This afternoon I returned from a refreshing two days in the woods a little south west of Raleigh, where I had the privilege of helping to lead a retreat for some Presbyterian ministers.
I plan to write a more detailed blog tomorrow, but I wanted to post this short reflection today – both as a word of gratitude to God, and a testimony of encouragement for those who don’t quite understand how deeply spiritual, thoughtful, and faithful these clergy are.
They are good men and women, serving God and God’s people with creativity and imagination while recognizing their own need for a deeper spiritual walk. You don’t get to be a Presbyterian minister without cultivating a practical, undeniable faith, investing in several years of graduate study, engaging a rigorous discernment process, jumping through a lot of hoops, talking with many people about the clarity of your calling, and demonstrating an unusual level of commitment.
Consequently the sincerity of the conversations, the depth of prayer, the clarity of insight, and the authenticity of spiritual sensitivity was inspirational to me as a leader. These pastors are rooted in God’s word and they take their faith and their ministry very seriously.
The bottom line is that teaching is an interactive experience, and if I managed to achieve anything at all during my lectures and (more importantly) the frequent and meaningful one-on-one conversations, then it’s because the participants in the retreat were 100% receptive.
Blessed and grateful – DEREK