Some Help on How to Plan a Christian Marriage Retreat
Having planned and/or spoken at a number of Christian marriage conferences, I have learned a few lessons along the way. Here are just a few tips or steps on how to plan a Christian marriage retreat or conference:
1. Do not be afraid to secure a truly Christian marriage speaker.
I once had a pastor call me about coming to speak as a marriage speaker at his church. One of his questions was this:
“You’re not going to quote too many scriptures, are you?”
To say the least, I was floored as the scriptures must be our foundation for helping couples as God is the author of marriage.
I said all of this to encourage you not be afraid to invite someone that will use the Bible as the primary authority for helping couples. In my view, what other help is there for mankind outside of the scriptures?
2. Find someone on your church staff or in your church that will plan the conference.
Every successful conference that I have ever been a part of has been spear-headed by someone on site that is excited about helping couples and planning the event.
3. Be sure that your church will support the event.
Though we have people that drive long distances to attend our events, we always try to make sure that a particular church can support the event with its own members. We have found that if this is the case, then the conference is typically a success without any undo type of pressure on the planner.
4. Have couples preregister.
Preregistration is key for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:
* We highly encourage churches to adjust the size of the venue to the size of the audience. 100 people in an auditorium of 2500 can be a little overwhelming, but 100 people packed in a smaller room can provide a very close and personal atmosphere.
* When people preregister, they are more likely to follow through with their commitment to come.
* It is less stressful on the organizer to know how many are coming.
5. Have couples pay.
People appreciate what they pay for. If some are not able to pay, then the host church can work something out, but, for the most part, we highly encourage churches to charge something.
6. Invite other churches and, especially, pastors.
7. Have Christian music and worship before the sessions.
Our conferences are extremely spiritually based, therefore, we like to have worship before I speak.
8. Flyers are okay, but we are in a different day and age.
Instead of simply using flyers, we also recommend using the following:
* Christian radio stations have family calendars. These are almost always helpful.
* Use Facebook and Facebook boosting. Facebook will allow you to target your particular area.
* Use your people power at the church. I guarantee that each couple in your church has friends that will come if invited.
* Ask other pastors to attend and have them promote the event to their own people.
9. Small conferences are okay.
I have spoken at large conferences and smaller conferences, and I would have to say that some of our most powerful conferences are of the smaller sort.
10. Provide child care.
One of the biggest excuses we hear from couples is that they are not able to come because of a lack of child care.
11. Ask us for advice.
We are always open to helping churches and organizations have a better marriage conference. If you have a question, be sure to send us a quick email or give us a call.