Improving ministry through rest

We’ve all been educated on the significance of Sabbath, but the practice of self-care is a difficult spiritual discipline to implement. To quote Pete Scazzaro (The Emotionally Healthy Leader) - "The overall health of any church or ministry depends primarily on the emotional and spiritual health of its leadership. In fact, the key to successful spiritual leadership has much more to do with the leader's internal life than with the leaders expertise, gifts, or experience.” Creating space for solitude and silence, along with reflection and refreshment, is crucial to the leaders’ personal well-being. This month’s “improvement” section provides information about personal pastoral retreats.

RETREATS

PASTORS’ SABBATICAL RETREAT | Pacific Southwest District

Pastor Sabbatical Retreats (PSRs) create intentional space to relax and listen to God, alone and together, with a few other pastor couples. PSRs gather at a relaxing, executive level retreat spot that is inspiring and conducive to tuning into God’s voice through gently-guided sessions of silence and solitude, along with some marital and group work. There are times of worship and always plenty of laughter and fun. They are 4 days / 3 nights, begin at lunch on the first day (after morning travel) and end after lunch on the fourth day.  The costs of the retreat vary based on locations, but are supplimented by the district. The next date is TBA. 

For more information - https://www.pswchurches.com/pastors-sabbatical-retreats/.

SILENT RETREAT | Unhurried Living (unhurriedliving.com)

The author of An Unhurried Life and An Unhurried Leader, Alan Fadling and his wife Gem guide leaders through a 3 day / 2 night experience of solitude, silence, and prayer.It is designed to help leaders step out of the life in the fast lane and learn the rhythms of Jesus. This experience helps to recalibrate leaders to lead others form a deep, abiding connection with the Lord. The next retreat will be June 20-22 at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside CA. Cost is $349.

For more information - https://unhurriedliving.com/event/silent-retreat-june20/

ADDITIONAL RETREAT RESOURCES

A simple internet search for “pastoral retreats” produces numerous results. There are some locations that allow for pastoral leaders to getaway for counseling and care, personal sabbaths and study. The Christian Hospitality Network (http://thechn.org/) is a resource that provides links to accommodations and pastoral care retreats in the US and around the world. Some are free and others at a significant discounted rate. Some facilitate a specific program while others are self-directed (lodging only). A few that are located within our district boundaries are listed below. The facilities listed below are examples of what is available, not endorsements by the District. 

ARIZONA

SHEPHERDS’ CANYON RETREAT | (https://www.shepherdscanyonretreat.org/)

Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat offers seven carefully designed days of individual, couple, and group Christian counseling. The emphasis is upon Christian professional church workers including, but not limited to Pastors, Missionaries, church staff, etc, and their spouses.

HAWAII

PEPEEKEP POINT RESORT (Big Island) | https://www.pepeekeopointresort.com/

Pepeekeo Point Resort is a place of rest for those serving ther Lord; a place to receive new strength, hope, and direction, and a place to help others continue with the Lord's work.  The Pepeekeo Point Resort, located only 10 miles north of Downtown Hilo on the Hamakua Coast. The resort grounds are comprised of roughly three acres with direct ocean frontage. Rates and reservations are made via phone only - (808) 964-8508.

Improvement through reading

Its said that “leaders are readers.” I often like to ask peers what they are reading, and why they are reading what they are reading. In this month’s IMPROVEMENT section, we get to meet three leaders, serving in different roles in different places. Find out what books (other than the Scripture) have had the most influence in these three leader’s lives, and why they recommend them.

(Click the images for more information)


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Jessica Schultz

Campus Pastor - Grace North, Anthem AZ | gracenorth.com

 

"Pilgrims Progress” by John Bunyan

As a child who grew up in church, I can't identify the moment I gave my heart to Jesus. I do know that when I was in third grade my dad offered me a reward system for reading challenging works. The first assignment was a full version of The Pilgrims Progress. For the first time, I had deep understanding of my need for Jesus and the struggle I faced as a lost person without Him.  I found myself confronting my own inner “Christian” and committing to a journey of following Christ. This book confirmed by commitment as a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

 

"The Spirit of the Disciplines” by Dallas Willard

This book consistently calls me back to the basics. When I have overcomplicated my routines before the Lord or slipped into a dry, performance driven rut, this reminds me of value of spiritual disciplines. As a person who resists practices that feel “religious”, it is easy to devalue the practice spiritual disciplines. This book broke that cycle in my life. 

