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Notes From Our All-Day Staff Retreat

We have an all day or couple day staff retreat a few times each year at Grace Community Church. These retreats always focus on the future…where we are going. We have made huge changes in our church as a result of these times.

In our last all-day retreat, our main purpose was to write some guiding principles of what it means to accomplish our vision, which is “Grace Community Church exists to lead people to become growing followers of Jesus.” We did a few things before we got to that part, but they were all forward-thinking discussions.

These are the notes from that day. They may appear random to you, but my hope is they will help you see how we use these all-day staff retreats.

Collaborating with Volunteers

  • Organize a team of volunteers (Collaboration teams/Dream Teams) in your ministry to learn from them.
  • They need to feel a part & have a voice at the table on decisions in your ministry. You have to genuinely listen to them and validate their feedback. It will allow you to get early buy in from them.
  • High power/high interest volunteers need to be part of that team
  • Doesn’t have to be the same team every time
  • If people understand the “why”, they will always be willing to do the “what”
  • We have to move more in that direction the bigger we get.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • We have to make our strengths and weaknesses work together as a team
  • Our weaknesses do show up on the team
  • Use others on the team to help with the areas that we have weaknesses

Passion for Ministry

  • You minister differently to someone who is a new believer vs. one who has been a believer for 50 yrs
  • We each tend to have a passion for a specific segment of people in that spectrum.
  • We have to push ourselves to minister to those that we aren’t naturally drawn to.


Grace Community Church exists to lead people to become growing followers of Jesus.

  • We exist to LEAD PEOPLE to be growing followers of Jesus
  • But they don’t know what that means
  • They can do everything in our strategy of Gather, Commit and Serve and still not be growing
  • We need Guiding principles for what it means to be growing followers of Jesus

We spent the rest of the day in teams, and then as a group, writing our guiding principles. We are word-smithing these principles. I’ll share them in a future post.

How often does your staff do an all-day retreat, and what do those days look like?