A church women's retreat is meant to provide women a place to reduce stress, reflect, worship, receive instruction and develop ministry gifts along with encouragement on issues that women commonly face. Retreats vary in length from one day to sometimes up to a week depending on the church that organised it. Church women's retreats typically have themes or group ideas that the activities will revolve around.
Ministry Related Activities
The retreat can offer classes based on the type of ministry gift, such as encouragement, discernment or developing biblical wisdom. Questionnaires or testing can be made available for women to discover their spiritual strengths and to provide information on how to develop in each area.
Getting away from the everyday grind provides an opportunity to include pampering in the retreat. This could include providing each lady with a 15-minute shoulder and back rub by a local massage therapist, free manicures, pedicures or facials. Retreats can provide quiet time for each woman to be able to reflect on positive reinforcement or positive self-talk. For example, if a woman is reflecting on her mothering skills and doubts them, she should instead think to herself how far she's come in her journey as a mother and find good qualities to celebrate about herself. Retreats can also incorporate time for physical activities such as a short group walk, a short group hike or Pilates classes.
Not every woman in attendance will know each other very well. Provide games such as "Interview," "Encouragement Basket," and "Super Strength" as icebreakers. In the "Interview" game, women are paired up in groups of two to six and each woman has to interview another woman she does not already know. She has to ask three to five questions about the other woman. For example, "What do you do for a living and what do you like about it the most?" or "If money were not an object, where would you live?" or "What is your dream job?" Allow this to go on for about 10 minutes and then each woman can take a moment and share what she learnt about the other woman to the group. The "Encouragement Basket" involves placing a small basket full of flowers, real or fake, along with small slips of paper and a writing utensil at the table for each lady. Everyone is to write something encouraging about someone else, fold it up and then place it the other person's encouragement basket. The "Super Strength" game is played towards the end of the retreat and is similar to the "Encouragement" game except each woman writes down what she's observed is another woman's greatest strength since they've been at the retreat.
Dramas and Speakers
Skits, dramas and motivational speakers should surround the retreat's central theme and help illustrate or develop the central message of the duration of the retreat. For example, the speaker should be able to deliver a biblical message that goes along with the beliefs of the denomination in the time assigned to the speaker. Provide notepaper and writing implements to the women for note taking.