"With a number of new members, she helped the Board find a sense of cohesiveness. We worked together to resolve a number of significant issues. The Board came out of the retreat with a renewed sense of purpose and focus on the issues of importance to our church."
To deny 'wellness checkups' (e.g., seen as employee reviews, departmental meetings, quarterly 'town halls' with your congregation, as well as ongoing leadership development seen as board retreats), could portend a more serious disregard of priorities/potential stagnation. Symptoms of dis-ease are allowed to develop. And when symptoms of low productivity, gossip, group impatience or irritability, hierarchical decision-making are not being taken seriously, illness can arise affecting the health of the entire congregational 'body.'
Often, many board members (and yes, Ministers) feel their church 'have no complaints,' but upon closer examination may be experiencing deeper, more subtle dissonance. For example, some church communities feel they don't know how or feel a need to grow (i.e., growth is not always about numbers). It can relate to a deeply rooted consciousness that may have existed for decades. There are many indicators, if not addressed, that will eventually lead to breakdowns within the church, leaving people to wonder 'What happened?' Some of these symptoms could include:
- "We're doing fine; it's always been this way."
- Resistance to 'rock the boat'
- Declining attendance on Sundays
- High attendance with low tithing
- Inability to keep a spiritual leader
- Few young families present
- No tithing practices or adequate understanding
- Resistance to change
- Regular staff/volunteer turnover
Continue reading the benefits of Wellness Retreats below, or click here to learn how your retreat is custom designed to suit your situation
What's in it for us?
- Spiritual stewardship, although valued, is often misunderstood. Often, board members believe that spiritual nourishment is solely the spiritual leaders’ job.
- Board members are key leaders of your spiritual community. How they relate, inter-relate, comprehend and practice spiritual principles (e.g., prayer life, affirmative thinking, prosperity consciousness, tithing, attendance, commitment, visibility, service, etc.) speaks to the diverse ability to lead.
- Board members (including the Minister) set the tone for the overall health, intention and prosperity of a ministry. If each individual is not fully educated or ‘on the same page,’ inconsistencies can quickly erode foundations. Wellness retreats help bring greater alignment.
- A retreat can serve as positive, ‘forward movement’ of wellness, thereby sustaining (and growing) church momentum/membership for the future. Often, hidden symptoms or causes can be better identified so as to lend support to the greater spiritual community, not just at the board level.
- Consistently, board members will ponder the pre-retreat questionnaire, causing them to begin broadening their “scope” (i.e., service, worship experience, employee interactions, board meetings, Unity principles, group dynamics, trust-building, strategic planning, time management), and, most importantly, individual spiritual maturity.
- A board retreat can be put on the board calendar far enough out that all board members should be able to attend. It becomes an important priority for all members involved to generate a heightened sense of cohesiveness/energy/interest.
- A board retreat can quickly define/reinforce the lay leaders’ roles and responsibilities. Board members will ignore/negate their level of responsibility and stewardship, thus becoming too comfortable or complacent.
- As this leadership retreat directly impacts your Board of Trustees, your church consciousness immediately begins to shift at micro and macro levels. By introducing new/healthy concepts at a cellular level, wellness changes affect the overall systemic health of your community.
- A Spiritual Leader can get so busy with the day-to-day operations (e.g., administrative, pastoral, strategic planning, clerical, networking) that they can become isolated and exhausted. Thus, it’s vitally important that the spiritual leader of any size community interact regularly with professional peers locally, regionally and nationally whenever possible. As they do, the leader renews their own practices/knowledge of healthy psycho-social boundaries, prayer life, self-care concepts, strengths, weaknesses, as well as continuing education of ministry.
- Ministerial stagnation can lead to “burnout.” Neglecting continuing education, or spiritual renewal can be extremely detrimental to the overall health of the church.
- Having another Unity minister facilitate your board retreat will provide professional observations/insights. I can see/say things differently to the group so everyone can comprehend in a fresh, non-defensive way.
- The Minister (or spiritual leader) is perceived as a more equal participant within the retreat setting. Thus, everyone is able to exchange more effectively. This setting gives the board a better chance to know the thoughts, ideas, interest of the spiritual leader, and vice versa. Your retreat process can stimulate people to expand trust, excitement, visioning and ultimately, greater success.
- A retreat creates a safe and healthy vehicle to address family-system dynamics, thereby correcting dysfunctional communication habits (as they can be present for years). As old habits are released, cohesion grows. As cohesion grows, productivity, happiness and principles grow.
- Investing in your churches “best” is key to building bright possibilities. It ensures your future!