Three Things to Consider Before Going on that Women's Retreat
If you’re planning on attending a women’s event this summer, I want to help you make a wise choice. With kids, careers, and myriad other things waiting at home, you and I cannot sacrifice an entire weekend to a bad conference. So what should we look for when rallying our girlfriends to join us on a weekend away?
1. Make sure the event is focused on God. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth saying, because many women’s retreats these days are not focused on the Lord, but rather on the attendees. When reading the event’s website or brochures, ask yourself who is highlighted—you or the Lord Himself? If you want to truly be refreshed, you will need to spend a weekend reflecting on the glory, greatness, and grandeur of our God. Lifting our eyes off of ourselves and fixing them on Jesus does wonders for our souls. It will greatly benefit you and I to meditate on God’ character and what He has done and promises to do rather than on ourselves.
2. Make sure the event uses the Bible as the primary tool for teaching. Again, this probably seems obvious. But it’s worth mentioning because so many women’s ministry events no longer prioritize the Word of God. When you read through the event’s promotional items look for the Biblical text or texts that the speakers will be using. If none are listed, this is probably a red flag. With limited time for getting away for spiritual refreshment, you and I need the living, active, life-changing Word of God. While stories and motivational inspiration from the speakers is a bonus, they are not enough to feed your soul and mine.
3. Make sure the event is Gospel-centered. Rehearsing the Gospel to one another is perhaps the most valuable thing we can do when we women get together. Throughout our weeks and year, you and I tend to drift towards legalism or license—we either make long lists of dos and don’ts in order to win God’s favor, or we don’t even attempt righteous living, citing God’s grace for our sinful lifestyles. But the Gospel reminds us of our need for Jesus. It reminds us of our frailty and bankruptcy and His goodness and willingness to rescue us and sustain us. We need women’s events that focus on the Gospel, not our own capabilities.
If you find an event that focuses on God, uses the Bible, and is Gospel-centered, I strongly encourage you to go. Such events can provide tremendous sustenance for the seasons ahead and they can be significant turning points in our spiritual journeys. I truly hope you find one!
(These considerations can also be used when choosing a women’s Bible study, as I write about here.)