I want to say “WELCOME” to so many of you who have visited Retreat-in-a-Bag and become a subscriber in the past few months. There is always a flurry of activity as the year begins as women scour the web for ideas for their women’s ministry and events for the year ahead. I imagine you have discovered that there are not a whole lot of websites dedicated to resources for women’s events, and Pinterest can be hit-or-miss.
Retreat-in-a-Bag was originally created to encourage small women’s ministries to use skits as another means of illustrating truths that were being taught in a retreat or event setting. Your women have different learning styles, and often the visual representation can enhance what is being heard. As an added bonus, they have entertainment value that break up the long periods of concentration. We were writing skits with a message, and wanted to make them available to others. A website seemed like the most accessible way to do that. I can hardly believe that was eight years ago!
Our website, and our vision has evolved over the years. The result has been an expansion from skits to all areas of women’s ministry. Besides the “free” resources available for download such as skits, graphics, forms, and quiet-time studies, we now have “premium” resources which give multiple theme-related resources in one convenient resource for a small price. We started with our “Retreat-in-a-Bag” Book Series and now have less expensive Retreat Guides available for purchase, all of which include theme-related Bible studies, skits, graphics and ideas for putting on an event using a particular theme.
Even with those resources in hand, there is plenty of room for you to customize your event as the Lord leads you! I can’t tell you how many times that I have read about someone else’s idea or theme, and the Lord has taken that “germ” of an idea to create something entirely new for our women.
Again, WELCOME! and God bless you as you plan for you women this year. Please let us know how we can be of assistance.
As you plan an event, it is important that lines of communication be kept open between leaders, between leaders and servants, between leader(s) and the church office, between leaders and the guest speaker/worship leader, and between leaders and the contact for the venue where the event will be held.
In this day and age, we need to find the method of communication that works best in each of those scenarios. Do you need to communicate by email with your church office and the venue? Do your leaders respond best to text, phone or email? When is a face-to-face meeting best? Do you need a paper trail? Do you need to communicate the same message to a number of people?
I guess I’m old-school because I still like email–I like the written letter or message, where I can print it out if necessary, and look back at what was actually said easily. But I have young women I contact who look at their email very infrequently, and if I need to get a quick response from them, I need to text them.
Make sure there is a meeting of the minds when it comes to communication. Retreats (and other events!) require reliable communication.
Depending on the size of your women’s ministry, you probably have ladies of all ages and stations in life–not to mention differing personality types. It can be overwhelming to consider the variety of women in your care, and all the issues and relationships that they represent. Take a look below at this incomplete list of women that probably are in your church:
- Single (never married, divorced, teens, widowed)
- Married (newlyweds, with kids, without kids, etc.)
- Working professionals
- Stay-at-home moms
- Moms of teens/prodigals
- Empty nesters
- Women with an unbelieving spouse
- Different cultures
- Those dealing with chronic illness and pain
- Those dealing with addictions (past or present)
- Those in financial crisis
- (this list never ends!)
Now all of those can be multiplied by various ages and races represented, as well as all of the relationships each represents. It would be impossible for me to come up with a way to minister to this variety of women!
But God is not overwhelmed. His Word encompasses and can speak to all of these women where they are at, no matter what challenges they face. So if you are teaching God’s Word faithfully, it is truly up to Him to use His Word to minister personally to each individual. So if I can’t provide the perfect program or event for moms, or those struggling with addictions, God is not limited by my limitations.
Out biggest calling is just to love any woman He puts in our paths.
One of the easiest and most reasonably priced giveaways for your retreat or women’s event, besides a simple bookmark, is a magnet. I don’t think I know anyone with a refrigerator that is devoid of magnets! We often cover the refrigerator with all sorts of things we like to see on a regular basis. On my refrigerator at this moment I have photos (those cute grandkids!), souvenirs, a recipe, reminder notes, a scripture, and a few retreat magnets from prior retreats. Truly, a refrigerator can be a prime location for posting mementos and memorabilia–and a magnet will keep the memory of your retreat theme alive.
Magnets can be expensive. But do your research. There are definitely discount places online that will print your magnet. If you have access to a good color printer, you can purchase magnetic sheets. They have adhesive on one side where you put your graphic and then they can be cut down to side. This DIY methods is a great cost-saving tip!
In the world, we talk of “climbing the ladder of success.” Leaders in the secular world are often strong and gifted individuals, achievers who have found success or distinguished themselves in some way. Often they are self-promoters who set goals for themselves and strive to achieve them.
But we know that the Biblical measure of success in no way resembles that of the world. In fact, it is often the polar opposite. The Bible says that it is the humble who will be raised up; the true leader is a servant. Jesus–submitted, humble, serving and loving–is our role model of true leadership.
When looking for leaders in your women’s ministry, it may be tempting to look at those with natural leadership skills, articulate communicators and results-oriented achievers. But may I suggest that the first place you look is not up–at those who flaunt their gifts, demand respect and desiring a public position. Instead, look low. Find someone who is already serving your women. What woman is showing their commitment to your women by being available and humbly serving in whatever capacity needed? That is the type of leader you need!