Area of Ministry: Leadership Encouragement
General Information about Pastors Families Retreat
Many leaders today are like Gideon. They are God’s people, they have a calling on their lives, but they feel overwhelmed by circumstances in their lives and the battles they fight. Encouragement, training, inspiration and exhortation are much needed on the level of leadership. The ministers’ families also need to be ministered to in order for them to get out and do the Lord’s work with new power, strength and joy. Through this ministry we will reach the families of God’s servants who in turn will have new passion, zeal and power to reach the lost.
As missionaries we often face discouragement, physical or emotional burnout and we feel compassion for those who are like us ministering to others in their respective communities. Therefore we want to go the extra mile in empowering our co-workers. We don’t think it is fair to only give resources and valuable teaching and leave them there. It would be the same as if the Lord Jesus gave his disciples the entire knowledge about God but never taught them that they need to pray and wait on the Holy Spirit to fill them with power again and again.
This program brings co-workers to a place where we corporately commit time praying as families for our nation, for the growth of the kingdom of God in our country and to inspire others to pray for mission outreach in Bulgaria.
As missionaries and church leaders serving the communities, they need to charge their batteries and refresh their hearts and those of their wives and children.
This format of prayer ministry combined with family retreat encourages and strengthens our co-workers and helps us build a team of mission-minded leaders who help with the vision casting of CPM.
Impact of the Program
This project is a top priority for the entire evangelical community in Bulgaria. The ministry is field-driven and addresses a sensitive area. We desperately need new leaders who are encouraged, strengthened and empowered to bring a new harvest of souls into the Kingdom of Christ. If there is one spiritual attack against leaders and their families today that we can identify and name clearly, that is discouragement. Church leaders are in great need of encouragement. Ministry in Bulgaria is in no way a place where one makes a good living (it is often a place of many sacrifices and struggles in the family and outside of it). There are areas where there is a high turnover with people leaving the churches as fast as they join. Discouragement can lead to the desire to abandon the ministry and quit the work altogether, or perhaps just start something more rewarding.
We are called to encourage workers and leaders in established churches and strengthen their hands. We also recognize the need to strengthen their spouses’ hearts and minds by ministry to their souls. Encouraging the established workers and equipping others for service in these ministry areas will greatly impact the lives of Bulgarian leaders and strengthen the Body of Christ in Bulgaria. Encouragement can be brought through our Pastors Families Retreats where both leaders and their families get a fresh Word from the Lord and share and fellowship together.
Our ministry to them will mean the salvation and transformation of lives of thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of new souls that come into God’s Kingdom. The harvest is so plentiful but the workers are only a so few.
We will follow up with the families of ministers we have already worked with and coordinate with them the most suitable time frame for their retreat. Once we have put it in the diary and we have the dates, we will begin to prepare our program. This retreat is very interactive and we ask every minister and his wife to share and interact with the rest of the group. In this way our ministry does not turn into another leadership conference where we have a preacher who speaks in front of a big crowd; rather we get every individual leader to share from their experience and their walk with the Lord. Learning from our experience we plan to invite the pastors and their families to the retreat well in advance and ask them to put it in their diary because in this way we will have a better picture of who exactly will come.
Our budget target for this project is $7,000 for 15 ministers’ families. The biggest challenge is to have the budget raised several months before the retreat and ensure that the ministry will happen as planned.