The annual Current young leaders retreat always seems to fall at just the right time for me. The rush of planning, preparing, and leading a congregation through the busy season of Advent has passed and a new year is up and running around the church. Though I love being involved in the daily life of my congregation’s ministries, it is a wonderful thing to retreat with friends old and new. These friends offer seminary, summer camp, and plain old life memories that often get tucked away but are brought out and dusted off at least once a year.
These friends have grown with me as we’ve parted ways and maintained relationships through emails, phone calls, and the highly coveted (but unfortunately occasional) face-to-face. These friends provide a safe place to return to as we as talk about the joys and headaches of ministry, unafraid to tackle the really tough questions together.
But more than anything, these friends remind me of who I am and who I am continually called to be-an imperfect but trying really hard (most days) follower of Christ who has been entrusted to lead others in my small corner of the world. Of course the weekend’s activities of worship and breakouts are refreshing for my run-down soul, but the new memories I pack up will sustain me in a way I can’t explain. This short time with friends offers the life-giving rush to return home feeling recharged, energized, and simply loved.