Volume 40 | May 2018
Small Group Leaders, 

I was recently gifted the chance to get away with a group of women who serve alongside me on staff at North Way - and with God. I chose each of those words carefully, not because they all start with the letter “G” (that was a total coincidence, I promise!) but because each aspect was incredibly important to us being able to truly take a break.

  • Gifted: Our time away was absolutely a gift. None of us knew what to expect going into our time together, but each of us were gifted with space - away from the busyness of family and ministry, to simply enjoy and get to know one another, and to open our ears and our hearts to hear from God. 

  • Get Away: It became evident that what we were able to experience wouldn’t have been possible within the same places where we live, work, and play. We needed to drive somewhere together, to stay up late, to wake up in our pajamas, to share meals, and to breathe in the fresh air of a lakeside cottage. 

  • Group of Women: Romans 1:12 states, “Now, this means that when we come together and are side by side, something wonderful will be released. We can expect to be co-encouraged and co-comforted by each other’s faith!” So much of the refreshing from taking a break came as a result of being together with other followers of Jesus. We compared and contrasted our spiritual gifts. We shared with one another what we were struggling with and what God was teaching us. We prayed for one another. We encountered God through one another. 

  • God: It all revolves around him, doesn’t it? True rest becomes possible in light of who God is, what he’s already accomplished, and what he’s currently accomplishing in and through our lives. If we seek first his kingdom and receive first his righteousness, all else will be added. 

So what do I mean when I encourage you to take a break? The Hebrew word “selah” is used throughout the Psalms, and in the Passion Translation of the Bible, its meaning is “pause in his presence.” Have you had the opportunity to do that lately? Have you had the opportunity to pause in his presence?

To truly pause - in - his - presence? 

In the busyness of our lives it can be quite difficult to do. It’s rather ironic that it often takes work and effort to rest, but it is so worth it. Find some time in your days, in your weeks, in your months, and in your years to take a break - to pause in his presence. Creatively think and pray through what this could look like in your small group:
  • Simply passing along the encouragement? 
  • Sharing with one another what rest looks like in each of your lives? 
  • Planning a one- or two-day retreat together? 

Pausing in his presence with you, 

Amanda Seidler
Adult Life Development Champion
Take a Break
This time of year, as the seasons shift, can be a great time to take a break to recharge - especially if you’ve been running hard in ministry life. Whether you need to recharge personally, or you’re looking for something you can do as a group, these resources will help:
Alone with the One Who Knows Your Name
A spiritual retreat can quiet your soul and renew your faith.
The scenery turned from concrete to cornfields as I reluctantly made my way to a retreat center 30 miles from home. Is this really going to be worth it? I questioned the value of taking a day of personal retreat when my calendar boasted little breathing room and my desk resembled the haystacks I was passing on these lonely country roads. Click here to continue reading.
The Antidote to Burnout
Abiding in Christ is our true responsibility.
It's the day of your small group meeting. As you get ready for the meeting, you feel stressed, tired, disconnected, overwhelmed, and even a bit resentful. You wonder how many people will show up, when you'll have time to prepare, and how you'll summon the energy to listen to the "difficult" people. You wish you could just cancel the meeting and relax in front of the TV . Click here to continue reading.
Plan a One-Day Retreat for Your Small Group
You and your group members could use a break.
Your small group deserves a break, and this training tool is designed to show you how to organize a one-day retreat. You'll find articles and Bible studies to prepare you for a retreat, tips on preparing a time and place, and even a participant's guide that will serve as a roadmap for your group members on the day of the retreat. The content for the retreat is all ready for you - you just need to pick a day and location.

While this retreat is designed for small groups, there's no need to limit it to "official" small groups. Any group of believers could use this material to have a fruitful day of rest. Click here to download.
Save the Date
Save the date for the events below - for you and for your small group members:

  • "Stuff Christians Say" Message Series: Sunday, April 29 - Sunday, May 13
  • KidsGiG - June and July 2018