I'm going to be honest, my first choice was to get away at a lake house or somewhere far away where our student ministry team could pray, play and perhaps even build a campfire. Heck, maybe we could have joined together in a incredible rendition of Kum Ba Yay. Who knows?
It wasn't going to happen. Each of us have been traveling and are incredibly busy. You know, that whole things where you try to balance life, school, family and ministry? It's a challenge.
It was a priority to get away to dream and pray but how? Where could we find the time and energy?
We came up with a solution. Instead of escaping for 24 hours we decided on an in town retreat. Our time was incredible. We didn't accomplish all we would have by getting out of town but for us it was just what the doctor ordered.
Here are some thoughts to consider...
Get Away From Your Usual Meeting Space
We all need a change of scenery. Whether its simply someone's home or a back room at a restaurant, it's important to find a spot that says, "hey, this is different than your weekly staff meeting". We would not have accomplished what we needed without finding a cool spot in downtown Dallas.
The first 90 minutes of our time was spent sharing what's going on in our lives. As each of us shared we were tempted to share ministry needs but we tried to keep our discussion about what was going on in each person's personal life. As a team we're pretty close to one another, but when given the time and space to share it was amazing to hear what's going on in each person's life.
Talk About "30,000 Foot" Issues
Avoid the temptation of getting into the details. You have your regular weekly meeting for that.
Our time was dominated by 2 issues. How are we doing with our students who are in our deepest discipleship groups and how are we doing at our entry points for new students. In other words we assessed and dreamed about the "bookends" of our ministry. Sure, there was so much more we could have discussed but we worked hard at keeping our discussion at the dream / visionary level.
Eat Great Food
After spending 3 1/2 hours at our meeting space we headed to a close by restaurant and had some delicious food. Yes, we spent some money but think about all the money we saved by not going out of town? We laughed, shared stories and connected in significant ways.
This is where the challenge comes is. When you dream about "30,000 foot" issues it's sometimes difficult to implement those ideas. Right now our team is in between the dreaming and the doing. We've dedicated an hour of our weekly meeting this upcoming week to think through what we spoke about at our half day get away.
Getting away for a half day is relatively inexpensive but effective. Spring is a great time to take your team and dream because you have time to wisely implement change by fall.
By the way, if you don't have a paid staff team don't fret. These half day settings work perfectly for key volunteers who would love to dream with you.
When are you getting away?