Archive for Retreat and Event Planning

A Versatile Giveaway

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)

Posted in: News & Information, Resources, Retreat and Event Planning, Retreat Remembrances

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Communicating with Your Guest Speaker

Guest-Speaker-Event-400x400After 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.).


Posted in: Lessons Learned, News & Information, Retreat and Event Planning, Your Guest Speaker

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6 Suggestions for your Name Tags

suggestions1How 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.

Posted in: Ingredients for a Great Retreat, Lessons Learned, News & Information, Retreat and Event Planning

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recalibrateRecalibrate.  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!









Posted in: Lessons Learned, News & Information, Retreat and Event Planning

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A Baby Changes Everything

Baby Jesus and Mary Joseph hand drawn illustration | Christmas season scene | Christian art drawingI hope you had a Merry Christmas, Readers!  And Happy New Year!

For the past few months, I have been more or less absent from Retreat-in-a-Bag.  My son and his wife, along with my 4-year-old grandson have been visiting from China for a few months.  They came home to have a baby–my second grandson (born 12/9/16). That major “distraction”, in addition to our women’s retreat and regular women’s ministry activities, has kept me occupied offline…in a good way!

My daughter-in-law’s progressing pregnancy reminded me of a Christmas song (sung by Faith Hill):  “A Baby Changes Everything.”  How true that is!  Because of baby Josiah’s arrival, our family is forever changed!

But, of course, the song is referring to a special Baby who came and whom we celebrate at Christmas–a Baby who truly changed everything. God loved…and sent His Son for the purpose making our relationship with Him possible. He made possible a life free from the bondage of sin.  He changed our eternal destiny, as well as our day-to-day existence. He covers us with grace and mercy. He gives purpose and meaning to life. He changed everything in my life, that’s for sure.

Honestly, this website exists because of Him and for Him and for His glory. God has consistently used women’s ministry and the accompanying retreats and events for my growth. Size of the ministry doesn’t make a difference–we are a small church.  But depth of the ministry does matter.  We shouldn’t waste the few hours a week that we have with our women. Every activity should lead to a deeper understanding of our Savior and His Word, and a pursuing of prayer and fellowship with Him and others.  My desire is to encourage women’s ministries as they strive to take their women deeper through every possible avenue–through regular Bible study, retreats, skits, and other creative means of making His Word real and applicable in our lives.

My prayer, as we begin this new year, is that God would use the resources offered by Retreat-in-a-Bag for His purposes, and that women’s ministries would be encouraged to follow hard after God, to faithfully minister to their women and to reach out to the hurting world around them.  We know the One who changes EVERYTHING!

“It’s about how Jesus came to be born once, So that we could be born again.”   (“It’s About the Cross” J.J. Statema)




Posted in: Inspirations, News & Information, Retreat and Event Planning

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