I love it when churches give their staff a spiritual retreat day to focus and center on God. Quite honestly, I like the idea more than I have been able to actually do it! I read this blog post a month ago from NRSM Online that has stuck with me for the past 30 days. So today … (assuming I made it back safely fro Rwanda – doh!) I’m on a spiritual retreat day! Here’s a clip of the blog post I think is worth checking out and implementing soon in your context:

Move slower all day. Seriously, everything you do during the entire day…do it slower. We do everything so freaking fast these days. Take time on this particular day to walk slower, eat slower, talk slower, drive slower (maybe go the speed limit instead of 5 over), read slower, pray slower. Everything.

Location. Your location is key to this whole deal. You need someplace quiet (this is a non-negotiable). You also need an environment that is somewhat new or unknown to you. For me, the more familiar a place is, the more likely I am to fall into whatever routine I’m used to following in that spot. New place…new routine. Finally, you need to be alone. That doesn’t necessarily mean there can’t be other people in the same building or room (although you might need that), but it needs to be a place where no one knows you and no one will be bothering or distracting you.

No retreat agenda. Agendas & task lists are the enemies of your Spiritual Retreat Day.

#1-Agendas prevent you from moving slower. If you have some items to cross off a list, your tendency is to dive in full steam ahead. Unacceptable. What if you get 45 minutes into your time alone and don’t feel like you’ve accomplished anything yet? Oh well!

#2-Agendas lead to a defined “win,” and a defined “win” creates the possibility that you might “lose.” There is no failure on this day. There are no unfulfilled expectations on this day. There are no unfinished tasks on this day. If your Spiritual Retreat Day exists, you win. Besides, you can always go back to being a loser tomorrow.

JG