We are always on the lookout for little remembrances or “giveaways” for our women’s events. I have mentioned before that bookmarks or magnets can sometimes be the easy way to give your women something that will remind them of the message of your event. This year, at our women’s dessert, we used chalkboards as a decorating theme throughout the venue. But we found this great “mini” chalkboard stand on which we wrote the theme and theme verse. We used a permanent chalkboard pen as opposed to real chalk that would easily wipe off. Aren’t they cute? And so affordable! Check out these mini-chalkboard stands! (affiliate link)
After your three major decisions have been made regarding your retreat (speaker, date and location), communication can then begin with your guest speaker. Your guest speaker needs to know what she is to speak about, how many times she will be speaking, how long she will be speaking at each session. Provide this information to your speaker as early as you can–months before your event. This way she can prayerfully prepare her teachings to fit your theme and schedule.
At some of our retreats, we use a theme that the guest speaker has done before at retreats. At our 2015 retreat, our speaker was an experienced retreat speaker who had done previous retreats with the theme “Deeper Still.” We gave her our schedule and let her run with it.
However, if you are providing the theme to the speaker, try to communicate as clearly as possible what your vision for the theme may be. Just giving her a title for the retreat is not enough if God has clearly given you a vision. Communicate with the speaker to let her know if you have a particular emphasis or theme scripture for your retreat. Sometimes your theme scripture will provide an outline for the teaching sessions.
For instance, our 2016 retreat theme was “SHINE!” We are using as the theme scripture Philippians 2:15-16a. We suggested a general outline and other relevant scriptures to give her direction. By doing this, as much as possible we insure that we are on the same page as our speaker as we prepare for the retreat (with decorations, giveaway, quiet time study, etc.).
And the Oscar goes to…….(drum roll, please)
…..(cut to commercial)
…..(cue dramatic background music)
…..(play one more commercial)…..(make sure the correct envelope is in hand)
What angst!! All those poor actors/actresses/directors/etc.! Imagine the stress and uncertainty they all feel during those pivotal, and probably uncomfortable, hours awaiting the official announcement that will let them and the world know who is, without a doubt, the BEST. And then what? What if your name isn’t called? Awe…..poor babies. The plight of going home without a prize. Sad, and double sad!
Well, here’s the good news today and every day….we are of no consequence to the scrutinizing, fickle eye of Hollywood. Woo-Hoo!! That is good news. How could that be good news? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because, even though the “who’s who” may never know who we are, we’ll never be recognized on the street by autograph-seeking fans, our names will never be announced on national TV as ‘the winner’…..God says we’re Number 1 – THE BEST – in His book!! He has given us a prize more valuable than anything the Hollywood Mucky-Mucks could ever hand out! Not to mention, we don’t have to wear Spanx when accepting our award!
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. 2Timothy 4:8
How many times have you avoided talking to someone because you know that you should know her name, but you don’t remember it? Unless all of your women are well acquainted with one another, name tags should be required for all women’s events.
1) DO print your name tags out beforehand – Unless you have registration at the door, I much prefer having all the name tags printed and ready for ladies to pick up on arrival. It saves time and confusion as ladies are arriving.
2) DO use a large font – First name should be printed in a large font that can be easily read at a distance. The surname and other information can be in a much smaller font.
3) DO spell their name correctly! Have some blank name tags available for corrections. No one likes their name misspelled,
4) DO choose your font style wisely – Fancy script fonts are much harder to decipher than block fonts.
5) DO remember that women may be dressed up for your event – Sticky name tags and pin-on name tags can both be detrimental to nice material. It may be wise to limit your name tags to those worn around the neck or clipped on. Read more about retreat name tags here.
6) DO include the event title or graphic on the name tag. Using the title or theme of the event, the graphic or theme verse turns an ordinary name tag into a keepsake of the event.
Recalibrate. That is a great word for a new year! It means to carefully assess and adjust by taking external factors into account. It means to compare with a standard and reset for accuracy.
Retreat-in-a-Bag was started over six years ago with the purpose of sharing what we have learned, sharing skits and other resources that we have written and used at women’s retreats over the years. We didn’t want to overwhelm anyone’s inbox with lengthy posts, but just occasionally post ideas and insights that might be helpful.
As we consider 2017, we would really like some feedback on what you have used from this website and what you would like to see. Have you been able to make use of any of the free downloads? Have you ventured out and tried one of the skits? We would love to hear about it.
There are a handful of great women’s ministry websites out there. Are we meeting a need? Input is extremely helpful, whether you are a new subscriber or if you have been with us for a while. Help us recalibrate for 2017!