This past weekend, my leaders and I went on our annual Leaders Retreat. For the past 5 years, I have used this time right before our fall kick-off for a few different reasons. For starters, after a summer fill with vacations and trips for all the leaders, I like to get all the leaders together to share about the summer, catch up and develop community. Building and developing community is very important in a leadership team. The make-up of a leadership team can be very diverse. For instance, you have leaders who are college students, in the workforce, who have children and who are single. When you go away for a day, a night or a weekend together, it provides a great way for everyone to get to know each other on a different level. Taking some time away with just the leaders is the perfect way to build and develop a bond with each other. In all the years we have been doing them, it has provided us with a great start to the year with each.
Secondly, it is a great opportunity to focus the leaders for the year ahead. We do this both in a ministry and personal context. After a summer of vacations and trips away, it is always good to get your leaders focused on what is ahead ministry wise. What will we be doing during the fall? How will we be doing it? What is needed and what are some of the goals we are striving for? These are some of the questions leaders need to know answers to. By doing a leaders retreat with them, you can provide all this information and more all at once.
In addition to focusing the leaders on their ministry lives, we use our retreat as an opportunity to build into them personally. As you know, summers throw even the most organized schedules out the window. Any schedules or disciplines you may have get at least a little bit shaken. Therefore, we try to build into our leaders personal lives during this time as well. We spend time looking over scripture, worshiping together and going over different life skills that they can develop. As I have written before, by investing in leaders personal lives, we show them that we do not just care about what they can do for us or this ministry. We show them that we care just as much, if not more, about who they are as a person and a follower of Christ.
These are just 2 of the main reasons why we have been doing Leader Retreats with others. But, there are many smaller benefits that we experience by just us being together like great memories share together or you discover a new talent from a leader.
Now, working at a non-mega church, you may not have the resources to pull off a weekend retreat or even an overnight. So, I have a few suggestions:
- Plan a day trip away. There are some great places you could go for a whole day and do a lot of team building and focusing them on the fall. Most of the time it is very cost effective.
- See if anyone in your church has a 2nd home or even a connection to a place where you could go. The place we have stayed at is a second home about an hour and a half away. The great thing about this is if you can find a place like this, you will save a lot of money rather than going to a retreat center.
If you haven’t planned a Leaders Retreat this year, don’t worry it is not too late! TAKE A MINUTE and…
- Mark on your calendar a good day, overnight or weekend time where you could take your leaders away. It doesn’t have to be during the summer of fall months to plan a time away.
- After you mark a Leaders Retreat down on your calendar, write down your objectives for your time away. What is the purpose for your time away and what do you hope to accomplish?
As I said in the beginning, I have been doing these Leaders Retreats for the past 5 years and they end up being very rewarding times together. If you have not scheduled a time to get away with your leaders, do it today!
If you have taken your leaders away on a Leaders Retreat before, share about your experiences and why you do them.