Thursday, September 29, 2005

No Fees. No Agenda. No Schedule. Just Time with the Lord

The Pastors Retreat Network exists to enrich the lives and ministry of individuals and couples engaged in fulltime pastoral Christian ministry. We provide a retreat experience for Christian pastors, strengthening them through self-directed programs that focus on experiencing God and Jesus Christ through the Scriptures in settings that invite them into the presence of God.

No Fees, No Agenda, No Schedule, Just time with Him.

"I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me." John 10:17
Being a shepherd is a messy business. Sheep butt heads, smell bad, and make a lot of noise. They wander, get hurt, and venture into dangerous territory. Sheep need strong, healthy shepherds with courage, vision and a willingness to get dirty.

Where do you as a pastor get the courage and heart to shepherd your flock? What does it take to know and follow the Shepherd? Pastors Retreat Network offers a quiet place where you can hear the Shepherd's voice, gain strength, recover vision, and rest in His arms. Come and catch the beat of His heart.

Click here for more information: http://www.pastorsretreatnetwork.org

Program Descriptions:

Continuing Education for the Pastor's Heart
What is Continuing Education of the Heart?
Sabbath Rest
Bethany Retreat
Sinai Experience
Self-Directed Retreats

Continuing Education for the Pastor's Heart
From its inception, Pastors Retreat Network received recognition from the IRS as a continuing education program. That status makes it possible for our guests to attend retreats free of charge without tax penalty, if they are involved in program activities 4-6 hours daily.
The IRS approved programs contain the elements of prayer, Bible and other spiritual reading, fellowship (networking), and marriage building activities. They are available as five-day self-directed retreats in an environment that allows large blocks of unstructured time and freedom from daily responsibilities. There is time for rest, reflection, and recreation.

What is Continuing Education of the Heart?
For each pastor and ministry couple, the process is unique, but the outcome is consistent - the individual completes the retreat experience refreshed, renewed, and more deeply in love with the God they serve.

There are no classes, no schedules, and no agendas - God creates his own lesson plan in each heart. The foundational textbook is Scripture, the director of education is the Lord, and the subject is spiritual revival. Through the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit, head knowledge becomes heart experience. All guests are required to attend the community meal served each day, where our hosts create a safe community in which to share the individual's experience of ministry and the program.

Pastors Retreat Network makes available to each pastor or couple three distinct programs. Each guest room has its own library of books and materials that provide a basis for spiritual formation. Some focus on spiritual disciplines, others are devotional, some simply provide encouragement.

Lest one think that this is all serious work, we remember God's creativity and humor. Laughter abounds, and is often the release necessary for a deeper experience of God and each other.

All programs are available at each retreat center, and each represents a complete five-day experience. We invite you to choose the program that best fits your needs and pursue it wholeheartedly during your time with us.

Sabbath Rest
The Sabbath Rest program enables the pastor to incorporate resources from the room library with materials he or she may bring with them. There are limited program suggestions available, incorporating time alone with God, time with spouse, time in nature and time in fellowship with others. From these components, guests design their own experience. God may lead them into a prayer retreat, a time of marriage renewal, a time to integrate all they have been learning, or a time to catch a fresh vision for their personal ministry.

Bethany Retreat
The Bethany Retreat is a spiritual formation experience for couples. For those who desire a bit of guidance in getting started on the spiritual formation journey, there are suggested readings, prayers, and activities that enable partners to deepen the spiritual aspect of their marriage relationship. We strongly encourage a date night and other experiences that build positive memories.

Sinai Experience
The Sinai Experience, designed for pastors, is a spiritual formation experience. A daily selection of readings, prayers and recreational activities enable pastors to rest quietly in the presence of God. It is a deep, rich, life-changing encounter, described by one guest as "a honeymoon with God." It incorporates lectio divina and the Ignatian method as ways to interact with the Word and community time to share the journey. As with other programs, while there are suggestions for the entire day, guests are free to choose as many or as few as they desire and to go where God leads

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dear Pastor, Is Your Church Pray-pared?



Dear Pastor,

Is Your Church Ready?

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have awakened our nation with the need to take personal and church responsibility to prepare, to respond and recover from massive disaster. God is once again warning His children to prepare and rebuild physical and spiritual walls.

