Giving your ladies a retreat checklist can prove helpful, particularly for the more rustic retreat settings. It is always easy to forget something as one rushes around preparing to leave for the weekend. And if your women have not been to a retreat before, they may not realize what they need. We found that a checklist was particularly important when we went to a retreat camp (versus a hotel). This short checklist for our ladies included some of the following:
- Sleeping bag/pillow (if needed)
- Towels (if needed)
- Swimming suit (if pool or hot tub is available)
- Bible and pen
I often hear talk about the need for flexibility in leadership–flexibility being defined as being adaptable and responsive to change as opposed to being rigid. Elasticity has a similar but slightly definition: it describes a quality that enables a substance to change its length, volume, or shape in direct response to a force effecting such a change and to recover its original form upon the removal of the force.
If God has called you into leadership, you can pretty much count on the truth that He wants to stretch you. He wants to stretch your faith muscles.
There are those times when God puts us under pressure. It is as if we are the silly putty and God is the one doing the stretching. Sometimes He stretches us by putting us in situations that require love and patience. Sometimes He stretches us by allowing us to be irritated by some individual. Sometimes God stretches us through some temptation that comes our way. Or we find ourselves in a situation that really causes a lot of frustration, which in turn stretches us.
But here is the question. If God is stretching us, what is His end game? Is He just allowing us to get stretched out of shape so we will be some distorted Christian? I see a lot of distorted Christians. These are Christians who actions and words do not appear to be Christian at all. To be honest God is not trying to cause distortion in our lives. He purpose is to make us more Christ-like. When He stretches us, He is showing us areas of our life that are not like Christ. He is chiseling on us and pulling on us to make us look more like Christ.
Is it hard to find
Are the roads under construction?
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!