just returned from the 2 critical days that i look forward to every year now... the youth pastor LEAD retreat from our church's district. a generous family opens up their summer home on Lake Chautauqua to us for a time to retreat from life and ministry and reconnect with others with the same calling and passion. last year's was so beneficial and refreshing, and this year's was absolutely the same (even better without the snow!). there's something special about getting together in an amazing setting like this, sharing what's happening (good, bad, and ugly) and finding common encouragement from all.
this year i was challenged with how out of balance life has been lately. part of me wants to say it's been unavoidable due to the opening of the new building and the season of transition our ministry is in... part of me says it's inexcuseable... but after a retreat like this another part of me realizes that at this point it really doesn't matter. just get back on balance.
i can hear messages on balance (and i have), and i can read books on it (and i have), but there's something about seeing others WITH balance and living it out that speaks into my life more than a message or a book, and it's powerful. i watched other guys just as busy as me manage their big families and their ministries with balance and passion...refusing to please people and be held hostage by that monster. it was so refreshing.
thanks to tom for the pics.