Women's Ministry Brainstorm
Thanks to Sarah Woodfield and the Northwest Womens Ministry Directors,the Regional Directors and District Superintendents Wives, and Maryann Stevens for brainstorming with us to develop this project.
I. Purposes of a retreat
Provide a safe place for healing, understanding and growth
Help women grow closer to God
Demonstrate a need for change or movement
Show how the Bible applies to womenhow God speaks through the Word
Promote connections among women
Help women recognize their identity in Christ
Equip and empower women to find their unique ministry
Promote understanding, recognition and development of gifts and talents
Inspire leadership development and opportunities
II. Elements of a successful retreat
Prayer--without prayer it is just an activity
Good organization and clear delegation
Timeline: deadlines for each step of preparations
Flexibility--problems will arise
Appropriate facilities, including adequate restrooms
Vision and focus--why is this retreat needed?
Mission statement--purpose of this retreat
Advertising: Send details to Tammy to put on web site
Send announcements to neighboring church areas. Invite guests.
Speakers--relevant, credible and enjoyable
III. Frequently used components
Teaching and inspiration
Presentations with Practical application for life
Time alone with God. Instruct the group not to talk to anyone during this time. It's time to be alone with God. Give suggested guidelines, scriptures, devotional sheet.
Optional--craft activity to take home
Free time for individual fellowship
Anonymous opinion survey to learn from mistakes and get input
IV. Incorporating prayer before the retreat
Put prayer teams in place months in advance of retreat/conference
Pray for speakers and let them know they are being prayed for
Start praying for each attendee when their registration arrives (pray about hindrances that might prevent them from coming: finances, health, family, work)
Pray God would bring the people to the retreat or conference he wants to minister to.
Pray he would prepare the heart of all coming to be receptive to his provision for them personally.
Encourage prayer support for all aspects of retreat/conference planning and provide specific prayer request guide.
Listen to a speaker on tape or in person before selecting.
Know her basic beliefs to avoid surprises.
Listen to tapes from Women's Ministry Institute or CMTA to find experienced speakers: CMTA, 135 D. Live Oak Ave., Suite 103, Arcdia, CA 91006-5253.
Which women have spoken successfully in your women's ministry or church?
Do your elders' wives wish to speak?
Ask your regional or district elders' wife.
Ask a neighbor church elders' wife.
Ask a professional in the field of your theme who is a good speaker.
Contact women's ministries in other denominations in your area for ideas.
Schedule speakers early -- national speakers require a year's notice.
Focus on the Family has a list of speakers: 1-800-A-FAMILY.
The American Association of Christian Counselors may be helpful.
Women's Ministry Institute, 1605 E. Elizabeth, Suite U7, Pasadena, CA 91104.
VI. Tips to meet each womans needs
Be aware of and offer variety to accommodate learning styles, personalities, mix of new and long-time Christians
Know what ages are represented in the registered participants. The 30s to 40s might need stress or time management The 40s to 50s might need dealing with the empty nest, starting new careers, gift discovery. The 60s and above might need encouragement to be mentors or issues on loneliness or grief. Young mothers don't always feel comfortable leaving their children for a full day. Offering a day rate for part of the retreat might draw them to the event.
Build on what has worked well for the group in the past.
Include what women said they wanted on the pervious years evaluations.
Tip: Use turning in evaluation surveys as a way to enter door prize drawings.
VII. What really makes a retreat special?
The retreat speakers connection and relevancy to the women
Details, details, details
Communicating the message or theme of the weekend in every possible way so each woman goes home knowing what the message was.
Cheerful decorations, name tags, programs relating to the theme
Barnabus Boxes, (mailboxes for receiving encouraging notes - see description at end of page)
Little gifts for each person
Greetings or scriptures under the door each morning
VIII. Finding a theme
Have your council pary for a relevant, poignant theme and ask God to emphasize a theme scripture. Get input from your entire group of women. Once the theme is chosen, your retreat comes together!
Use any spiritual discipline or fruit of the Spirit. Freedom in Christ. Focus on getting toknow God better, how he interacts with you. Spiritual growth.
