The Becoming a Transforming Church® Retreat

Equipping You to Cultivate a Community of Spiritual Transformation

Designed for pastors and leaders who long for their churches to become centers for spiritual transformation.

Sign up to receive notification of our next Becoming a Transforming Church Retreat.

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.

Become a community in which people experience transformation just by being a part of it.

"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."

—Ruth Haley Barton

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.

TC_retreatweb-47

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


BREAK


3:00 pm: A Practicing Community: Living from the Center Out


BREAK


5:00 pm: Evening Prayer


5:30 pm: Dinner


7:00 pm: A Sabbath Community: Living in Shared Rhythms of Work, Rest and Renewal


BREAK


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


BREAK


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)


BREAK


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


BREAK


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

NEW: FULL Elective Descriptions (PDF)

  • 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)

 

Venue

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

Accommodations

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.

q-center-standard-room

“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.”

—W.H. Vanstone, Anglican Theologian

Rates

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.

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

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

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 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.

A-1 Airport Limousine Service, Inc.

Schedule via online portal

Email: customerservice@a1limousine.com

1-800-354-5849 or

1-630-833-3788 option 2