Whether you or your church is currently directly affected by the long-term devastation, or now helping those who were, disasters will come your way. The disciplined responsible Christian family and church will prepare before it happens, will respond as Jesus would while it happens, and after God’s warnings and steps are heeded, will recover stronger and only then witness Kingdom expansion for all eternity!

In recent weeks, story after story, God has reminded us that placing our trust in government to save us during disaster is risky. Yet, we also witnessed “the greater church” reaching out - with or without prior experience - prayerfully prompted, to care for the needs of complete strangers and entire churches. These faithful ones have earned the right to share the Good News of Jesus Christ-His Hope to the Hopeless.

Christian Emergency Network (CEN) has prepared three outstanding four week sermons to walk You, Your Staff, and Your Church through three vital steps around four Biblical role models on: how and why to prepare, to respond and to recover before, during and after disasters. While you may not be accustomed to the length of such a series, the first steps any person or congregation must take will mean a minimum of a four week sequential sermon series commitment now before it happens.. And then, the other two in the series will be kept in your files and used only when a disaster occurs, or in weeks after it occurs. The series is designed to be a simple first step, easy to implement and low cost. CEN understands the challenges often being under-staffed, under-budget, and with limited volunteers- your alarm bells.

Yet, CEN must ask you: Is Your Church Ready for such Christian heroism?
Personal, Church and Community Outreach – 3 Step Process, Application, and Resources

3 Steps, Application, and Resources
Dear Pastor,

Is Your Church Ready?

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have awakened our nation with the need to take personal and church responsibility to prepare, to respond and recover from massive disaster. God is once again warning His children to prepare and rebuild physical and spiritual walls.

Whether you or your church is currently directly affected by the long-term devastation, or now helping those who were, disasters will come your way. The disciplined responsible Christian family and church will prepare before it happens, will respond as Jesus would while it happens, and after God’s warnings and steps are heeded, will recover stronger and only then witness Kingdom expansion for all eternity!

In recent weeks, story after story, God has reminded us that placing our trust in government to save us during disaster is risky. Yet, we also witnessed “the greater church” reaching out - with or without prior experience - prayerfully prompted, to care for the needs of complete strangers and entire churches. These faithful ones have earned the right to share the Good News of Jesus Christ-His Hope to the Hopeless.

Christian Emergency Network (CEN) has prepared three outstanding four week sermons to walk You, Your Staff, and Your Church through three vital steps around four Biblical role models on: how and why to prepare, to respond and to recover before, during and after disasters. While you may not be accustomed to the length of such a series, the first steps any person or congregation must take will mean a minimum of a four week sequential sermon series commitment now before it happens.. And then, the other two in the series will be kept in your files and used only when a disaster occurs, or in weeks after it occurs. The series is designed to be a simple first step, easy to implement and low cost. CEN understands the challenges often being under-staffed, under-budget, and with limited volunteers- your alarm bells.

Yet, CEN must ask you: Is Your Church Ready for such Christian heroism?
Personal, Church and Community Outreach – 3 Step Process, Application, and Resources

3 Steps, Application, and Resources
http://www.cenresources.com/pdf/cen_visual2.pdf

This is a time to heed God’s warnings and shepherd your own family, staff and church in responsible timely preparedness, response and recovery. For example, when was the last time you held an evacuation drill in your church or backed up church files? Do not let them down. Who else will lead them? You have earned their trust. You see their need. You’ve been called to make the Gospel relevant to and through this generation and know you will give account.

Let Christian Emergency Network hold up your arms! We are praying for you.
Here’s what others are saying...
http://www.cenresources.com/pdf/cen_church_flyer.pdf

Thursday, September 15, 2005

CENToday In Arizona leads the way . . .networking in Prayer, Care & Share during Crisis and National Emergencies



September 16, 2005
National Day of Prayer and Rememberance.mp3 (60secs)

To sign up to be a prayer room host go to: www.greatercalling.org

Join in a day-long Prayer Teleconference....dial 1-605-990-0033 and enter the passcode 7729

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pastors - Candid Response to Prayer Survey

Survey: Most Pastors Unsatisfied With Their Personal Prayer Lives
Written by Ron Sellers
Posted at: LifeWay.com

PHOENIX, Ariz., 5/24/05 -- Very few Protestant ministers are satisfied with their personal prayer lives. This is one of the key findings of a new study conducted by Ellison Research of Phoenix, Ariz.

