Last week on the podcast we talked about retreats. We just finished our retreat and have been evaluating what we did great, good, ok, and not that good. My wife helped me see various areas that as a leader I struggle in and how I could make things go smoother with a little more planning. So here is my evaluation of the good and not so good.
What We Did Well
- Reinforced the lessons. This year we looked for ways to help our students remember the lessons. We got the eye black that Tebow has made famous and put the main verse on theme. Many of our kids wore them all day Saturday. So when you talked to people you saw the key verse. We also did our prayer chapel with 5 centers. There was one for the main theme and one for each lesson. This helped them pray each main point. Our theme was identity and the speaker gave out name tags at the end for us to write a word to describe how God sees us. All this helped everyone remember the main points and lessons.
- Junior and Senior lead devotional. I have never done this but we always have a closing devo. This year we had our junior and seniors lead it and had them share with the group what they had learned. It was amazing. Each one talked for a minute and really opened their heart to the group.
- Bringing in a Song Leader. We struggle with singing and the main reason is not having someone comfortable leading worship. We had a guy come to help with this and our singing was much better than in the past.
- Games. We had four games that required teamwork. The great thing about these games is that you can really see who your leaders are. People will look to them or they will stand up and lead when the team is floundering.
- Prayer Partners. We told everyone that they needed to find someone to talk to and pray with. We do this more and more and now it has become an ok thing to do. It used to be that it would last a minute or two and now you see people spending time and really sharing and praying.
- Communion. We always try to do somethings different. This year was simple. We had people come up and me and another leader gave each person the communion and called them by name and told them what the bread and wine meant. Simple, different, personal, and powerful.
Things We Didn’t Do Well
- Delegate. I struggle to delegate unless asked or it is needed. I delegate the obvious but have to do better with the 100 small task that need to be done. I also struggle to give clear directions. I know what is needed to be done and why and often assume others know. I need to delegate and give them a job description and tell them why. I need to do this with games and tasks. This way people will feel needed, know what to do, and why they are doing it.
- Staying on Time. I am not a schedule nazi but we had to cut somethings short because I got behind. Sometimes this is no big deal but when you can’t do something the way it needs to be done because your running out of time it is an issue. Most of our running late was caused by me not delegating and giving clear instructions for simple task like setting up chairs, airing up a 6 foot ball, turning the air on in the worship room, etc.
- Packing Things I Will Need. I am normally good at this. I am a checklist person. This time I assumed something would be there or thought I will use this for two things not paying attention to the fact that the two events would be going on at the same time. I need to pack for each individual thing so the people helping set it up aren’t spending more time searching for things than setting up and running the activity.
- Losing Things. Some boxes were clearly marked. Other items were loose or in box with 20 other things. We spent 30 minutes trying to find the communion.