Moving Your Team Forward
This is Part 8 in our ongoing series Planning Your Retreat
Before going any further, realize that the nomination or recognition of a team leader is important. Ideally, the group can reach an agreement of who would be best qualified to take charge of the team meetings, organize meeting times for the members, keep accurate and detailed notes, and ensure the smooth functioning of the entire project.
As your team begins to address the myriad details of your upcoming retreat, keep in mind that the more advance planning you do, the more organized your event will be; this will result in a high-quality experience for leaders and participants alike. Also note that people will attend events in which they have invested their own time and energy, so involve as many as possible—even if only in some small way—to create a wide-spread sense of ownership in the project.
As a Christ-centered organization and an advocate of the spiritual renewal aspect of retreats, we here at Mt. Chestnut Nazarene Retreat Center would propose that one particular element be recognized as the top priority for event leaders: prayer. We consider prayer to be essential in all aspects of preparation and, indeed, throughout the entire process. This is an opportunity to see lives transformed! If your retreat will have a spiritual component, as Jesus modeled for us, you will want to concentrate your prayer on deepening the fellowship of participants with God and each other and bringing the group together to achieve a common focus, such as participating in a shared activity. Consider asking individuals or teams to pray for both leaders and participants before, during and after your event.
Another useful tool that might be a Retreat Planning Form. Next week, we’ll offer a simple guide listing issues for consideration and a suggested schedule for planning purposes. This will give the team a good starting point for assigning tasks to your volunteers and making sure someone specific is following through with each critical aspect of your retreat.