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Showing posts with label pastors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pastors. Show all posts

08 July

Russell Moore Offers Sunday Guidance For U.S. Churches in Shooting Aftermath

Where does a church even begin on Sunday morning after a week of violence and lament in national headlines? Russell Moore offers guidance to churches, especially pastors and worship leaders, in the wake of the July 2016 shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas. Read more at: http://www.russellmoore.com/2016/07/08/preach-shootings-sunday/

link to russell moore article

01 October

Pastoral Appreciation from The Skit Guys

A little pastoral appreciation from The Skit Guys...

26 July

Urgent News About Cedarly Pastor's Retreat Center

The Cedarly Pastor's Retreat Center is in danger of closing its doors for good. Please let me explain why this breaks my heart and how you can help keep it from happening through prayer, spreading the word, and as God leads:

Dwayne & Rita Hanon broke new ministry ground 18 years ago when they opened up the Cedarly Pastor's Retreat Center in Delafield, Wisconsin. It was a nudging from God to take care of His servants. They offered week-long, life-changing, self-directed retreats free of charge to full time pastors and their wives -- six couples at a time on a year-round basis. No timeshare presentation nor multi-level marketing plan. Just pure, authentic ministry.

In 2001, the Hanon's left the miraculous work being accomplished year-round at Cedarly into capable hands, and began anew -- Broomtree Ministries. Through Broomtree, they offer fewer retreats, but in more varied locations. (Many thanks to the generosity of Christian property owners, such as The Shack Country Inn near White Cloud, Michigan for providing this space!)

My husband and I were blessed to visit Cedarly in 1998, when they were still fairly new. God really showed up for us that week to renew us personally and breathe new life into our ministry. They assigned a volunteer from their home church to each minister or couple attending who prayed for us and sent a personal note of encouragement to greet us when we arrived. We returned again about ten years later, this time to the ministry of Broomtree, where my husband was amazed to discover that I needed the retreat more than he did!

There were times of sharing over the dinner table, and times of quiet where we could just pray and seek God, uninterrupted. After both visits, we left renewed, and grateful to God for providing such a place and such people with a heart to minister to pastor couples.

Earlier this spring, Rita Hanon submitted a guest post, Observations of the American Pastor Couple

Cedarly, the original pastor's retreat center they founded, was still in operation until only recently. Now it has gone up for sale. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place, but will be torn down if the Hanon's are not able to raise the funds necessary to purchase it.

The good news? They're about two-thirds of the way there. This is phenomenal how much has been raised in such a short period of time! The bad news? Time is running short to raise the remaining funds. They have until the end of July.

So what does this have to do with pastors' families who may be cash-strapped financially? Trust me, I feel your pain and am praying hard, asking God what we can do ourselves. But I can do this much, and you can, too:

Please, spread the word! And.... pray -- that is something we can all join together for! Pray the rest of this money in! Also...

I've wondered... how many couples have benefited from the ministry of Cedarly and/or Broomtree these last 18 years? What if each couple were able to return a thank you gift of $50? Even $10 if times are really tough (5 people giving $10 because that's all they can spare  = one person giving $50). What if each church who is reaping the reward of having a renewed and revived pastor, were to give a matching gift? Or even $500, if their budget would allow?

How close would the Hanon's then be to raising the last amount needed? 

Regardless of whether you can help financially, again, please pray. This ministry has meant the world to us and countless others. I'm sure the ministry of Broomtree will continue, regardless of what happens. But what a blessing it would be to have the property at Cedarly available again for ministry!

If you have been personally blessed by the ministry of Cedarly and/or Broomtree (or would like to, now that you know about them), we'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Let others know what a precious ministry this has been!

Please visit the Broomtree Ministries website to learn more and/or help:  http://www.broomtreeministries.org/


15 April

Observations of the American Pastor Couple -- (Guest Post by Rita Hanon)

We have been watching all of you.  And we are encouraged. 

A lot of polls and articles in Christian magazines report that the pastor in the USA is overworked, over tired, and on the brink of burn out.  These facts may all be true of some or even many, but often these articles paint a picture of the pastor couple that is full of negatives.  We see a very different picture that is full of positives and promise.   

Perhaps we just see a different kind of pastor in the retreat setting.  I don’t think there is a way to “poll” the answer to that statement.  We can say this; the couples who come are from over 93 denominations, 35 states, and 10 countries.  They are all ages and have shepherded a congregation from 1 month to 50 years. 

