WHY are you thinking about presenting a retreat?


As we continue our ongoing series of planning a retreat, this week we examine the question of WHY are you thinking about presenting a retreat?

As a retreat planner, you are well on your way. You’ve determined “What” and “Who; now WHY are you thinking about presenting a retreat? It’s time to establish a purpose for your event. Why is this a good idea? What do you hope to accomplish? What will you offer that will attract potential participants?

Most retreats focus on:

  • Friendship/socializing
  • Acquiring knowledge
  • Taking part in a shared activity
  • Relaxation/renewal

Here at Mt. Chestnut Nazarene Retreat Center, most of the retreats we host revolve around a spiritual theme, so we would add that as a primary focus.

As a ministry of the Pittsburgh District Church of the Nazarene, it is our mission to provide facilities that can help Christian organizations carry out their ministry in a way that is affordable and enables participants to center their thoughts on God, with as few distractions as possible. Luke 5:16 tells us that Jesus withdrew from the crowds for the purpose of praying. The fact that Jesus found it helpful to retreat for spiritual purposes is a good enough reason for us to follow his lead. If providing a means for spiritual connection and inspiration is the singular goal for your gathering, that is a legitimate “why”, and you will want to proceed with your planning while keeping your focus there.

Some retreats, however, will have more than one answer to “why?” Of those events held at our retreat center, many have a dual purpose. Bringing together folks who share some particular hobby, skill, interest or stage of life is often the best way to be sure they also have the opportunity to become engaged and involved spiritually as well as socially.

Having settled on the answer(s) to your “why” question, you will have completed the basic foundation for your retreat planning and, as we move through the final three essential questions, you will build on that foundation and round out the big picture of what your retreat will look like.

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