Cultivating Sacred Rhythms in Your Community

The Becoming a Transforming Church Retreat is for pastors and leaders who long for their churches to become centers for spiritual transformation.

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How does a church become a community in which people experience transformation just by being a part of it?

March 11–13, 2019

Chicagoland area

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

In community with other leaders, 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.

What is a Transforming Church?

A transforming church is a community of men and women gathered around the presence of Christ for the purpose of spiritual transformation so they can discern and do the will of God. As a community, they affirm that being conformed into the image of Christ for the sake of others is central to the message of the Gospel and therefore central to the mission of the Church.

A transforming church is cultivated intentionally by leaders committed to an ongoing process of transformation in their personal lives and in their congregations. Becoming a transforming church is not primarily about programs; it is a culture shift that emanates from the leadership center, resulting in the ability to develop strategic alignment and focus.

“That we may present everyone mature in Christ… for this we toil and struggle with all the energy he powerfully inspires within us.”

Colossians 1:28–29

Topics and Schedule

Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Includes healthy refreshments and all meals noted in the schedule. Please, no technology or recording during teaching or prayer sessions.

12:00pm: Arrival and Check-in

1:00pm Life Together in Christ: A Vision for Transforming Church


3:00pm: Living From the Center Out: Solitude and Community


5:15pm: Evening Prayer

6:00pm: Dinner

7:00pm: Sabbath, Simplicity and Saying No: Establishing Sane Rhythms of Work and Rest


8:45pm: Night Prayer / Great Silence

6:30am: Breakfast on your own schedule (6:30–8:15)

8:30am Morning Prayer

9:00am: Rhythms of Silence and Word / Prayer and Action


11:00am: Honoring the Body: Unity and Diversity

12:00pm: Mid-day Prayer

12:30pm: Lunch

1:00pm: Solitude, Rest and Reflection

5:15pm: Evening Prayer

6:00pm: Dinner

7:00pm: The Deeper Conversation – Elective Opportunities


8:45pm: Night Prayer

9:15pm: Reception and Conversation


6:30am: Breakfast on your own schedule (6:30–8:15)

8:30am Morning Prayer

9:00am: How Kingdom Work Gets Done: Discerning and Doing


11:00am: Working Session: Discerning Next Steps in YOUR Church with YOUR Team

12:00pm: Leaving Service

1:00pm: Departure


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.


Presented by the Transforming Center

with Ruth Haley Barton, David Fitch, and Rory Noland, worship leader


Ruth Haley Barton

Ruth is founder and CEO of the Transforming Center.  Over the last fifteen years she has developed the Center’s two-year Transforming Community experience, guiding hundreds of pastors and ministry leaders through it. Ruth is the author of numerous books on the spiritual life, including Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community, Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups, and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. She regularly shares her thoughts on transforming leadership in her blog, Beyond Words: Reflections on the Soul of Leadership, and on the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast. 


David Fitch

David is B R Lindner Chair of evangelical theology at Northern Seminary, Chicago. He is an ordained pastor in the Christian and Missionary Alliance and currently pastors (along with 3 other pastors) the Peace of Christ Church of Westmont, IL. He is married to Rae Ann and they have one son named Max. He speaks regularly on culture, politics, ethics, ecclesiology and mission. He writes from time to time on his own page at Missio Alliance and for other publications. He tweets at @fitchest. He has written several books, the most recent is Faithful Presence: 7 Disciplines That Shape the Church For God’s Mission.

Rory Noland

Rory Noland

Rory serves as worship leader for the Transforming Center and has composed numerous songs that contribute to transforming worship in our community. Rory is Head of the Worship Department at Nebraska Christian College. He served for twenty years as music director at Willow Creek and is currently director of Heart of the Artist Ministries.  A composer, song writer, speaker, he is the author of several books, including his most recent, Worship on Earth as it is in Heaven.


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.

Q Center
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 church is like a swimming pool in which all the noise comes from the shallow end. But most of the wisdom is to be found in the deep end, among those who have taken the time and cultivated the habits and disciplines to learn to swim in deeper waters. If we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, then we need the kind of sustained learning that leads us into the deep end of the pool.”

Anglican Theologian W.H. Vanstone


Cost includes accommodations, meals, refreshments throughout, and all materials.

Team rate. Receive a $50 per person discount when you register 3 or more from your team, or a $75 discount when you register 5 or more.

Super Early Bird Rate

$275 Program Fee

  • Available until October 15, 2018
  • Private room (2 nights) and five meals starting Thursday dinner through Saturday breakfast ($400)
  • Refreshments throughout
  • Total Cost: $675
Early Bird Rate

$325 Program Fee

  • Available until December 15, 2018
  • Private room (2 nights) and five meals starting Thursday dinner through Saturday breakfast ($400)
  • Refreshments throughout
  • Total Cost: $725
Regular Rate

$375 Program Fee

  • Available until February 11, 2019
  • Private room (2 nights) and five meals starting Thursday dinner through Saturday breakfast ($400)
  • Refreshments throughout
  • Total Cost: $775

Questions? Contact Dalene Strieff or call her at 630-588-8133 ext 303 during regular business hours.

Click here to view our cancellation policy.

If it is necessary to cancel a registration for a retreat, please provide as much advance notice as possible so the Transforming Center can offer the available space to another retreatant. Registration fees cannot be transferred to another retreat.

If a request for cancellation is received thirty (30) or more days prior to the start date of a retreat, a refund of the retreat cost minus a $50 administrative fee will be issued.

If a cancellation request is received less than thirty (30) days prior to the start of a retreat, 45% of the program cost will be refunded.

No refund will be given if a retreatant leaves early or arrives late. Out of consideration for others on the waiting list, please make a commitment to attend the entire retreat.

Please note that the Transforming Center cancellation policy does not apply to the nine Transforming Community retreats.  Upon acceptance into a two-year Transforming Community, the commitment to pay for the entire community experience--whether present or absent at any of the nine retreats--is understood.

If you have questions or would like further assistance to register for a Transforming Center retreat, please contact us a (630) 588-8133 or for more information.

“Spiritual transformation is central to the message of the Gospel and therefore central to the mission of the Church … and yet people are not routinely experiencing transformation in and through their churches.”

Travel Information & Directions


Q Center

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 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.

A-1 Airport Limousine Service, Inc.

Schedule via online portal


1-800-354-5849 or

1-630-833-3788 option 2