We wrap up our series on planning conferences and retreats for women. (Click on these links to read part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Today we refocus on the most important aspects of the ministry of event planning and preparation.
Maintaining an appropriate focus on your conference or retreat is important. It is easy to get sidetracked. Here are a few suggestions that will help you keep your priorities in order.
Focus on God’s Goodness
Count your blessings and consider the women who are going to benefit from the event! Talk about it often; pray about it always; keep the goal in front of your leaders at all times. Plan a day for prayer and fasting.
Support the committee chairwomen and let them do their jobs. If their ways are not exactly the way you would do things, that’s OK.
Keep Your Head
When 20 to 30 women work on a project, disagreements occur. Everyone looks to gauge the leader’s response to conflict. Remember that you set the tone. Maintain an appropriate focus on your conference or retreat.
Set a number goal of women to attend. Stick to that goal, and close registration when you reach it. This is an unpopular thing to do, and no one likes the responsibility, but you do a disservice to those who have registered early when you crowd in more people than you can accommodate.
Be a Servant
As the sponsor of a conference or retreat, your role is that of a servant (or servants). When Simon criticized the woman for weeping and washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, Jesus told him, “‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet…You gave Me no kiss…You didn’t anoint My head with olive oil’” (Luke 7:44-46). When women attend your event, take the posture of a servant, not of Simon the Pharisee. Make them welcome. Put their comfort above your own.
Why is it so important to mention the purpose of a conference or retreat? Isn’t it enough to get through the event with no major catastrophes and to stay within the budget? The most important purpose for having a conference or retreat for women is to bring honor and glory to the Lord! In fact, that’s the whole point. What brings honor and glory to the Lord?
- Changed lives and restored homes
- A time of spiritual restoration for women
- Seed planting resulting in salvation
- God receiving all the credit
This article is adapted from Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry, compiled by Chris Adams.
Merci Dixon formerly served as Director of Women’s Ministries at Moss Bluff First Baptist Church in Moss Bluff, Louisiana.