“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Galatians 5:25 NLT)
When we learned that we would have the privilege of planning CCCM’s women’s retreats, our first instinct was to panic…and we did a little. It is a big job and one that we did not feel qualified to do. However, we do know the One who is qualified, the One who does all things well.
There is something powerful about going before the Lord and acknowledging our great need for Him. Authenticity is always such a beautiful aspect of ministry. We knew we were insufficient for the task, yet we were willing to step out in faith. We prayed, clinging to the promise that He equips those He calls.
We continually sought the Spirit’s leading in every aspect of the planning of the retreat. The women who come to our retreats are His and He knows exactly what they need. This is why we P.R.A.Y. about everything!
Even before our first meeting, we prepare by seeking the Lord with our pastor’s wife and board to reveal a scripture, theme and possible speaker. From there, we begin to plan for our first meeting by preparing an agenda. The meeting agenda helps us guide and organize our discussions.
We respond to the Spirit’s leading and recognize our teams’ giftings. We have learned to ask for help and not try to do everything ourselves. He is our Jehovah-Jireh. He always provides and “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)
As the Spirit has led us, now we act. He has shown us what to do, provided helpers and we simply follow through. One of the most important aspects of planning a retreat is to make sure that everything proposed is accomplished. Good communication is necessary. Let’s face it, we all need reminders and the accountability keeps us all on the same page.
One of our favorite gifts to give all who attend our retreats is prayer. Before the retreat begins we have one last meeting. This is a time we dedicate to pray for each attendee by name. What a privilege to ask the Lord to meet each one as only He can!
As the retreat begins, we yield to the Lord. When we took on the position of retreat chairs our wonderful pastor’s wife gave us the gift of grace. She told us mistakes and hiccups will happen and that it is okay. The Lord can work with even our mistakes! What a relief! When things do not go according to plan or adjustments need to be made, we constantly remind ourselves that everything has been covered in prayer. His ways are better than ours.
Lastly, as a retreat board we often remind ourselves that we are on a retreat too! Oh how sweet to know that He is able to refresh ALL who attend.