When you come up with the idea of setting up a retreat from the members of your church there are going to be a lot of different things that you are going to have to take into consideration. You may discover than when you are trying to set a journey that is for everyone to connect with God that the whole purpose can get lost in the politics of the church administration. You will have issues of will you travel by car, will you travel in a bus, is this for married people, is this for singles, youth, or the whole church, etc.
So, the first thing you will need to do is to figure out what the theme of your retreat is going to be. You must have a theme and that should be the first thing that you come up with. This will give your parishioners something to focus upon when they are considering joining the retreat.
After you have a theme of course you will need to pick out a date. You should have this date chosen at least four months prior to the date of the retreat. You may have to be getting speakers set up, it may cost money and you need to have to have time to collect it all from those who are going to attend, you will need time to plan all of the different activities as well as any meals that will be provided.
The next thing you will need to do is take time out to research different places that you might be able to hold this retreat. Do you want it at a campground where you can all go camping or will you want it somewhere in a natural setting but someplace that offers lodging nearby? You will also need to include the travel time it will take to get there. You can also contact places that are specifically set up to do nothing but retreats. However; they generally will not take your group unless there is at least 25 people who will be attending.
After you have reserved the area in which you are going to have the retreat you are going to have to get your speakers lined up. If they happen to be some of your own parishioners or you pastor or priest that will be an easy task, if not the task will be a little tougher. You will more than likely have to pay them or at least set up a “Goodwill Offering” for their time. So this all needs to be planned in advance. You also might want to consider having music and if you can’t get those from your church to help with that you may have to hire someone that will come and play worship music at your retreat.
Once you have done all of this you will need to figure out what the price will be for all who want to take part in the retreat. It will all depend upon how much you are being charged for the retreat reservation, the speakers and the music and the food. Once you have the total cost of those things you can divide the total cost by the amount of people that you think might participate and come up with a total cost per person.
Before you create your fliers to be handed out, it is important that you have confirmations in writing from your speakers and anyone providing music, the food and the retreat area. You want to make sure that everything is definitely in place before you start advertising the retreat.
If it looks as if your group is not going to be big enough it it’s a good idea to go ahead and invite people from other churches and invite them to come along for the spiritual event. This can make for a wonderful time for others from different churches to get to meet others and experience the love of God together.
It will save you a lot of money if you simply create your own materials that you need for the retreat. You can use your own office program to create the fliers and posters and to create brochures and other informational materials to hand out at the retreat, quite easily and not only will it save money but it’s fun in the process.
Key note: No matter who the people are or how well you know them, it is important that you continually remind them about the upcoming retreat so that they will remember to sign up and get their payments in.