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.


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. 

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SILENT RETREAT | Unhurried Living (

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.

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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 ( 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. 



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.



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.