How to Plan a Christian Retreat

Planning a getaway to connect with God can rattle even the most devoted saint. Why? Because too often the reason for the trips becomes lost in church politics. However, you can escape getting grey hair over a retreat by following and enforcing a careful plan.

Decide on Having a Retreat or Advance: Believe it or not that is a huge step because some places do not want their parishioners to go away.

Who is it fo? Is it a marriage retreat, singles, gender, youth, or Churchwide?

Decide the Theme of the Retreat: Every retreat or advance has a theme like, "Daughters of Destiny" or "Manna from Heaven." The purpose is to get the guests to be focused on one central area and marinate in it.

Decide on the Date: Plan at least 4 months in advance since you have to get the speakers, money from the participants, and plan the activities and meals.

Research Retreat or Camp grounds: Obviously some locations only lend themself to one option, but most people have a few options. Consider the following: 1. Cost 2. Travel Time (1 hour or less is a good rule) 3. Activities (Campfire, tents vs beds) Please note that most retreat centers do not consider you a group if it is under 25 people.

Book your speakers: Obviously if the speakers are in house, this will be simple, but if it is a national speaker then you have to come up with fees (if they charge above an offering) and you have to book around their schedule. Depending on your purpose, you might want to stick local or your costs will go up.

Set the participant fee: The starting rate for a weekend is around $139, which is a great price. The price will be dependent upon what type of services you get and food. As a general rule add $20 to it make sure everything is covered.

Confirm all plans and speakers before printing flyers. This is essential because people are so busy that they may mishear the date, time, or location.

Create your marketing materials: Brochure: Make sure it has pictures of the location and speakers. Build value through what they are getting before springing the price on them. Flyers: Use these as you get closer to the date