 

"Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life” by Henri J. Nouwen

Even as a “people person" I find myself lonely and isolated. This book reminds me reaching in to maintain personal health, Reaching out to others to grow in relational health and reaching up to the God as my source of health and strength.

 


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Brandon Ahu

Assistant Pastor - Metro Church, Honolulu HI | metrochristianchurch.com

 

"Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry" by Ruth Haley Barton

Hardship and difficulties in ministry are plenty.  But the spiritual disciplines that help us to pursue God and persevere are invaluable to continue serving him.  

Hardship and difficulties in ministry are plenty.  But the spiritual disciplines that help us to pursue God and persevere are invaluable to continue serving him.  

 

 

"The Emotionally Healthy Church" by Pete Scazerro

Knowing the bible is great, but if we are not living balanced lives than we are still immature.  This book challenged me to look at other aspects of my life and leadership, especially in the area of emotional maturity.  

 

 

"The Ascent of a Leader" by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and Ken McElrath

If it is true that we lead out of who we are, then character counts for much more than we realize.  This book presents two very different ladders of success and challenged me to examine which I am climbing.  Relationships of grace are paramount to developing character as a leader.  

 


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Joe Hogan

Associate Pastor - Cornerstone Church, Anaheim CA | www.ccanaheim.com

 

“Carpe Diem” by Tony Campolo

First book that comes to my mind that helped me to take risk and embrace everyday with passion and purpose.  I had a few bible studies with Tony Campolo in the early years of my ministry and have a few stories of my own that looking back now were started listening to Tony’s stories. 

 

 

“The Divine Mentor” by Wayne Cordeiro

Working in young adult ministries over these past 20 years, Wayne’s book has been a must read for all my interns.  No greater mentors and relationship to cultivate than the men and women of the scripture’s.  A common ingredient for success of great leaders is the ability for them to seek after mentors.  Wayne helps those looking for mentors to find it in the scriptures themselves.  I have passed around my copy so often I’d like to get it back.   

 

“Crazy Love” by Francis Chan

Francis has raised the bar of what it means to put love into action.  People are to follow us as we follow Christ.  Crazy Love has helped me to focus on one thing.  Not just study the teachings of Jesus Christ but to follow through with them.  You will not read the bible the same, since it’s not a book just to be studied but lived out.

Equipped to Serve

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I love church resources that are developed by people in the church who have a passion to use their gift to further equip the church. Here are some websites (with additional resources) that are developed by non-pastoral local church leaders to help equip others who serve in roles similar to their own. I subscribe to each of these site’s emails. They also offer cost effective training resources:

James Wassam is a 20 year professional in the sound mixing and systems installer. He also believes that the technical ministry volunteers are important to the ministry of the congregation and wants to equip them with quality tools to help them grow in their craft, skill, and spirit. The newsletter produced by Great Church Sound is very practical and easy to understand. The site also offers training videos ($) and features the book authored by James. The monthly blog is great too. Sign up for the newsletter here: https://www.greatchurchsound.com/worshipdistractions.html

These guys offer all kinds of products and tutorials. I personally use their Pads products. But the best thing in my opinion is their “Vlogs” (video blogs); one is about the practical side of leading worship (gear, staying “relevant”, production) and the other is about leadership (conducting auditions, team preparation and rehearsals, etc). They also provide tutorials on playing curretn, popular worship songs. Good stuff here. 

