When ladies get together for a church retreat, they gather not only to hear a speaker and enjoy one or more meals they did not prepare themselves, they also like to spend time talking with friends and getting acquainted with other ladies. Church retreats deepen commitments to Christ, even as they draw ladies together to work on completing different fun and faith-building activities.
Getting to Know You
As the ladies arrive for the church retreat, hand out a sheet of paper and a pen. On the sheet, list information about those who've signed up for the retreat. Participants ask other participants if they fit something listed. If they do, the person is to initial that line. Those who do not know one another are asked to introduce one another. Those with the most initialed information receive a prize. Information might include, born or lived in a foreign country, teaches sports, has published a book, has natural red (or brunette, blond) hair, is the mother of twins.
Toilet Paper Who Am I?
Divide the ladies into groups of four or five. Give each a roll of toilet paper. Ask each to use the toilet paper to turn one of the members of their group into a person or thing from the Bible. Examples might include turning a lady into a “pillar or cloud” from Exodus 14:19-20, a “pillar of salt” from Genesis 19:19-26, a leprous Miriam from Numbers 12 or the “Angel Gabriel” from Luke 1:26-38. Have the groups use a samples provided or find their own. They are to read the Biblical passage, use the toilet paper and be ready, when it is their turn, to answer “yes” or “no” questions about their creations until the correct answer is given.
Gather a variety of food cans, such as beans, corn and peaches. Vary the size and weight of the cans. Number each can on the bottom with permanent marker. Note the number and the can contents on a piece of paper. After you have marked each can and written down what's in the cans, make a copy and keep in a separate location just in case the original list is misplaced. Take the labels off cans. Set all the cans on a table. Provide sheets with numbers and a blank. Allow the ladies to look at, smell and even shake the cans before writing down their guess as to the contents of the cans. Later, go through the list, holding up each can as you share what it contains. Those with the most correct guesses win. Use this activity with a talk about how humans tend to label one another and make, usually incorrect assumptions. Emphasize that God loves everyone and all people need to look beyond labels to the goodness within.
After the speaker is finished, divide into groups. Ask the women to answer basic questions about the speakers talk, such as “What was the main point?”; “What were the sub-points?”; “Why was that Scripture used?” Ask them to discuss what touched them the most and how what the speaker shared affected their Christian faith.
Prayer and Praise
Divide the ladies into groups of no more than five. In their groups, have them each share one or two primary concerns. As a group, pray for those concerns. Have each group member recount five blessings in their lives. Conclude with a prayer time of thanks and praise.