By Carl Stagner
How many hats does your pastor wear? Maybe you are that pastor, and you know all too well that we’re not talking about fashion. From preacher to teacher, from administrator to janitor, today’s pastor continually juggles responsibilities at the church, the hospital, the nursing home, the second job, and more—not to mention his or her own household. It’s time to relax, take a deep breath, and make plans to get away for just a few days in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. The annual CBH Retreat to the Cove could be just the break you need. Pastors will be intrigued this year by the first-ever Pastor Track added to the schedule. So, churches, would you consider making it possible for your pastor to “retreat to The Cove” this year? After all, the October 18–21 event takes place smack dab in the middle of Pastor Appreciation Month.
Featuring special guests Jim Lyon, Jennifer Wilson, Nabil Safi, and Obadiah Smith Jr., the 2015 Retreat to the Cove is already poised to bring times of refreshment and renewal to those who attend, including pastors. Jim Lyon knows firsthand the pressures pastors face—and the need for pastors to rest, reflect, and recharge. “I have been employed by the church since I was nineteen,” Jim explains. “Working in just two congregations (one in Seattle for twenty years and the other in Anderson, Indiana, for twenty-two years), I have served as a secretary, senior high youth leader, administrative assistant, associate pastor, and senior pastor. For the last two years, I’ve been called the general director of Church of God Ministries; in this role, I have had the privilege of seeing, up close and personal, pastors in churches large and small across the continent—and in many nations abroad. Through it all, I am more convinced than ever that the key to pastoring is shepherding, and that the key to any local church’s health is its shepherd.”
That’s why it’s so important for pastors to take a close look at their own health—spiritual, emotional, and physical. The Retreat to the Cove’s Pastor Track will offer prime opportunity to do just that. “This year at The Cove,” Jim explains, “we are inviting pastors from all quarters, from churches large and small, old and young, to discover the power and promise of following in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd. I will be sharing biblically grounded content, informed by more than forty years in the field: transcendent ideas tuned for today’s challenges, tested by time. Yes, we’ll cover some ‘how to’s’ (e.g., communicating both on the platform and off, vision development, strategic scope, cultural relevancy, managing a church family and staff, and so on), but more importantly, we’ll dive into how to be, not just do. My best lessons are not usually drawn from success, but from failure; much of my illustration will be drawn from this well, also. Shepherding is not about developing a brand or model; it is about leading those entrusted to your care to a better place. It is about a sense of family and flock. It is about Jesus.”
While you’re there, you can visit the Billy Graham Library. You might stroll through the Biltmore Estate, the largest house in the country. Perhaps you’ll want to check out Asheville’s Art in the Park, or venture into the fall splendor on one of hundreds of nearby hiking trails. There’s plenty of relaxation—and adventure, if you so desire—waiting for you at Retreat to the Cove 2015.
Special offer: Register ten people from your congregation, and bring your pastor for free! The Retreat to the Cove is October 18–21 in Asheville, North Carolina. Space is limited. Learn more about the Retreat to the Cove at www.cbhviewpoint.org/#!retreat-to-the-cove/c17hx. To sign up for the Pastor Track, give us a call today at 800-757-VIEW (8439).