14 Compelling Reasons to Get Away with Your Team

Finding the time and money to pull the staff offsite for an annual vision retreat challenges every leader.
The temptation to lay-up and schedule yet another week in the church conference room lulls us into yet another year of marginally effective visioning. In the name of stewardship or saving money, we are actually sacrificing the development of the team – as a team – in an exponentially effective environment. In reality, many church teams cannot afford to NOT get away for a short-term, focused season of team and vision development. With intentionality and planning, I believe every team can find some way to get away together.

Here are 14 reasons why your church staff retreats are better, and will accomplish more, offsite:

1. Focus drifts in the church conference room, you have 50% of the staff’s attention, at best, inside church walls

2. Relational roots grow deep on uncommon ground, late nights and early mornings are where teams are formed

3. Team building exercises are cheesy but effective when no one outside the team is around, just remember that adults hate the Trust Fall

4. Distance provides perspective, and getting away from the church building often right-sizes ministry challenges

5. Too much rhythm dulls our senses, forced breaks can be a healthy disruption to status quo ministry activity

6. There will always be a ministry fire burning, they will flare up before you leave and there will be plenty of firefighting to do when you get home

7. Investment in growing and being a team compounds exponentially, because retreats are not a dollar for dollar investment

8. Celebrating ministry wins offsite extends far beyond the moment, leverage memory of place to reinforce mission accomplishment

9. Most church conference rooms are boring, God’s creation work in nature resonates with the nature of the Creator in us

10. It’s healthy to schedule some unscheduled time together, meeting agendas are a means of an offsite rather than the ends onsite

11. Your team faces significant ministry challenges every day, fun times away can be life-giving and sustaining

12. Looking forward to a shared experience creates team synergy, as the weeks leading up to a retreat bring energy and focus

13. Stories from offsite meetings become a part of leadership cultural folklore, memories and laughter carry forward indefinitely

14. Putting effort and resources into planning time away with your team communicates their value

Here are three guidelines for selecting a location for an offsite vision retreat. As you are planning, think about…

…Someplace Beautiful. Unless you live in Houston TX you will not have far to drive to find the wonder of God’s creation.

…Somewhere Interesting. Find a place with a story and bring home as much inspiration from it as you can.

…Somewhat Away. Get enough separation from the everyday to nurture focus on the one-day of God’s preferred future.

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Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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