4 Elements Of An Effective Church Staff Retreat


Most people spend more time with their coworkers each week than they do with their own families. Team building is essential to the development of a great work environment. Taking time to invest in your relationships with your coworkers is key to the long-lasting growth and health of your church staff. Schedule a church staff retreat into your calendar for intentional team building, vision casting, and problem solving exercises. What are the elements of a great team building event?

1. Structure - Plan an agenda and send it to your church staff ahead of time with details and plans for the retreat. Choose a theme on which to center the retreat and choose a resource that will help apply the theme to the rest of the year. For example, at the Vanderbloemen Staff Retreat this Fall, we are exploring the value of exceptional customer service and reading The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence beforehand to discuss during the offsite.

2. Team Building - Communicating well and building trust is the key to healthy relationships. Have your team take personality tests like the Myers-BriggsDISC profile, or the FIRO-B. You may find it helpful to bring in a team building expert to help you understand how each individual's results contribute to the overall chemistry and effectiveness of your church leadership team.

3. Freedom - Give your church staff the freedom to bring their ideas and concerns to the table. Prepare your church staff for a productive retreat by encouraging them to brainstorm questions, concerns, or problem areas before the event. Be sure to schedule a time for these thoughts to be dicussed. Leave some wiggle room in the event schedule for your team to have freedom to rest and rejuvenate away from the office.

4. Fun - Schedule time for fun! Treat your team to a nice dinner. Take walks around the town or retreat center. Make time for laughter and team bonding, as building healthy team chemistry will create a productive and enjoyable work environment.

Incorporating these four elements into your next team event will help your team be as healthy and thriving as can be. When your church staff is healthy, it can fully invest into serving your church community.

What tips do you recommend for pastors planning their church staff retreat?