By Cyndee Ownbey
Are you planning a retreat this fall?
Chances are all the big decisions have been taken care of—location, dates, times, schedule, speaker, and the music selection.
You might even be tempted to coast the rest of the way. However, once all your women are registered, there’s still work to be done!
Here’s a last-minute checklist to ensure your team doesn’t leave any detail or task undone.
- Distribute the final list of attendees to your retreat team and ask them to pray for every woman by name.
- Print and pack name tags.
- Print and assemble programs. Don’t forget to include the words to any songs you’ll be singing!
- Gather the instructions and any necessary supplies for icebreaker games. (Need some icebreaker game ideas? You’ll find almost 50 ideas on the Women’s Ministry Toolbox website here.
- If you have a speaker, schedule time to go over the details one last time and pray over her.
- Print out a minute-by-minute schedule for your emcee and retreat planning team. Be sure to include a name beside each task and ask your team to double-check their responsibilities.
- Create your retreat survey now so that it’s ready to email to all attendees 1–2 days after your retreat.
- Write and send out a detailed email for all attendees with specific arrival instructions (where they need to park and enter, what they need to bring and wear) as well as a few ideas for exploring and eating if they want to arrive early.
I’ve found those last two weeks leading up to a retreat get a bit crazy and a list of last-minute tasks is a huge help. Sharing God’s Word with a group of women almost always incurs some spiritual opposition.
Several years ago, our speaker team arrived at the hotel to check-in only to find there were no rooms reserved for them. The hotel manager had agreed to comp them in return for the other rooms that attendees were booking. However, she never let me know I needed to put a hold on them with my credit card. Hours before our event was to start, I flew down to the hotel with my preschooler in tow to straighten out the mess in person. Thank goodness there were rooms available!
Don’t let it throw you for a loop if something crazy happens to you. Stay calm and keep focused on the tasks God has given you. He is working behind the scenes in ways you can’t see. Sometimes the only thing you can control is your response.
As you pray and plan for next year’s retreat, whether that’s for the spring or fall of 2023, be sure to check out the current retreat guides at ctainc.com, as well as the new retreat kits CTA will be releasing in January 2023. You’ll find their kits easy to use, grounded in God’s Word, and filled with ideas that simplify the planning process.
I pray God will highlight any last-minute details you need to attend to for your retreat and that you’ll handle any bumps along with the way with grace.
Editor’s note: For current CTA retreat guides and coordinating products, click here.
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