Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cafe Chocolat - Group Women's Ministry Retreat Kit: A Review

The Café Chocolat Retreat Kit helps you plan and host a sweet retreat for the women in your church and community! Using chocolate as a metaphor for God’s grace, women will taste God’s goodness in abundance through in-depth Bible study, unforgettable worship and fun activities.
  • No speaker is needed! The director’s kit is all-inclusive so you get everything you need to plan & lead in the box.
  • Women will have so much fun in activities together and of course, eating some chocolate.
  • Women will experience God’s sweet grace in a real, personal way.

About Group:

Far more than just a publisher of Christian ministry resources, Group Publishing is dedicated to offering products for group settings designed to help grow the participant’s relationship with Jesus. With a team made up of ministry experts known the world over, the company has a solitary mission to help church ministries succeed. From kids’ crafts to teen mission trips and from women’s retreats to men’s Bible studies, everything that Group offers is designed to bring participants closer to God.

Pursuing his dream to offer better tools for leading teens to Christ, Group Publishing founder Thom Schultz began the company in 1974 with the launch of GROUP Magazine, a resource periodical designed specifically for youth leaders, soon making Group’s name synonymous with youth ministry. It was not long afterward that Group decided to branch off into creating resources for children’s ministry. Soon the company was providing innovative VBS and children’s Sunday school programs and had successfully introduced Children’s Ministry Magazine. From there, creating resource materials for men’s and women’s ministries seemed a natural progression. Today, Group Publishing is recognized as a leader in the publishing of Christian resource materials for every age.

My Review:

Going to Women's Retreats are the highlight of my year as a Christian mom and woman! It is a time not only to rejuvenate and relax, but connect with other Christian women and ultimately spend uninterrupted time with God. Each year I go to my church's retreat, and this year was the first year I have missed in over five years. Boy did I notice it. The church I go to has used several different methods of planning their retreat, typically putting together their own ideas, music, speakers, etc.

 However, not all churches have the capacity to achieve this. That is where companies like Group Publishing comes in handy. Each year Group Publishing comes out with a Retreat Kit, that will guide a women's ministry through the process of planning and implementing a wonderful retreat for women of all ages and stages. This year is no exception, with the recent release of Cafe Chocolat.

As you use the Director's Kit to plan your retreat, you will be reminded of how important friendship is, and as you work through the six sessions, you will be introduced (or re-introduced) to the miracles of Jesus and how these two themes interact and complement one another. As the program suggests, you can use the kit for either a weekend retreat, two separate evenings, a one day event, or even as a six week small group study. 

As I looked through the Director's Kit, I was impressed with the amount of product in the kit. There are not only the guide for Director's but seriously everything you will need to set up a retreat, in whatever manner you wish. Here is what is included:

-Director's Guide
-Training and Promo DVD
-Graphics and other Goodies CD
-Worship Leader Guide
-Session Leader Guides
-Plus, full sized samples of all the per guest essentials and gift items, including journal, God's Grace Bracelet, Music of Cafe Chocolat CD, and The Tote Bag.

Seriously, for a small investment for the kit (only $69.99USD) you will impact women for the rest of their lives. Well worth the money I would say. I have been a part of the planning of a retreat on several occasions and I can say that without a shadow of a doubt this kit will definitely be an asset to any Women's Ministry program. The music is very pleasant worship music, with a country feel, the participant journal is an absolute must-have for each woman as it includes loads of inspiring words, challenges, devotionals and more. I thought the bracelet was super cute (and so did my girls!), and both the Worship Leader Guide and Director's Guide and very nicely organized and laid out. I loved that there was time for personal reflection but also the service projects that could be done as a group.  Really, the only thing that would still be needed to pull off a retreat using this kit is a venue, the decorations, food and of course, your best friends!

You can check out samples of the kit here. (scroll down and click "download samples")

If you are looking for a retreat idea or have used Group products in the past, you will definitely want to check out Cafe Chocolat! 

I highly recommend this product and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Cafe Chocolat online here, through Group from May 1 - October 31, 2013

***I received a complimentary Director's Kit, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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