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7 keys to pulling off a killer leadership retreat

Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier


I just had the privilege of spending three days in the mountains of Colorado with 18 leaders from all over the United States. We conspired together to advance the Gospel  from coast to coast through a generation of on-fire teenagers and youth leaders.

2015 Certified Trainer Retreat

It was powerful, inspirational and strategic.

Doug Holliday, Zane Black and Jason Loewen did a phenomenal job of speaking, leading and facilitating during these three power-packed days.

With this as a backdrop here are 7 keys to pulling off a killer leadership retreat:

1.  Use your opening session to cast the vision and inspire your team. This session should not only cast a clear, bold and transformational vision but create the dramatic tension of how hard it’s going to be to get there and what happens if we do/don’t succeed. 

2.  Create space for plenty of fun time. Don’t underestimate the power of playing games, laughing together and group activities that can bond us on a deeper level and help create the relational equity to work well as a team.

3.  Spend extended amounts of time in prayer for the mission to be accomplished and for each other. Prayer is how we access God-inspired wisdom (James 1:5), Spirit-led unity (Acts 4:31,32) and Christ’s power (Ephesians 6:10.)

4.  Maximize the potential of your leaders by creating an environment that unleashes their creativity and brainstorming. When leaders are freed up to share ideas it can create a momentum that fills the room and fuels the experience to unexpected levels of effectiveness.

5.  Have practical training sessions so your team walks away being more equipped to live and lead well. One or two practical trainings to improve effectiveness (spiritual disciplines, organizational skills, leadership training, etc) can go a long way in making the weekend more than just a required getaway.

6.  Spend daily time in worship, calibrating your hearts toward Christ. When we worship together as a team we unite  under the Lordship of Jesus. Worship reminds us that beyond our ministry objectives it’s all about Jesus….

7.  Finish with a powerful and symbolic ceremony that will help make the retreat unforgettable. From communion to foot-washing to lighting candles to a commissioning to a concert of prayer there are all sorts of ways to put an exclamation point on your time together.

What are some other keys to pulling off a killer leadership retreat?

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