Planning a church retreat is a big responsibility. If you volunteer for it, you’re likely a devoted member of the church who is excited about providing the best experience possible. However, it is important that you consider all the details when you’re planning the retreat. Otherwise, unexpected problems could come up before or during the trip. Here are some questions to consider when planning your next church retreat.
How Did the Last Retreat Go?
Before making any new plans, think back to your previous retreat. What worked and what didn’t? If you’re likely to be traveling with the same group again, you should think about what to keep from that experience and what you would be better off discarding. Once you’ve considered these things, you’re ready to move on to planning the next retreat.
What Is Your Budget?
You’ll need to have your budget in mind throughout the entire planning process. Trips can be expensive. If you were to spend a week in a time-share, you’d pay an average price of $21,455. If this is outside of your group’s budget, you’ll need to consider other options. Once you know how much money you have to spend, you can look into different trip options.
How Physical Are Your Options?
Some churches like to go on retreats that involve rock climbing, hiking, and other physically vigorous activities. Others would prefer to go somewhere that is much more sedentary, like a beach or a retreat center. If you volunteer to plan your retreat, you’ll need to know which to choose. Your church members might not be physically active. Since only six states require physical education in kindergarten through twelfth grade, many people don’t have very active habits from an early age. Planning to bring them hiking on a steep trail could be frustrating at best and deadly at worst. Talk to your group and see what they want to do.
What’s the Purpose of the Retreat?
Why are you going on this retreat? Is it supposed to be teambuilding or are you going to focus on your individual relationship with God? This question will impact your decisions. Team building might lead to more exciting adventures. If you’ve got eleven people going and you’re focusing on building relationships among yourselves, you can do something like rent a pontoon boat. At a maximum capacity of eleven people, it can go 22 miles per hour and create a very fun trip you’ll all cherish. Likewise, a beautiful beachside retreat might be best for quiet contemplation and prayer.
Should You Bring On Others to Plan?
Even the best volunteer shouldn’t plan an entire church retreat on their own. It is too much stress and responsibility. You risk burnout or forgetting important details. If you’re in charge of planning, bring in a team to help you. With a few more people on board, you can delegate responsibilities and allow yourself to focus on one thing at a time. Get people you trust to do the work correctly and have fun together while you plan. This will make the planning part as wholesome and exciting as the retreat itself.
For something meant to be a fun, nourishing part of spiritual life, planning a church retreat can be stressful. If you’re in charge of planning your next church retreat, make sure you ask yourself these questions early on in the process. The answers will help you with the practical aspects of your planning. Then you and the rest of the volunteers you bring on to help can take the rest of the time to create a retreat that is perfect for your particular church group.