This past weekend, a crazy generous family in our church and youth ministries opened their lake house for us to use as a retreat center. We had the idea to do a leader retreat months ago, but couldn't figure out how to get it in the budget, so we actually gave up on the idea. Two days later, this couple came forward and asked if we'd be able to use their new place. #TheLordProvides.
We brought up as many as could make it for a day and a half of team-building and training as we prep for the fall. It was an awesome time of getting to know each other's personalities, stories, and what makes them tick. The weekend looked something like this:
Friday Night, carpool up to the lake house in as few cars as possible. Get to the lake, head to the beach, build a fire and make s'mores, worship, pray, share, encourage. This is the Facebook post from 1:10am...
Saturday morning, we had a time of solitude and reading. Leaders spread all over the house, woods, and beach to spend time alone with God. This was probably the best part of the morning for most people... sitting on the shore, taking in the beauty of Lake Michigan, and being refreshed. The Summer has really been a roller coaster of wins and losses, and taking time like this recalibrates my heart.
Mid-morning consisted of vision, training, and program specifics. I'll be posting more on that in the next few days. But the biggest win for me was having my friend Jason Robinson up with us to talk about his life's work of mentoring. It was a super clear picture of the way God gives people gifts to be used in the church, and he gives those men as gifts to the church so it can be built up. All of our leaders are gifts to us, and Jason helped highlight that clearly.
Saturday Afternoon we hit the beach, rented some wave runners, and just played. It was an excellent opportunity to relax, play, and laugh.
And then we headed home, really ready to take on the fall together and help student meet Jesus.
This was the first time I'd really taken time and invested the effort into a leader retreat, and I'm confident this will be a consistent part of our ministry planning over the next years. The only word I can use to describe what happened is ACTIVATE. Our leaders have been on our team for a few years, and I get this feeling after the training we did and the time we spent that they feel activated to do ministry. They've come forward and asked if they can be used, but we've gone beyond "using" people for ministry, and this weekend we saw God activate people for ministry.
What do you do to get your leaders activated in your group?