ECFA certifies churches and ministries for financial integrity and is a leading provider of free, practical resources for churches on financial management, governance, and stewardship.They have partnered with Life Church to provide practical policy and practices guidelines (https://open.life.church/partners/ecfa). Their “ChurchPulse” newsletter is also a great source for resources. Sign up here: http://ecfa.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=1e36026eade3dfd2f66499153&id=f7cc6673b9 

Information and Inspiration

Two things are key to improving: information and inspiration -  we have to know what to do, and be motivated to do it. This month’s IMPROVEMENT tools will do both.

Attend: HIM Conference 2018 (Hawaiian Island Ministries)
Listen: Church Leaders Podcast
Watch: 2018 Leadership Summit w/ Wayne Cordeiro

 

Attend: HIM Conference 2018 (Hawaiian Island Ministries)

HIM is the largest annual gathering of Christians in Hawaii, celebrating 35 years of ministry in 2018. Join us as we worship, pray, learn, love, grow together across denominations, cultures, generations and differences as the beloved Body of Christ. General sessions speakers include Francis Chan, Margaret Feinberg, John Ortberg, Mike Pilavachi. PSW Assistant District Supervisor Kiha Pimental, Brandon Ahu from Metro Christian Church,  and Anchor Church Lead Pastor Carl Moore and Youth Pastor Anuhea Akamine are among the workshop presenters. March 15-17 in Honolulu HI.  For more information and to register, visit https://himonline.org/him-2018

Listen: Church Leaders Podcast

A podcast is essentially a radio show that you can get on the internet, so you can listen any time you want. ChurchLeaders (churchleaders.com), is an essential resource for the pastoral leader featuring articles, news, videos and more. CL’s podcast presents ground-breaking conversations with today's top ministry leaders designed to help you lead better. Listen on your computer, on on your iPod/iPhone. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-churchleaders-podcast/id988990685?mt=2

Watch: 2018 Leadership Summit w/ Wayne Cordeiro

New Hope Las Vegas recently hosted their 2018 Leadership Summit with guest speaker Wayne Cordeiro. Pastor Wayne is the founding pastor of New Hope Oahu Christian Fellowship and has authored 12 books, including Doing Church as a Team and The Dream Releasers. Pastor Kent Miyoshi has graciously made the video of the Summit available to our PSW pastors. View the conference videos online at our district website - https://www.pswchurches.com/teachings/

Tools for Improving

We all want to improve. Sometimes to get better, we need education and information. At other times, a new tool is what is required to take the next step. Whatever it is that you need to improve, we hope to provide you with some resources that will at least spark an idea and at best be a solution that you’ve been looking for. This month we feature three resources:

Data: “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?” by J Warner Wallace. 
Blog: "Pivot: Innovative Leadership from a Small Church Perspective" by Karl Vaters
Tool: Aplos Accounting Software

 

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Data: “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?” by J Warner Wallace.

J Warner Wallace, former detective for the Torrance (CA) Police Department and author of “Cold Case Christianity,” summarizes the results multiple studies and research projects on the subjects related to the spiritual views of teens and young adults. A very helpful tool to get an overview of the subject and to find additional resources that dig deeper into the the topic.
http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/ 

 

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Blog: "Pivot: Innovative Leadership from a Small Church Perspective" by Karl Vaters

Pivot is a Christianity Today blog by pastor and author Karl Vaters. He writes about church health and innovative leadership from the perspective of small church. Karl has served as the senior pastor of Cornerstone (Assembly of God) in Fountain Valley for over 25 years. His experience of leading a small, healthy church led him to write “The Grasshopper Myth.” This weekly blog encourages, challenges, and resources leaders of small congregations.
https://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/

 

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Tool: Aplos Accounting Software

Aplos Accounting is a simple, online accounting software that allows a church to confidently manage their books. Simple to learn and user friendly, Aplos is a cloud based application that is specifically designed for churches and non-profits. It features true fund accounting, integrated budgeting tools, customized reporting, and more. Foursquare is working with Aplos to become a preferred service provider and offers discounts to Foursquare churches.
https://www.aplos.com/church-accounting-software