The Sojourn Staff recently spent 3 days praying, dreaming, strategizing and playing together at Smith Mountain Lake. Smith Mountain is a gorgeous, 40-mile long, 20,600-acre lake, with 500 miles of shoreline, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural southwestern Virginia. It was the perfect setting for our first staff retreat. Thanks to friends of Sojourn who gave us use of a waterfront home for 3 days. It was rough, but we managed. There were a total of 10 of us, including spouses and members of our broader advisory team from the Chicago area.
Our retreat format was built around Thom Rainer’s and Eric Geiger’s helpful text: Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples. Using that “grid” we wrestled our purpose to the ground in order to get crystal clear on our vision. Kathy Speight, our Director of Ministries, then led us through a session helping us better understand the way God has wired and gifted each of our staff from which we built job descriptions focusing on the key priority areas of Sojourn’s ministry.
I loved the prayer time we had together. Most memorable for me was the team gathering around each staff person to lay hands on them and pray for their role in this new mission to which God is calling us. Next, we began constructing strategies and a calendar that reflected our highest priorities. Many thanks to Dave and Rennie Garda of Cadre International for taking 3 days out of their very busy training schedule to help us lay the foundations of our growing student ministry. They are awesome leaders and great friends.
With three days of hard work in hand, we returned to Greensboro with a renewed sense that God would use us if we surrender ourselves completely to pursuing Jesus and setting aside personal agenda. Pray that God would persist in our lives to reshape our hearts and those God is calling to the Sojourn Community. Our prayer is that he would build a fire in our souls as we catch a glimpse of how he sees the world around us.
You can hear more about the mission and vision of Sojourn on Vision Sunday, October 11 starting at 10:00AM.
Serving Greensboro with you,
Sojourn Team Member