Day 1 of our leadership retreat was absolutely wonderful and Kenzie and I were even more excited about what the Lord had in store for Day 2. (Read a day 1 recap here!)
Day 2, of course, began with coffee and DONUTS! Because let's be honest...is it even a Delight event if there aren't donuts?! We think not! Donut Den donuts is both Kenzie and I's favorite donut shop in Nashville, so we made sure to introduce them to all of our Delight leaders. I think I ate 3 blueberry donuts as the day progressed Whoops...but definitely worth it.
After spending plenty of time in the photo booth taking pictures with everyone's breakout groups and leadership teams, we jumped into the morning with worship, once again led by our friend Calah Caballero who was joined by another amazing friend, Callie Burnett. There is nothing better than getting to worship in the morning with other Christ-filled women after you've filled yourself up with donuts and coffee. Once we finished up worship, I got to lead the group in an Event Ideas Workshop where we brainstormed and shared ideas for community and service events for the upcoming semester. Our leaders came up with SO many amazing and creative ideas. I can't wait to see the different events they hold this year.
After the Event Ideas Workshop, we jumped right into our Creative Workshop. All of our teams created banners for their chapters as well as took leadership team photos with our official Delight photographer, Jenna Kilpinen. She is also the one who takes ALL of our beautiful pictures and filmed our videos. Jenna is the most talented person we know when it comes to photography and she is such a vital part of the Delight fam!
For lunch, we headed out to the parking lot where two of our favorite local food trucks served us lunch. Little Cancun On The Go and A Little Italian both are incredibly delicious and it was so fun watching everyone hang out in the parking lot or inside together. By this point, everyone was pretty comfortable with one another and I loved going around and jumping in on conversations. All of the Delight leaders are a blast to be around!
After lunch, Kenz led our first ever leadership panel where 4 of our leaders got to share their experiences and wisdom on being a Delight leader. It was AMAZING to say the least. These women had so many great tidbits and stories to share. I even felt like I learned so much from it! Kenz said it was her highlight of the weekend and I think it was for a lot of the women there as well! Thanks to the 4 leaders who bravely shared with us, Madison, CJ, Madeline, and Rachel!
After the panel, everyone got to meet with their leadership teams one last time to do any final planning or visioning for the year ahead. Before heading out on our dinner break, Kenzie and I gave some final last announcements and even got to share a new program with our leaders that we will be launching this fall! We were both pretty nervous about it... but we received such an amazing response from our leaders. We can't wait to share more about it with everyone soon! Afterward, everyone headed out into Nashville for dinner and a quick break before coming back that night for one last time to worship and pray together.
When everyone arrived back at the event space post dinner the room was transformed into the perfect setting for a night of worship and prayer. Calah was joined by a full band and they led us in a spirit-filled night of worship. Kenzie and I shared one last time with our leaders about the sometimes difficult realities of ministry. We've both learned a lot int the last year about pushing through those moments when what you're doing seems purposeless and exhausting and instead focusing on running full speed ahead towards Christ. We ended the night with prayer as each breakout group met together one last time.
It was incredibly bittersweet saying goodbye to all of our leaders that night. We will miss them all but we know that God is going to use them in HUGE ways on their campuses this year. We feel incredibly blessed that we get to be their biggest cheerleaders cheering them on from the sidelines.
Kenz and I went to dinner last night to celebrate and debrief the entire weekend. As we ate a giant piece of carrot cake and sipped our decaf coffee, we gushed about each and every leader while reflecting on our favorite moments. I told Kenz that my favorite part of the entire retreat was simply seeing how present everyone was with us that weekend. Anytime I was up on stage or talking with someone I could clearly see how hungry to learn and grow they were. It was unlike anything I've ever experience from a collective group of people.
We can't help but praise God for bringing each one of these leaders into the Delight family. We are beyond blessed to call them all our friends and partners in ministry. All the glory to Jesus for an amazing 2016 leadership retreat. We already can't wait until next year! Be sure to watch the Day 2 recap below.