On paper, retreats sound fairly simple to plan. They sound like powerful, effective events that have the potential to change lives with minimal effort.
But if you want your retreat to be truly amazing, you can’t just follow all the steps and wait for a miracle to happen. You have to make an effort to create the success that you want to see.
It can be all too easy to write out the skeleton of a wonderful experience, only to have it completely fall flat when you try to execute it. So if you’re worried that your retreat might just wind up badly, here are 3 steps you can take to take your retreat from lame to wow.
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Step 1: Break out of the schedule
While it’s great to have a set agenda for each day of your retreat, too much punctuality can be a bad thing. It can make the entire retreat seem like a rotation of forced events, without any room for anything except what is planned.
Retreats are meant to be freeing, not restricting. People enjoy doing things more when they do not feel forced to. Don’t scrap your schedule entirely, as it will be necessary.
But don’t too much stock in it, either, and don’t worry if things don’t go according to your plan because ultimately you want to follow His plan. Break out of the confines of the daunting schedule, and your retreat will be much more satisfying.
Step 2: Double the fun factor
People don’t go to retreats just to sit in a room reading the Bible; although good, that can be done anywhere, whether it is in church or simply at home. They go to retreats because retreats provide a positive Christian experience unlike any other.
They provide a seamless combination of spiritual renewal and refreshing fun- a kind of fun that can’t be replicated. If people think that your retreat is lame, it’s probably because you have planned it to be less like an adventure and more like seminary school.
God never meant for us to develop our relationship with Him through monotone lectures and a notebook. He wants us to discover Him in new, exciting ways that render us speechless because of His awesome creativity and, yes, His love for fun.
Step 3: Worry less
When you obsess over your retreat, it shows. Every single detail is painted on so finely that to those who attend your retreat, it almost looks like you tried too hard.
Retreats are all about building faith, and when everything about them seems contrived, it becomes clear that faith was not a big enough factor in the planning. Pray and let God take control so that others can look at you and see that faith, not worry, is the answer.
Retreat planning is highly dependent on your mindset; if you expect it to be lame, it will probably be lame. But if you ask God to use it in whatever way He chooses, there’s no telling the miracles that could happen.