For the past couple days I’ve been involved in a work related retreat. Our training team carved out some time to get away and work hard on major areas of our ministry. I have to admit, I probably am not the best “retreater” (I miss my TV, I miss my bed, and I miss my routine). I do, however, understand the value of getting away from our regular schedules to do some strategic thinking. Being away from the office just helps us to focus, be creative, and take the time to work through some of our goals and plans.
Some of the best planning and dreaming occurs when we carve out time to strategically consider our ministries.
Here are a few components of a good leadership retreat:
Rest: Yep… take some time to relax. For me, this usually takes some intentional effort to “un-engage” and turn off “office mode.” Consider scheduling an outside walk or even a nap! Maybe on short retreats (one or two days) you might simply start the retreat with a quiet time of reflection and asking God to clear your head and open your mind to what He wants lead your team to consider. Regardless of what you do, take the time to rest, relax, and recoup!
Evaluate: Evaluation is something we often don’t take the time to do. A retreat is an excellent time to honestly evaluate what you’ve been doing. Carefully consider your work and consider what could be done to make it better in the future. Don’t be afraid of criticism. Recognize that honest evaluations are not always complimentary but sometimes critical. It’s okay, criticism is one way we learn to be better. Make sure you take the time for honest evaluation.
Plan: I can’t think of a better way to look at the future with your team than at a planning/dreaming retreat. Identify your bigger goals and plan a strategy that moves you to success. Give assignments to key leaders who have a passion for a specific area and allow those leaders the opportunity to lead the full team in brainstorming, discussion, and decisions regarding the future.
Team Building: Schedule some time for team building. Board games, ropes courses; even outdoor team relays can help develop a sense of “team” amongst your people. There’s something true about the old adage, “The family that plays together, stays together.” Laughing with each other can change the way you feel about each other and open the doors for honest communication. Warning: Know your team well enough to not use activities that might cause more harm than good.
It’s been a great retreat with my team. We’ve accomplished a lot and grown closer. I’m leaving with some great ideas for future ministry and list of “to dos” that I believe will help me do my work better. This retreat was a success. I believe it’s because each of the above elements were included!
So, what are you doing to rest, evaluate, plan, and “build team” with your leaders? Comment and let us know your tips.
Thanks for the leadership retreat idea. I am going to encourage VBS Directors to have a retreat, even if it’s for just a day (tight budgets), for their VBS team. Thanks!