Amy Carroll » Speaking Tips » Why Retreats Are My Favorite

Why Retreats Are My Favorite


All the Christmas decorations appearing in the store have me thinking about one of our family’s favorite Christmas movies, Elf. I love the scene where he says “Smiling is my favorite.” Me too. I remember being told in school that I smiled too much, but I don’t believe there is such a thing. 🙂

One of my other favorites is a retreat. Since I have two in two successive weekends, I don’t have a lot of time to blog today, but I wanted to give you a little food for thought in the form of some tips for retreats.

To make the most of the golden opportunity to speak at a retreat:

  • Plan some interactive aspects to your sessions. Usually there are 3-5 sessions to speak for at a retreat if you’re the main speaker. That’s a lot of talking, and it’s a lot of listening for our audiences. I used one session last weekend to teach a Bible study tool, and I made it interactive. It was the session that received the most positive feedback.
  • Pray for ministry off the stage. This is why I love retreats so much. I love how God sits me with just the right person during the spa time or at lunch. I would even say the best ministry happens off the stage. You must make yourself warm and accessible, though, for this to happen. My heart is broken when I hear about speakers who are only spotted at retreats during sessions while they speak. I consider it part of my job and calling to be available to attendees.
  • Having said that, we all know it’s completely exhausting to be “on” all the time. It’s important to take time away in the quiet of your room to rest and sleep too. I’ll try to play some games on the first night, but I won’t stay up all night. When attendees are busy with free-time activities, I split the time between interacting and resting.

These are just a few tips for retreats. Would y’all share with the sisters to round out my advice with yours?

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  1. The retreat I spoke at two weeks ago was beautiful! I rested and then worked the room myself not waiting for them to come to me to hear their stories! Every lady I interacted with came to life when I asked them “Their Story” related questions. I noticed as well that their interaction in the following sessions amped up! It was beautiful to have the time to interact with them which doesn’t happen in a one session two hour event. 🙂

  2. I have had event planners ask beforehand if the ladis could schedule “appointments” with me during one or two of the free times during an event. It was so good to get to know some of them on a more personal level and it gave me the opportunity to have a clear boundary on when I was “on” and when I could be “off.”