Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prayer Retreat ~ "SOP" for Every Praying Pastor

Dear Phil,

I just finished reading a survey by a highly recognizable Divinity school. The goal of the survey was to secure an appraisal on the state of the church in the United States. Perhaps you’ve had a chance to read the survey if you’ve been over at the Pastors Retreat Network Facebook page lately. We’ve posted a link to the survey on our Facebook page. We posted the link not because we consider the survey authoritative, but rather because of the dire picture that is painted in the survey results.

We realize that trying to get an accurate reading on the state of the church is somewhat like attempting to nail JELL-OÒ to the wall; hard to achieve perfect results.

It is important for us at Pastors Retreat Network to keep our finger on the pulse of the church. When your mission is to strengthen pastors for the sake of a strong church you are compelled to stay on top of what is happening in the church across the country.

One thing we’ve learned by listening to pastors coming through our retreat sites is that “stress” within the pastorate is at an all time high. Pastors are feeling pressure from within their churches, from their families and from within the communities they serve.

One method that we use to keep an eye on how pastors are doing is by monitoring our reservation calendar. It seems that the more difficult the ministry conditions, the faster our reservation calendar fills up. Last year, 2008, Pastors Retreat Network served more than 600 pastors at our retreat sites in Wisconsin, Texas and Ohio; a very full year.

The important thing to realize when considering all this reporting and data gathering is that the bottom line behavioral indicator is that time with God is absolutely crucial; pastors who make time for Sabbath rest and for extended times of prayer always seem better equipped to minister to the needs of their family, congregation and community.

On the other hand, pastors who choose to continually push the “energy envelope” are the same pastors who seem destined to leave ministry because of burnout, exhaustion or unmanageable stress within their family.

We encourage pastors to set aside a day for rest and prayer each week; sound familiar? In addition, we stress the importance of making time for an extended time of retreat at least once each year. The pastors who leave our retreat center leave with a definite bounce in their step and a calm inner assurance that they can indeed live up to the calling that God has put on their life.

So before you get caught in the trap of more is better, be sure that you are creating a time for rest in your weekly and yearly ministry calendar. A spiritually healthy pastor that is well rested is much more effective than a pastor that has to drag themselves to the church every day.

If we can help you navigate your quest for a prayerful, restful ministry experience please feel free to call us or visit us online. We are here to serve you in your service to the Kingdom.

In His Grip,

Scott Papador

Scott Papador, Executive Director

Please click here to give your gift today! If you would prefer to send your support by mail, please use the address listed below. May God bless you as you support this important work.

Mailing Address: Pastors Retreat Network, PO Box 180455, Delafield, WI 53018 US

Contact Name: Scott Papador
Telephone Number: (414) 828-4893
* Type keywords in the "Search This Blog" box above
* Coaching? Teaching? Preaching? on prayer ... Contact Phil@nppn.org
* More Help! > http://www.PrayerLeader.com
* More Help! > http://www.NPPNblog.blogspot.com

No comments: