Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of planning a Christian women’s retreat? Maybe you’re not sure where to start or how to juggle the details. Theme, content, location, delicious food – how can you pull it all together? Think in terms of 6 Cs, with every C fueled by prayer.
Christ-centered Community: Gather 5 women (a few more is great!) to pray and brainstorm together. Each woman, including you, spearheads an area: promotion, registration, program, food, facility and technology. Ask this group of women to help you think through all the other Cs of the retreat.
Culmination: With your group, think through the desired outcome of the retreat. What do you want women to be saying afterwards? What would make the retreat successful?
Central Theme: As you and your group consider your audience, what are their needs? How can connecting to God’s Word and other women bring transformation? Select a Bible passage and center your theme around it.
Creative Content: Have your group decide how to transfer your theme into content that’s interesting and creative. Speaker, panel or video? Question prompts for individual reflection? How can creative activities correlate with the content? For example, decoupage flowerpots or wooden plaques with cut-out images of growth and light for a theme of God’s light and life in dark seasons.
Carve out Connection: While you can’t force connection, you can set up an environment to help it happen. Women can write down anonymous surprising life facts, and the group guesses who wrote what. Ask one woman to come prepared to share a chapter of her life story.
Conclusion: How can you follow-up with the women after the retreat so they can keep building on what they’ve heard and experienced?
Our journey here at Sacred Story began with the retreat theme Your Story Matters. We built in the 6 Cs by setting aside time for input from God’s Word through a speaker, one-on-one time for women to ask each other questions, personal reflection time, creative outlets such as story boarding, and voluntary sharing of life chapter stories. We added in chair massage in some settings, and we offer follow-up editing so that women can continue to be transformed as they reflect upon, write, and share their stories.
Our goal was to provide a framework for the entire retreat experience so that women’s leaders who are planning a retreat are freed up to enjoy the relationships and experience. As you think and brainstorm your retreat, consider a Sacred Story writing retreat (for non-writers and writers alike!). We love to connect women across the generations. Schedule a call with Sacred Story if you and your team resonate with this theme. Sister, we are praying for your successful retreat and would love to hear how it goes for you!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. – Psalm 73:28, NLT