Since 2014, the Center for Leadership Excellence has presented an annual retreat for pastors and staff of large churches (roughly defined as churches with 300+ in weekly worship). Past events have been held in Wrightsville Beach, NC, and have included facilitators with experience leading large congregations, such as Jim Harnish (formerly pastor of Hyde Park UMC in Florida and author of Making a Difference: Following Your Passion and Finding a Place to Serve) and Tom Berlin (pastor of Floris UMC in Virginia and author of Defying Gravity: Break Free from the Culture of More).
Although the theme of each retreat varies from year to year, all retreats share four common goals:
- Equipping large church pastors and staff for the particular challenges of large church ministry
- Providing a forum for peer collaboration, sharing best practices
- Learning from one another and the session leader
- Creating space for retreat, a time away for prayer, rejuvenation, and renewal
For information about plans for future retreats, please contact Leah Wiebe-Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org.