First off, here are some of the main quotes, topics of discussion, and ideas that we wrestled with and hammered out together:
- If we're never failing then we're never taking any risks either. We have to give ourselves, each other, and our team members permission - even encouragement - to fail.
- Are the people serving and leader with us clear about 1) their own gifts and strengths and 2) what they're called to do on the team? Without clarity, things get "fuzzy". People will only put up with "fuzzy" for so long.
- As leaders, there are times when one of our major responsibilities is to "make up our mind".
- How do we move from delegating tasks - creating followers - to delegating authority - creating leaders?
- Our communication should be consistent, clear, and courteous. We should impress people with our straightforwardness.
- If we are not in the business of leadership development, then we can't say we're "making disciples".
- We have to constantly be reminding ourselves and those we're leading and serving with: It's not about OUR church, it's about HIS Kingdom!
We devoted an entire session to talking about our spiritual gifts and personality profiles. As a staff team, I think we benefitted most from gaining insight into each other's personalities; specifically, better educating and equipping ourselves on how to effectively communicate with one another. We're wired differently. We receive (and extend) communication in unique ways. It's takes time and effort to figure this out and capitalize on it. I think we came home much more aware of this and ready to make it happen.
In all honesty, one of my favorite parts of our time together was Tuesday night. We played the game "Imaginiff..." If you've never played it before, it's a great way to not only get to know each other better, but to have some serious laughs at the same time. We had a blast!
Yesterday it was an incredible blessing to spend our morning out on the dock, praying for each other, our families, our church, and for God to move and work in our lives for the sake of His Kingdom. This is always time well spent!
Our last session together we spent time pinpointing the strengths of our church - isolating the things that we do really well - and brainstorming the idea or question: If we spent the next year doing nothing but building on our strengths, what would that look like? On one hand, it was incredible how tempting it was to start veering into thinking & talking about our weaknesses. (And don't get me wrong; you have to do that. But it's interesting how apparent it is that we have been trained and taught by our culture to focus on these shortcomings.) But fighting through that, it was incredibly inspiring to dream about and envision the God-sized potential of what could happen if we take the strengths He has given us as a church and allow Him to keep strengthening and growing those areas. What an awesome thought!
I can't even begin to share everything we experienced and learned in such a short time, but this is a great window into just a few of the vital reasons why we retreat.