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In this retreat, leaders will …
Catch the Vision
of what it means to be a transforming church
Learn from the Experiences
of pastors who are leading transforming churches
Develop Strategic Approaches
for spiritual formation that work in your setting
Experience Transforming Worship
and why it is essential to the vision
Includes healthy refreshments and all meals noted in the schedule. Please, no technology or recording during teaching or prayer sessions.
This retreat will contain teaching and presentations, rhythms of fixed-hour prayer, solitude and community, stimulating conversations with other leaders about best practices and costly mistakes, guidance for discerning next steps in your setting, and opportunities to make connections with others in your region and/or denomination.
Designed for those currently in senior leadership roles
- Senior pastors/clergy
- Executive pastors
- Members of your church’s decision-making body
(elders, deacons, vestry, session, consistory)
- Executive leaders of Christian organizations
- Denominational leaders
Senior pastors are encouraged to attend with other members of their senior leadership group.
Past Retreat Topics and Schedule*
(Future retreat dates coming soon)
Download PDF of schedule.
*Schedule subject to change
Main Session Descriptions
Life Together in Christ: A Vision for Transforming Church (Ruth Haley Barton)
In this session we will cast vision and explore the Biblical foundations for ordering our life together around the priority of transformation in Christ’s presence—for the glory of God, for the abundance of their own lives and for the sake of others.
A Practicing Community: Living from the Center Out (Ruth Haley Barton with panel)
People change incrementally over time in the context of spiritual practices that open us to God. In this session we will explore the role of spiritual practices in transforming communities and consider key practices that take place in solitude, in community, and in the world Jesus loves.
A Sabbath Community: Living in Shared Rhythms of Work, Rest and Renewal (Ruth Haley Barton)
It is hard to be like Jesus when you are exhausted! A transforming church is a community that honors God by ordering their life together around sane rhythms of work and rest—with particular emphasis on sabbath-keeping as a communal discipline.
A Worshipping Community: Reclaiming Sunday Services as a Primary Transformative Experience (Rory Noland)
In this session we will cast vision and provide Biblical and theological rationale for weekend services to be a transformative experience and describe major components of Transforming Worship services.
A Reconciling Community: Participating in God’s Heart for Shalom in Our World (David M.Bailey)
The practices of reconciliation, justice, and shalom are formational issues. In this session, we will explore a framework for integrating these practices into the lives of our communities and institutions.
A Discerning Community: Pursuing God’s Will Together (Ruth Haley Barton)
According to Romans 12:2 one of the most significant outcomes of our transformation is an increasing capacity to discern and do the will of God—alone and together. In this session we will explore the preparation needed for leadership groups and entire congregations to become communities that discern and do the will of God.
A Missional Community: Integrating Formation and Mission in the Church (BJ Woodworth)
"Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of this world in a humble and loving spirit." – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this session we will explore what it means for a church community to be in God for the world, discerning the shape of missional community out of deep spiritual transformation.
12:00 pm: Arrival and Check-in
1:00 pm: Life Together in Christ: A Vision for Transforming Church
3:00 pm: A Practicing Community: Living from the Center Out
5:00 pm: Evening Prayer
5:30 pm: Dinner
7:00 pm: A Sabbath Community: Living in Shared Rhythms of Work, Rest and Renewal
8:45 pm: Night Prayer / Great Silence
8:00 am: Morning Prayer/Break Silence
8:20 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: A Worshipping Community: Reclaiming Sunday Services as a Primary Transformative Experience
10:45 am: A Reconciling Community: Participating in God’s Heart for Shalom in Our World
12:15 pm: Mid-day Prayer
12:30 pm: Lunch
1:00 pm: Solitude, Rest, and Reflection
5:00 pm: Evening Prayer
5:30 pm: Dinner
6:30 pm: The Deeper Conversation—Elective Opportunities (see below)
8:15 pm: Night Prayer
9:00 pm: Reception and Conversation (in teams)
8:00 am: Morning Prayer
8:20 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: A Discerning Community: Pursuing God’s Will Together
10:45 am: A Missional Community: Integrating Formation and Mission in the Church
12:00 pm: Leaving Service
1:00 pm: Departure
Breakouts to “Go Deeper” on Key Aspects of Transforming Church
Choose one of several practical break-out sessions on key aspects of becoming a community for spiritual transformation. Taught and facilitated by alumni and friends of the Transforming Center, you will be able to learn from their ups and downs, their best practices, and the hard-won wisdom gained from painful mistakes. If you are coming with your team, we encourage you to split up in order to take advantage of the variety of topics available, and then reconvene to share your learnings.
The Deeper Conversation: Elective Opportunities
- The Critical Journey: Understanding and Resourcing Stages of Faith (Sybil Towner)
- Fostering Transforming Community In and Through Small Groups (Biz Gainey) NEW: Listen to pastor Biz Gainey share his experience leading a transforming church.
- Got Resilience? One Church’s Journey—the Ups, the Downs, and Everything in Between (Scott and Clare Loughrige)
- Planning Transforming Worship Services (Rory Noland and Aaron Niequist)
- Spiritual Formation with Children and Young People (Scottie May)
- #ThisToo: Gender, Justice and Healthy Sexuality in Christian Community (Phaedra Blocker)
- Translating Spiritual Formation in an Urban Environment (Phil Jackson)
- A Baptist Pastor's Journey with His Gay Son (David Hughes)
The Becoming a Transforming Church Retreat will be held at the Q Center in the Chicagoland area. Q Center is nestled on 95 beautiful acres along the Fox River in St. Charles and is accessible to the two Chicago airports, O'Hare and Midway.
1405 N 5th Ave.
St. Charles, IL 60174
All sessions will be held at Q Center. Accommodations will be provided by Q Center. The cost of the accommodations and all meals is included in the retreat price.
The goal of this retreat is to support your ongoing journey of transforming leadership
and to equip you to lead your own community to become a transforming church.
Travel Information & Directions
1405 North Fifth Avenue, St. Charles, IL 60174
St. Charles is approximately 45 miles west of downtown Chicago.
If you are looking for a transportation service outside of Uber, Lyft, or a car rental, A-1 Airport Limousine is a preferred vendor of Q Center. They offer ride shares to minimize costs, as well as solo rides.
1-630-833-3788 option 2