General Ministry
Josh Griffin

I love it when churches give their staff a spiritual retreat day to focus and center on God. Quite honestly, I like the idea more than I have been able to actually do it! I read this blog post a month ago from NRSM Online that has stuck with me for the past 30 days. So today … (assuming I made it back safely fro Rwanda – doh!) I’m on a spiritual retreat day! Here’s a clip of the blog post I think is worth checking out and implementing soon in your context:

Move slower all day. Seriously, everything you do during the entire day…do it slower. We do everything so freaking fast these days. Take time on this particular day to walk slower, eat slower, talk slower, drive slower (maybe go the speed limit instead of 5 over), read slower, pray slower. Everything.

Location. Your location is key to this whole deal. You need someplace quiet (this is a non-negotiable). You also need an environment that is somewhat new or unknown to you. For me, the more familiar a place is, the more likely I am to fall into whatever routine I’m used to following in that spot. New place…new routine. Finally, you need to be alone. That doesn’t necessarily mean there can’t be other people in the same building or room (although you might need that), but it needs to be a place where no one knows you and no one will be bothering or distracting you.

No retreat agenda. Agendas & task lists are the enemies of your Spiritual Retreat Day.

#1-Agendas prevent you from moving slower. If you have some items to cross off a list, your tendency is to dive in full steam ahead. Unacceptable. What if you get 45 minutes into your time alone and don’t feel like you’ve accomplished anything yet? Oh well!

#2-Agendas lead to a defined “win,” and a defined “win” creates the possibility that you might “lose.” There is no failure on this day. There are no unfulfilled expectations on this day. There are no unfinished tasks on this day. If your Spiritual Retreat Day exists, you win. Besides, you can always go back to being a loser tomorrow.

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  • Dave says:

    Great article and links. I encourage my team to take a regular D.A.W.G. (It’s an acronym I picked up somewhere along the way. ) CRU I think. It stands for Day Alone With God. Often someone will be in the office and hear another person talking about their DAWG. Hilarity ensues. On a side note… we do ask the person who’s taken the day away to come back and as an act of accountability report back on how their time was, what they did, and what they didn’t do. It’s been a good tool for us to keep first things first.

  • Josh Collesano says:

    Great stuff Josh. So glad that Justin’s post was able to strike a chord in your heart. I love being able to just silence myself once a month… and i’m so thankful that the @NRSMonline team lets me.

  • matt says:

    Thanks Josh. The more I have practiced this in the past, the better my walk has been. I can remember in college finding a place way up in the stacks where nobody would ever go, and I could sit all day perched in an attic like area with a window overlooking the quad. Was my favorite place. Here in Denver, I go to Red Rocks. Great hiding places in the rocks, nobody bothers you, can be crowded, but you can always just sit there with your bible and a note pad. Great retreat options. Thanks for bringing this back to mind. (http://engagingtheshadowsofyouthministry.com)

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