Planning a retreat is a tough job. You need to decide to do it, choose a leader, plan marketing to get folks to come, set a budget, and price for the retreat, pick a site, take registrations, plan a schedule and more. As one who works at a retreat center, I am always amazed at the folks who take this task on, usually with no training, and pull it off very well.
But, why? Why do you want to even go through all this work? Most retreat leaders I talk to plan retreats for two basic reasons.
- They had wonderful experiences at a retreat and want to share that with others.
- They want to make a difference in people’s lives. They want to help their church grow in faith.
It is a lot of work to plan a retreat, but it is worth the effort. Think of a time when you saw a change in a person’s life at a camp or retreat. Or a time when you sat in a worship service with a group of folks you just spent a wonderful couple of days with, and knew you were a stronger person, that you would be different when you went home. Remember that time when someone told you how tired they were, burned out on life, work, or God, and a time away in a beautiful space turned them around.
Retreats are what the word implies. They are a time to get away. To remove yourself from the everyday to be with a group of other like minded people and center on a special topic or theme. To think of nothing but your life with God, or your spouse, or the group you are with. Retreats have many purposes, from training, to spiritual growth, to rest and renewal. However, no matter the purpose, the time apart is valuable and needed by many. In today’s “connected” world, we all need to disconnect once and a while if we are going to be whole.
Why plan a retreat? Because you can make a difference in your and other people’s lives. You can help people grow. You can help your organization or church be stronger. You can have fun with the group who attends. When a military leader yells “retreat!”, the troops leave the heat of the battle for safety. When you offer a retreat, you offer a time to get away from the heat of life. That is why planning a retreat is time well spent. Let us at LEC know if we can help. Check other blogs in this series for ideas. Look for books and websites on retreat planning. Begin today to make a difference. You will not regret it.
Rev. Jess Schload, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our website at www.lecretreats.org
Get fore information at http://www.lecretreats.org/request-a-quote