IX. Examples of themes/topics
Faith in the Midst of the Jungle Walking by faith
Soaring on Eagles Wings
May Your Cup Overflow With Love
Growing in Gods love
Safe in the Arms of our Lord Security in Christ
As the Sands of the Sea Finding your ministry
God Is Always at Home
Prayer the two-way conversation Straight Is the Path
The Bible as your handbook
The Search for Hidden Treasure Bible application to daily life
Crucified With Christ
Putting the old man to death
Living Outside the Box
Legalism and the Christian
Come Out, Come Out
Being a Woman of Influence Impacting your world
Scaling the Mountain
Under the Banner of the Lord Names of God
In His Image Reflecting Jesus daily
How to Walk Your Talk Integrity
Examples of WCG Women's Minstry Themes:
Celebrate Being a Woman of God
Christian Women Building (Ps. 127:1)
Becoming Better and Brighter Beacons for God
Give Me an Undivided Heart That I May Fear Your Name (Ps. 86:11)
Sharing the Joy
Women, Arise and Renew the Spirit
Women Who Live for the Lord
Celebrating the Seasons of Our Lives
Walking in Christ's Footsteps
Expanding Your Connection With God
Times of Refreshing
Celebrating God's Love
Seasons of a Woman
Growing in the Lord
Fix your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2)
The Three Rs of a Retreat (Rejoice, Reflect and Release)
Building Friendships With God, With Others and With Yourself
Nurturing Children (Four Aspects: Spiritual, Emotional, Social and Mental)
The Art of Encouragement
Family Relationships (The 4 Rs: Roles, Relationships, Rules and Rituals)
Our Identity in Christ (Reference: In His Image by PhillipYancey)
XI. Good mixers
Pamper Roomhave women come early to give and receive shoulder massage, manicure, pedicure, foot rub, touch up make up.
Variation: receive instruction on foot massage, then practice on each other
Get-to-know-you treasure hunt
Games that cause the guests at each table to interact
Encourage each person to change tables for each meal so she gets a chance to meet new people.
Team games designed to throw different age groups together
Faith Olympics3 to 4 team games tied to scriptures on faith
Pass the Mustard Seed--is a fun relay team game: One team member runs to a large bowl in the center of the room with tweezers, picked up a mustard seed and ran back to the team and puts the seed in the team cup. Next team member does the same until all have run the course.
Move the Mountain--a relay where you pass a plate of jello (in the shape of a mountain) down the line and back and then the first team member runs to the back of the line and passes it again. Each time the member at the head of the line runs to the back of the line until finally the first player is at the front again. The first team to finish wins.
Every participant introduces a woman next to her after quickie interview
Write down your most prominent gift. Pass it to the person on your right. Pray for the gift of the person on your left.
XII. What is one lesson you have learned from putting on a retreat?
Most successful workshops are on life's struggles women experience
Craft time allows those who love crafts but never have the time at home. They complete and take home a project as a memento of the event. It needs to be simple and useful.
Dont overbook the time. Some women need quiet time, so budget plenty of it.
Book a place that lends to worship and instruction. Some retreat locations do not minister to this.
Go and listen to your speaker before booking. Dont go with someone's recommendation or because you read her book. Sometimes tapes are available.
XIII. Prayer opportunities for the individual during the retreat
The prayer partners can wear a yellow rose to let others know she is available for prayer.
Make rooms available for people to pray together.
Those who wish to can draw names for prayer partners.
Prayer Bath: Groups of four, sharing their prayer requests. Everyone gets prayed for three times or more.
Adopt-a-Prayer basket. Pass the basket to put requests in, then pass again to withdraw a request to pray for.
Barnabus Box Instructions to give Attendees
Remember how Barnabus stood firmly with Saul in the early days of his conversion and took him under his wing when the other Jewish Christians were afraid of him? He sounds like a person we would enjoy being around. His name means "son of encouragement." Don't we all need the encouragement and love of our brothers and sisterssomeone to stand by us along life's path?
You have a Barnabus Box here at this retreat. It is on a table in the dining hall in alphabetical order. In it you will find treasures and surprises you will not want to miss. Check your box often and remove whatever you find there to make room for more.
We all want to be encouraging to others so during your time here, please try to write many notes of love, thanks and encouragement, to others and place them in their Barnabus Boxes. You don't have to sign your notes, but it is even more special for the recipient to know who sent the encouragement and it adds to the bond of love between the two of you. Think of these notes as verbal hugs and try to hug as many people as possible during this time together.