Leadership Retreat


I’m getting out of town this afternoon (through Saturday) with my fellow elders for our annual leadership retreat. I would be interested to hear if some of you do similar things with your leadership and if so what do you do? For fun? For ministry?

7 responses to this post.

  1. I have gone to conferences with leaders before, such as a half day session. I think this can be beneficial to do on a short term basis. I have done retreats with leaders & potential leaders under Men’s ministry. It was a time of fellowship (being in the mountains of Colorado) and studying God’s Word together. I think these things are great to pair together. In fact, I just might have to plan an Elders only event in the future.


  2. Likewise, I’d love to hear of the agenda/schedule from your time together.

    We’ve got one of these on the calendar and I’m contemplating what we’ll actually DO during our time together.


  3. In a nutshell (in no particular order here) we discuss every ministry that our church is involved with in order to assess strengths/weaknesses/needs (women’s ministry, children, missions, etc.).

    We spend a lot of time on how we are taking care of the congregation as shepherds (physical needs, spiritual needs). We discuss particular families and situations that need attention.

    We brain storm and think a lot about future plans and goals and what it will take to accomplish such ideas.

    I typically lead our men through a study with a focus on our leadership but also with the idea that the study itself further instructs the men “how” to study scripture. This year I will teach through Philemon. We will have two or three sessions on this.

    We spend a lot off time praying together. We will have group style, individual and pairs throughout the time.

    There is a good amount of just hanging out and being with each other which helps build unity, trust and respect. We eat all our meals together and will even have a movie night tonight (Amazing Grace).

    Those are a few things we do, I would actually like to hear what others do as well.

  4. Paul,

    We did a retreat with our fellowship group – small group – leaders (included the elders) last fall. Our time together was very much in line with your thoughts. We did some SWOT, visioneering, priority setting, much time in prayer and good feed/fellowship.

    One component we added was some time watching some helpful counseling DVD’s and then getting together as smaller groups and working through case studies. We then got together and shared how we would handle the situation.

    We found that to be helpful – hearing the insight of others. As part of our larger vision for the church we want our SG leaders to be the first point of counsel since they are the most intimately involved in the lives of those people. The feedback we received on this was excellent.

    For the future, we really want to do a retreat with elders and their wives. We think it’s vital that we bear the burdens of ministry together because no one really understands the weight of ministry unless they are in it. Those details are forthcoming as it’s more difficult to plan a male/female get away. I’ll write something when we’ve progressed with those details.

    It sounds like it will be an encouraging and relaxing weekend – assuming your sermon is done.

  5. We have an annual elders’ retreat. We (the 4 of us) meet at a cabin about 45 minutes away on a Friday at about 4pm. First, we hang out together. This past year, one of the elders spent some time hitting golf balls at the three of us who were in a boat out on a lake. It was very unifying…for three of us. :

    We eat dinner together, and then spend time in front of a while board listing strengths and weaknesses of our church/ministry. After this session, we have some time to veg together. In the morning, after breakfast, we list opportunities and threats. After lunch we list our action items and prioritize them. Then, we go home.

    I wish we had more time together for these retreats – the time is so profitable! It’s difficult to carve out even this amount of time though.

  6. Paul
    Very helpful thoughts on the Retreat. That cabin looks like one we went to years ago.

    Pastoral Elders and Church elders, how do you view them in relationship to leadership? How often do you meet?


  7. Charles,

    The only distinction we make among our elders is between vocational/non-vocational or compensated/non-compensated (1 Tim. 5:17). While not all the elders are gifted in the same way or to the same degree we are all equal as leaders among the flock and equally qualified (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1ff).

    We also have the responsibility to train-up other qualified men (2 Tim. 2:2) so that the church is always under the leadership of faithful men.

    Our full elder session meets once a month for a time of instruction, prayer and to discuss congregational issues (both administrative and spiritual). We also meet informally in the intervening times for special meetings where we may need to counsel someone or address a particular issue that doesn’t require the full session. We meet once a year for our retreat and plan to take our wives every other year.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for the questions.

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