The study, conducted for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 860 Protestant church pastors. The study reveals just 16 percent are very satisfied with their personal prayer lives. Forty-seven percent are somewhat satisfied, 30 percent somewhat dissatisfied and 7 percent very dissatisfied.

There was a substantial difference by age group. Just 9 percent of pastors under age 45 are very satisfied, compared to 13 percent among ministers age 45 to 59 and 30 percent among pastors 60 or older. The youngest pastors are actually more likely to be very dissatisfied with their own prayer life than to be very satisfied with it.

There are not many differences by denomination or theology; the only difference was that Presbyterian ministers tend to be significantly less satisfied with their prayer lives than are others.

Pastors also were asked how long they spend in prayer each day, and what they pray for. The median amount of prayer time per day is 30 minutes, with a mean of 39 minutes. Although younger ministers are much less satisfied with their prayer life, they spend about as much time in prayer per day as do older ministers. Lutherans and Presbyterians tend to spend less time in prayer than do those from other denominations, while Pentecostals and Methodists spend more time than average.

How do ministers spend their prayer time? For the average minister, it looks like this: 32 percent in petition/requests, 20 percent in quiet time or listening to God, 18 percent in thanksgiving, 17 percent in praise and 14 percent in confession.

If these percentages are applied to the average amount of time ministers spend in prayer, the typical pastor spends 12 minutes per day with prayer requests, eight minutes in quiet time, seven minutes giving thanks, seven minutes in praise and five minutes confessing sin. Again, this does not differ substantially by the pastor’s age or denomination.

Finally, pastors were asked what they had prayed for in the seven days preceding the survey. Most had a long list of topics. At least nine out of 10 had prayed for the needs of individual congregation members, the congregation’s spiritual health, spiritual growth for their church and wisdom in leading their church. Some of the things ministers were least likely to have prayed for included the financial health of their church, numerical growth for the church, their own financial needs, persecuted Christians in other countries, individual Christian leaders and their denomination.



Throughout this study, Southern Baptist ministers were very similar to the average on most measures. One of the biggest differences was that just 24 percent of SBC ministers had prayed for their denomination in the last week, compared to an average of 39 percent for other denominational churches, including 49 percent among Methodists, 61 percent among Presbyterians, and 67 percent among Lutherans. In general, mainline pastors are much more likely to pray for their denomination than are evangelical ministers (57 percent to 34 percent

Surprising Survey Results From Pastors


Survey: Pastors Think Pastors Should Stay Put

Written by Ron Sellers

PHOENIX, Ariz., 9/8/05 -- Research among Protestant clergy shows the majority take a job with a different church for reasons such as wanting to move to a different community, wanting to lead a larger church, and getting promoted to a higher position - and not simply because they feel God calling them to a different church. In addition, one out of every ten clergy members has been fired at some time during their career.

Complete artcle @
http://unity.lifeway.com/UM/T.asp?A1.22.5209.5.197156

Email Prayer Prompt from "The Message Community"

A free monthly newsletter filled with great information for readers of The Message—and anyone interested in practical ways to utilize Scripture. It's loaded with useful tips and resources, great ideas on how to use Message products, and valuable downloads. Each month carries a new incredible offer. You'll also discover more of the author and background of The Message, and receive updates on the newest Message products for you and your ministry. {sample below}
* * * *
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.

The Message Community is distributed freely each month by www.messagebible.com. You are encouraged to forward it (in its entirety) to others who might also find its contents helpful.

SUBSCRIBE to this or other free newsletters from NavPress @
http://www.navpress.com/ManageEmail.asp?aCode=NL190905

Email: messagecommunity@navpress.com

Copyright © 2005, NavPress ®, 3820 N. 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, a publication of The Navigators. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Responding to Hurricane Katrina - Help for Pastors

Responding to Hurricane Katrina - Help for Pastors

Pastor, in light of Hurricane Katrina, your church family will be looking to you for leadership and guidance in the following areas:
How to respond when their friends ask them "Why did God allow this?"
How to pray for the victims of the disaster.
How your church family can mobilize to help victims of this disaster.
How to grieve a great loss.

We have gathered an index of disaster relief links, a worship reading from Matt Tullos, articles, and model sermons. We hope these resources will help you as you prepare to lead your church family in this critical time. We plan to update this page through the weekend and into next week as more information and resources are available.

Responding to Hurricane Katrina - Help for Pastors

I am praying for you as you serve God and His people, Craig Webb, Editor

Pastors Today Newsletter