Pastor’s Retreat Network

I got an email this morning. Ok, I got 57 emails this morning, but most of them involved offers to sell me life insurance, pills to help me lose weight, and pills to make me gain weight in one VERY specific area. So, the one email that I’m talking about was addressed to me from Debra, whom I don’t know, asking if we would mind shilling for her ministry on our little blog here at Addison Road. She phrased it much more politely.

My first thought was, “I don’t want our blog turned into a church bulletin board to promote everything that anyone things is worthwhile. I have integrity! I have honor! I have paid ads for that kind of thing!”

But then she said the magic words … “I will gut you like a fish if you don’t post a link to us!”

She sounded like she meant it, and I don’t want to be gutted like a fish. Especially by someone who, I can only assume, is a very decent and morally upstanding lady when not threatening bodily harm to bloggers in order to coerce them into compliance with her marketting scheme.

I went back to look at the website for the ministry she was promoting, and, with sudden new clarity to rival that of the great scales falling from Paul’s eyes, realized that it was a worthwhile cause, and that I should shill it. Shill it from the sea shore. Shill it from the plains. Shill from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Shill it from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; shill it from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Shill it from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Shill it from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every blog, shill it!

So, here’s the link.

Pastor’s Retreat Network

They provide retreats for Pastor’s and their spouses. In Debra’s own words:

The United States is currently losing approximately 1,200 small churches and 1,500 pastors each month. One of the reasons is that the work of ministry often takes precedence over their personal relationship with God – the reason they entered ministry in the first place.

While a pastor’s job can be exceedingly rewarding, it also can be weighed down by the responsibilities and stresses associated with serving their congregations. Their ability to succeed and thrive in ministry is deeply rooted in the quality of their personal relationship with God.

That relationship can best be attended to and developed during times of solitude, prayer and reflection, and in company of others who share a similar calling.

The cool thing about it, the reason I posted the link, is because they decided that they would make the retreats free. The ministering couples pay nothing, the cost of the retreat is paid for by private donors. I think this is cool. I also think this shows a lot of insight into the realities of most ministry positions.cederly pastor's inn

So Debra, please don’t come to my house and gut me like a fish. I posted your link.

I know we have several people in full-time ministry who read the blog, mostly in the wee hours of morning when they think dark thoughts about what it would be like to quit the ministry and become auto mechanics or ballerinas. Just saying, maybe you need a minute away from it all. Check out the site, request an invitation.

5 thoughts on “Pastor’s Retreat Network

  1. Debra Young

    You made me laugh out loud! Thanks for the afternoon pick-me-up, and thanks for posting this.

    Best,
    Debra

  2. watters

    Hi Michael – Thanks so much for the kind words regarding Pastors Retreat Network. I am one of the very lucky people who get to work for this group of Jesus followers. It really is a wonderful place, so please invite all of your pastor friends to come and rest and refresh. Thanks to Debra too . . . you are amazing!
    Blessings – Jim Watters

  3. Terri Kuzman

    I just finished searching this web site.

    My husband is a pastor, a bi-vocational pastor, of a church plant, a much smaller church. Debra specifically spoke of the smaller churches. These smaller churches can’t always fully support their pastors and some of their pastors sacrifice and take on secular work to help their church along. Burn out often occurs, and great discouragement. There are also pastors who don’t seek secular work, and are willing to struggle financially on their full-time salary.

    PastorsRetreatNetwork has noble ambitions, but I think they are missing the heart of their purpose if they exclude bi-vocational pastors that, I believe, may have greater needs to find respite, as they are having to hold down two jobs. Typically, if a pastor needs to seek secular work, it is because he can’t afford not too.

    In their defense, I did write to them and ask them about this. Maybe they have exceptions. and if not, I am thankful for their generous gift to these full-time pastors. My husband has just experienced secular lay off. Psalm 34 “The Lord is near to the broken hearted,”

    In His Service,
    Terri Kuzman

  4. Chad

    Terri-

    Ironically, I think it was your husband following the Biblical model… not the full timers. :( This is no disrespect meant to full timers… You know I gots the love for ya’ll, but as a former full-timer myself, I can tell you that the mixing of the paycheck and the spiritual health (any more than is inherent to the equation) is a really, really bad idea.

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