Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love bonfires, hayrides, festivals, the weather, food and, most of all, the decorations. There are so many crafty ideas out there to make (thank you Pinterest). With the fall decorations up in the office and the constant fall crafts I see online every day, it got me thinking about fall retreats. So here are a few ideas for a “Fall in Love with Jesus” themed retreat.
Lesson – The first place to start with any retreat or event is what you are going to talk about. You must define why you are having it and what you want guests to leave with. This theme is pretty self-explanatory as to what the purpose is. As Christians, we love Jesus, but everyone is on their own level of love in their spiritual journey. By the end of this retreat, guests will have a deeper love for the Lord and leave with the desire to spread that love amongst others. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. Use this and other similar scriptures to discuss His love for us.
Icebreaker – Kicking off your event the right way is important for overall success. More than likely, everyone will already have a love for Jesus. Start by having each guest say what they love most about Him. Some people may be uncomfortable sharing in a large group. An alternative would be to have everyone write it down instead. Have them do so on leaf-shaped papers and pin to a tree on a bulletin board or dry erase board. Leave this up so that guests can see what others have written. At the end of the event, depending on how many guests you have, take all (or some) of the leaves down and read them to the group. Ask if anyone thought of more since the start. Another idea, if you have a group that is willing to share, is to ask everyone when they fell in love with Jesus. When and how did they get started on their walk with Christ?
Music – One of my favorite ways to worship is through music. It’s always better when the song selection reinforces what the lessons are teaching. Here are a few suggestions:
- Falling In Love With Jesus by Jonathan Butler
- Jesus by Chris Tomlin
- My Jesus by Ed Cash, Jack Mooring, and Leeland Mooring
- I Surrender All (All to Jesus) by Mark Hall
Food – The tastes and aroma of fall food is enough to make any mouth water. There is so much potential for fall treats. Below are a few specifically for this theme, however, you can also check out our blog Tricks or Treats? for more ideas.
Activity – I already mentioned all the craft potential the season has to offer. This can be a great way to incorporate a little activity into the lesson and give a reminder of the experience after the event is over. If your group isn’t the crafty type, try a fall recipe exchange. Or, to really nail down that theme, do a “fall in love with others” outreach. Volunteer as a group or make baskets for families in need.
Craft ideas include:
- Why I love Jesus pumpkins. Using strips of orange paper (4), write reasons you love Jesus. Make them into rounds and connect in the center, crisscrossing the strips. The result should look like a pumpkin. Feel free to add a stem on top. This can also be done with what you are thankful for.
- Leaf garland. Using an assortment of fake leaves from the craft store, simply sew them together in a line or string them through twine. If you would prefer to write on them like the above example, try paper ones in different fall colors.
Decorations – As the leaves fall from the trees, we must also fall in love with Jesus. Make sure to incorporate leaves in your decorations. Scatter them around centerpieces on the tables. Make leaf garland to hang up. For centerpieces, use hay bales, cornstalks, Indian corn, pumpkins, gourds and mums. Centerpieces also make great prizes to give away at the event. If bulletin boards are available, make a tree with leaves falling that says “Fall in love with Jesus” or a fire that says “Jesus is enough s’more me.”
We would love to hear about your fall retreat ideas. Share with us on Facebook and Pinterest.