Rest is holy. Pastors know this to be true and teach it regularly to the people they shepherd. Yet for many church leaders, the opportunity to rest, reflect, and connect with God outside the walls of the church, seldom comes.
Why is this? There are many reasons – involving budget, time, and expectations – but most often, the reason a break doesn’t make the calendar, is simply because the overarching benefits aren’t known or talked about.
And while it might be obvious how a retreat like our Minister’s Escape at Black Diamond can benefit the leader as an individual, many still wonder how a planned break can positively impact the church as a whole.
If you’re curious, read on! Here are three ways a Minister’s Escape can change your church.
Rest Has A Ripple Effect
The stress that accompanies the role of pastor is intense – perhaps more intense than it’s ever been, considering the speed at which our society moves. It’s not uncommon for leaders to become so focused on the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of others that they neglect their own.
Needless to say, a rested church leader is a GOOD thing for everyone, with a ripple effect that impacts each person they influence, from staff and congregation, to spouse and family.
Our Minister’s Escape at Black Diamond is a time we’ve set aside, where pastors can step away from the stage and retreat to our campus for three days of relaxation. Whether they want to participate in activities, enjoy God’s creation, or catch up on their sleep, they get to choose, and go home feeling recharged and renewed.
As a bonus, their brief absence from the church may encourage members to volunteer in new ways. Some will stop to consider the importance of rest in their own lives. Others will recognize the weight of responsibility that falls on the leader, perhaps for the first time. This ripple effect can flow in many directions.
Relationships Get Strengthened
The feeling of always being “on call” can put a serious strain on the church leader’s relationships. Quality time – REAL quality time – with their family, spouse, and even with their own staff, can be hard to come by.
Our Minister’s Escape at Black Diamond is the perfect opportunity for church leaders, and those they’re closest with, to create a rest-filled, relationship-focused adventure… at their own pace.
“A lot of pastors will come alone, but many bring their families to our Minister’s Escapes, which gives them the opportunity to have fun, worship, and spend quality time together,” shares Heather Hartke, Retreats Director at Black Diamond. “Many have told us that they’ve made the Minister’s Escape one of their family vacations for the year.”
Hartke adds, “We’ve also seen a lot of church staff come together to plan curriculum for the upcoming year, gear up for future retreats, or just spend time in prayer together. And of course, single church leaders are welcome, too! Our Minister’s Escape is a great place for any leader to connect with those who share the incredible joys and burdens of their calling.”
Callings Are Confirmed and Renewed
The calling to become a church leader comes with demands that can leave even the most enthusiastic person feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
Burn-out is high among pastors and ministers, which may indicate that these leaders are not getting the rest and renewal they need, while they’re busy meeting the needs of others. Many will leave their first calling to seek less stressful pursuits.
The bottom line? It pays to invest in the restedness of your pastor. Sometimes a long-term sabbatical is the answer. But often, a short retreat like our Minister’s Escape is just right, as it provides a getaway where a leader can breathe, be confirmed in his or her calling, and renewed to return to their work with joy.
Sound like something your church could benefit from? Sign up for our next Minister’s Escape at Black Diamond!