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Give them Community. Give them a Whole Book Retreat.
Devote your next women's retreat to a whole book of the Bible. Part 3 of a 3-part series.
Recently a pastor asked me how my teaching all of Malachi in one weekend would feel, “retreatish.”
I get it! Retreats are supposed to include everyone - elderly women, college students, professionals, stay-at-home moms, seasoned Christians and their non-Christian friends. They should be substantive, but also fun. We aren’t joining a monastery, after all. Covering a whole book of the Bible might sound dry or intimidating - especially when it’s not Esther or Ruth.
But here is the thing: every book of the Bible is meant for literally everyone. The relevance is baked right in. Women who tackle a whole book on retreat don’t just sit there, nodding. They think together in discussion groups. They raise questions in the stairwells. They pray during hikes and strategize late into the night. And then they show up the next day singing, ready to take on more. There is no stronger adhesive than God’s spirit working through his word. If your women need community, you need a whole book retreat.
THIS SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF WORK!
Yes. It does take work to teach a whole book of the Bible in just a few days. There will be long hours of study and prayer to discern the book’s main points and applications. It takes creativity to write devotionals, sermons and study guides that will aid the learning process. Only teamwork can bring together worship, prayer, fellowship - even decor - in a way that helps everyone absorb what God pours out.
But as I often say to my children, “it’s a good thing you’re a hard worker!” As you get the ball rolling, you will be amazed at the women God calls in to help. You can enlist a woman or team of women in your church to teach. You can partner with another church, hire a local professor or engage a speaker to handle the teaching. This, too, is a form of community.
Whatever you do for your next retreat, make sure that it’s packed with scripture. Women are smart, busy and hungry to know God. There is nothing like his word to make a weekend worth their time.
Looking for a speaker? I’d love to hear from you.