One of my great challenges as a writer is finding the right balance between doing work that answers the calling of my soul, and completing more practical (paid) assignments for a variety of editors. When I’m at my best I manage to wrap the two together, sowing seeds of inspiration and encouragement despite the limitations of the subject matter.
This is one reason I enjoy speaking so much at conferences and retreats. I get to share the kind of content that drives the articles I post in this blog, and at the same time earn a little, thereby making it possible to continue doing the work I know I’m called to do.
So this morning, having set aside the necessary assignments, and taken care of some yard work before the temperatures creep out of the mid 70’s, I’m turning my attention to the upcoming Sunday evening through Tuesday morning retreat.
Here’s part of the flyer when they advertised the event:
You are invited, Come! Come for a rejuvenating retreat Sunday Evening, April 30 to Tuesday, May 2. Enjoy a little time away to listen for God’s good word for you, Discover new connections with your neighbors in ministry. It is our prayer for you that this retreat will be refreshing for your soul, inspiring for your ministry and renewing your strength for the journey.
Retreat leader Derek Maul is coming to Agape Retreat Center to lead us in “The Adventure of Discipleship”. During our time together we will not only get to know each other and pray together, we will let the Spirit speak to our hearts as we explore: • “Ministry is an Adventure!” • “From Recruiting Church Members to Equipping Disciples of Jesus” • “What Kind of Adventure is Your Story?” • “Get Real (keeping the Adventure Moving Forward)” • “Live Like You Mean it”
Well, when I re-read what I was planning to talk about I must admit I got a little excited!
The unifying theme for this retreat is, “The Adventure of Discipleship.” I’ve mentioned before that – maybe once every year – I try to pour the overall direction of my content through a new filter.
- One reason for this is I don’t want to fall into the trap of recycling the same stories.
- Another is that if forces me to constantly reframe the conversation I’m having – both with myself and with others.
- The third is that we are a Reformation people! It may be 500 years since Martin Luther helped focus the growing understanding that things needed to shift, but Reformation is not a “one-and-done” idea. We are always both reformed and reforming. I want to reflect the transformational nature of faith in everything I write, and say.
So I plan to begin by recognizing the fact that living faith hinges on transformation, that transformation is the work of the spirit, that our most important task as leaders is to be full to overflowing with light, and that Christian ministers – of all people – must make a fresh decision to follow Jesus absolutely every day.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27
This is the adventure we’re on as disciples; it’s the adventure of following Jesus. How we respond to that is our invitation; it doesn’t get any clearer than who we are and how we live.
– In love, and because of love – DEREK