attendance usually 150 to 200. We also had to arrange a love gift and housing for our guest speaker or speaker who needed invites well in advance. And usually there were workshops besides the main meetings to arrange. We were also responsible to clean up after.

Much to it. You can't simply appoint one person in charge and let it go at that. I wouldn't even think one person on church staff in charge would be enough, but then it depends on that person's ability to get help from others and also to delegate. Bottom line is that all of this depends on how willing many are to give the time and efforts involved. You, as pastor, will know. And, of course, relying on God and seeking His Will is paramount in all. So best thing to do is pray in advance before you launch, launch during, and just before so to give thanks afterwards.

Granted if you have a small congregation and use the church itself for the retreat it may be much easier than I describe. But it will still involve those who are willing and able to take time to serve.

Would I do it again? No, not at my age now. But years ago when I was in such good shape..I praise God for His enablement and the generosity of so many to work to make this happen. Some of the most meaningful moments of my life have happened at retreats. I am grateful for all those who gave time and work. I truly believe that the Lord does provide as we seek His time and will for this.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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I have helped organise a writers retreat for a small group of christians. That was at a bach another christian lady had. It was eight of us. I hadnt been on one before but an elder had and she helped write down a plan which we communicated to others where to go, what to bring, carpooling etc. The two of us got there first and left last. We actually didnt get much writing done it was more of a bonding and fellowship for our group to get to know each other better. Decding on a date can be tricky as you want a time when the majority can go, and tell people in advance so they can organise.

Another one I didnt organise but went to for my church was a ladies day retreat and it was held at the local bible college. There were differnt sessions and we had pampering and prayer, testimonies, worship time. One man did go as he played guitar for our worship.

The one Im going to next weekend is organised by an interdenomonational group and they have it every year at established christian camps over the country. Theres always a main speaker, worship team, a book stall and a programme of activities. The staff at the chistian camp provide all the catering, cleaning up and accomodations. There would be a committee overseeing what the programme is and a go to person for registration. They also provide a goody bag for each particpant.

Whats in the goodie bag..could be a gift, some inspirational item, a notebook, pen and bottle of water, the programme, some reading material, perhaps a yummy snack. Also if the camp is a large one lanyards or name tags for everyone.
 
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LINK: https://www.signupgenius.com/church/retreat-planning-ideas-themes-tips.cfm

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Church retreats are a great way for students, adults and couples in your congregation to intentionally pause life for a brief period and start to implement true change. By incorporating a great theme with lots of thoughtful planning and prayer, you can begin to create that opportunity for life change that God opens up in a special way at church retreats.
God Bless You
Pastor Mayende
 
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