What is the difference between “free” and “premium” resources?
As time went by, much of the general information included in the books had been covered in some form or fashion on the website blog. So, we created “retreat guides” which include only theme-related material.
We are a small church. What if I don’t have seasoned performers in my group of women?
I admit–it is nice to have at least one or two “actresses” who are experienced performers. If I have them, those are the one who can best handle the bigger parts. But, as in any ministry, willingness trumps ability. If you have women who are willing to get in front of the group, use them!
I would also warn against being too much of a perfectionist. Remember that sometimes the mistakes add to the fun! Don’t expect your performers to memorize their part. Yes, they need to be very familiar with what they are supposed to say, but don’t make participating in the skit another burden. We find ways for women to take the script with them on stage, as unobtrusively as possible. Women are so busy, and it seems that even making the time to get away to a retreat is stressful in itself. Don’t overload them with numerous practice sessions. We usually schedule a read-through, and then a practice with props. A practice or two is definitely needed if there are props to be manipulated.
What if we don’t have funds for props or costumes?
Guess what? While props and costumes definitely add to the production, for the most part they are optional. Women have amazing imaginations. However, most of the time, there will be someone who has an idea for a low cost prop, or something that someone can bring from home and repurpose. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Our last skit required that we have a bridge (made by turning a table upside down), a river (made with yards of blue cloth), and a cliff (small step stool disguised with boulders made of crumpled paper, painted to look like a rock). Alone, these props may not have looked like much, but in the context of the skit, they served their purpose and made perfect sense to our audience!
In most situations in a church setting, you are working with volunteers. In fact, you’re the leader–and you, also, are a volunteer. Leadership of a ministry is a calling too–it’s true! But there is still that volunteer aspect to it for most of us. As you work with volunteers, there is a similarity to a boss-employee relationship. Certainly there needs to be one who is in charge and others who submit to that leader; otherwise there can be chaos. Yet, because you work with volunteers, they could lack the commitment and loyalty…and even the motivation that would be there if you had paid help.
How do you deal with volunteers? Lovingly. Kindly. With grace. With gratefulness.
Yes, we need to give guidance and direction, but not as a dictator. Not lording over. Maintaining control without being controlling.
How did Jesus do it? He led in such away that men wanted to follow Him. He was a servant-leader.
We are in the planning stages of our 2017 retreat. Most of the major decisions are made. The location has been reserved, and we are working out final details with the guest speaker and worship leader. Those are the “biggies,” and the culmination of much prayer and seeking the Lord. Up to this point, our women’s ministry team has been praying, but those decisions were mostly made by the retreat coordinator and leader. We will now involve the remainder of our women’s ministry team as we put the plan into motion, and we need everyone to pitch in. The best way we have found to coordinate that is to make “assignments.” We have nine women on the team, and the majority have been on the team and have worked together on the last ten retreats. So, being aware of their gifts and strengths, we do our best to make assignments to best utilize those gifts. For instance, we try to take advantage of those women who have a talent in decorating, or a gift of administration, a gift of hospitality, even good computer skills. These are some of the areas that we assign:
- Theme, Schedule, Workshops
- Promotion (flyers, mailings, projection slides, online, website, etc.)
- Registration (including rooming list)
- Graphic, booklet and nametags
- Writing quiet time study and skit
- Schedule and workshops
- Remembrance gift
- Sound, projections and recording
- Venue and catering communiction
- Book table (including ordering books, finding reviewers)
- Communion (supplies and servantsz0
- Hospitality table at the retreat
- Greeters at the retreat/Guest speaker care
- Person to be in charge of prayer (before and during retreat)
First Responders —
“She extends her hands to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.”
Philippians 2, verses 4 and 13 “Let each of you look not only for his (or her) own interest, but also for the interests of others…..For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” How thankful we are that when God puts someone with a need in front of us, He also puts that desire in our hearts to help them and enables us to do what we need to do. The needs around us are great. God wants to use us. He chooses to use us as His hands and feet to respond to those in need. “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ!”