This cohort retreat has been an amazing experience! I feel so incredibly blessed that God opened the door for me to be a part of this!
I didn’t take hardly any pictures of the people because I didn’t want to be disruptive. But when everyone was filling out papers I got a shot.
It is quite a small world. Other than my friend Jeannette, who I met at a previous class, I had never met any of these people before.
But it’s such a small world! Sean, on the left above, actually knows some of the staff from my church and from Bayside because he went to school at Davis. And Peter, in the middle, is friends with my friend Ryan in Fremont. Small world!
The picture above is deceptive, though. It makes it look like we spent most of our time studying. But most of the time we were actually listening to the teachers and paying attention. I didn’t even see anyone look remotely tired or fall asleep! Hmm… but maybe it was because I was busy taking notes.
We also had a great time laughing together. There were some very funny people in the group!
We learned so much:
- How important it is for a preacher to work on their own spiritual formation, which gives the strength and authenticity behind preaching.
- The power of words and listening, as well as how to better listen to and understand the congregation.
- How preaching leads a church through change and transition.
- About the four spiritual typologies and how to keep these in mind while preaching so you can speak to everyone in some way.
- The art of storytelling and techniques to make storytelling more effective.
- How to develop a preaching project group (part of the requirement I need to fulfill for this program).
It was 2+ days of amazing content, with a chance to process with an amazing group of people! I was also amazed how quickly friendships and appreciation for each other began to develop. This was really a great group of people, with a passion for the Lord, ministry, and preaching!
That picture looks so orderly. Hmm… I just noticed I’m the shortest person in the group. Again. Ah well, it is my lot in life to have short legs and sit in the middle seat in the back of the car. I’m okay with that.
What the picture doesn’t show is all the work it took to become orderly. Here’s how it really looked.
Chaos behind the order. So appropriate when working with mostly “P” (in Meyer’s Briggs — the spontaneous types) type senior or solo pastors!
I have a lot of stuff to process… still thinking through the call of preaching, what it means, what it looks like, how it works. This year will be a huge growing process. I am so thankful for the opportunity!