by Sue von Fange

Download a PDF of the Retreat: Communicating Care.

Retreat Overview

What is communication? A basic description: One person encodes a message and sends it and another person receives the message and decodes it. Interaction with people is a part of daily life, and communication enables us to shape that interaction by giving and receiving all sorts of messages: “I am hungry;” “The test is Friday;” “We won the game…”

Through communication we not only seek to meet our basic needs such as hunger and sleep, but also establish and maintain relationships. What we say affects the way people respond to statements. For example, “I appreciate you,” or “That is a neat outfit!” can lighten our attitude and step for a day and make us thankful for that person. “That was a dumb thing to do,” or “You are a real jerk,” can be a downer for days if we dwell on it, and we will probably avoid that communicator. What we say can affect someone’s self-image in positive or negative ways.

In this retreat we will assess our own strengths and weaknesses in communication and practice two basic communication skills: 1) the art of asking questions, and 2) observing and expressing nonverbal communication.

The intent is to help youth and adults understand that Jesus is our model for ministry. As His Spirit helps us through the Word, like Jesus, our questions and sensitivity can be used to cheer, to build up, to support, to care and to enable others.


That the young people may:

  1. Become aware of strengths and weaknesses in their own communication skills.
  2. Understand and incorporate helpful verbal and nonverbal communication skills.
  3. Examine how Jesus communicates His love and concern for people verbally and nonverbally in His public ministry.
  4. Evaluate their own ministry to others as they turn from failure to communicate God’s love in Christ to others.
  5. By the power of His forgiveness, practice new communication skills in ministry to God’s people.