The variety is huge – the commonality is simple. Because they are called to serve, by a God who knew full well what He was doing when He called them, and how they could not do any of it without Him; there is a vast difference between the pastor who is shepherding the flock and the person who is (or thinks he is) in command.  So that makes it simple – a pastor knows he needs time away – a person who feels he is in control has no need to get away to talk to God. 

So the following is what we observe:

  • Pastors know that they're second in command – it is God’s church – no one else’s
  • Pastors are more polite than any other “people group” we have every dealt with
  • Pastors are more grateful and express that gratitude honestly and humbly
  • Pastors have a drive to learn, read, excel, and grow that is amazing
  • Pastors are often very critical and aware of their own shortcomings 
  • Pastors feel torn between serving the church and their family  
  • Pastors often expect their spouses to understand more than those spouses can
  • Pastors receive more direct, confrontational criticism from those they are trying to serve, knowing full well that these critics cannot be "fired" and simply replaced by "hiring" another parishioner
  • Pastors' wives are resourceful, patient, and creative
  • Pastors' wives often feel that they do not fit the “mold” of Pastor’s Wife
  • Pastors' wives are often lonely and long for close women friends
  • Pastors' wives are protective of their husbands and children
  • The very best thing you can give a pastor’s wife is time alone with her husband
  • Both pastor and spouse are sleep deprived
  • Each longs to laugh, be prayed for, sleep, be cared for, and hear from God

When the pastor couple *catches up on their sleep* and begins to hear God’s still small voice for their own lives, then we see amazing changes: 
  • Couples can see each other through God’s eyes instead of their own veil of tribulations.  
  • Being separated from the church offers an opportunity for a distant, honest viewpoint that is more ready for solutions from God and not men
  • Each person can begin to grasp how much God loves them; just as they are – just where they are – just who they are
  • The place of Holy space gives grace to every face

One of the days during our retreats we give each couple some questions to talk about with each other: 
1.  What do you believe God has uniquely gifted you to do?
2. Tell me, [in the last 6 months] about what activities that you have been engaged in have stoked your passion?
3.  Are you in a place where you can do more of what stokes your passion?
4.  If you are not, what do you need to do to change this?

One pastor wrote that when they got these questions, his wife easily shared the answers to these questions while he felt numb and unable to even identify what he believed God had gifted him to do.  Through the rest of the retreat and on into the next 6 months this pastor wrestled with this dilemma.  They talked and prayed and finally received an answer that not only let him stay in his senior pastor role in his church, but also find a way to have others take over so much of the routine things that bogged him down, giving him the freedom to do what God has equipped him to do. 

Another pastor’s wife called our retreats, “A way to push God’s reset button”.  She suggested that you run to your Bible and read Psalm 139 to grasp how much God really does love you. 

So we see clergy a little different from the polls.  We see people trying to change the “bad stuff” in their lives and focus in on the wonder and high privilege of serving the God who loves them, by taking time to ask Him for His help.   Sometimes we get to see Him answer their prayers -- the look on their faces when they get those answers is priceless.   We also are privileged to hear about how God called each one into ministry.  Each couple unique – each call unique.  It gives us a view of the pastorate in America that is encouraging, hopeful and gives reason to pray for all of the churches and their shepherd-leaders. 

If you are a pastor – thank you. 
If you are a pastor’s spouse – thank you.
If you are in a congregation – thank you for praying for your pastor and spouse.  

Some couples have only attended a retreat once; others come back for a second or third go-round.  Each retreat is 5 days so we really get to know you. They are free of charge, so there is no excuse for you to delay taking the time away with Jesus.  


Dwayne and Rita Hanon founded the Cedarly Pastor's Retreat Center, and later Broomtree Ministries, answering God's call to provide pastoral couples a place to recharge and reconnect with God and each other. My husband and I have had the pleasure of attending both retreats under their leadership. I'll never forget hearing Dwayne speak to our congregation, reminding us that God commands us to rest, and for good reason! If you've never taken a retreat or sabbatical, you should -- might I suggest once every 7 years?


29 January

Tax Resources for Pastors' Families (And Yours?)

*This is a fluid post. Please comment below with your own resources, or comment regarding ones already posted. I'll update the post as needed with your responses.*

Here are some general finance articles for pastors: http://www.crown.org/library/default.aspx?catId=86

Ramsey on opting out of social security (he apparently has a different opinion than crown financial on this) http://www.daveramsey.com/article/should....andmoney_taxes/

I wasn't meaning to post articles solely on that topic, though; I was looking for more general and how-to re: minister taxes. Anyone have a go to site or reference article they'd like to share?

A few articles I found at lifeway:




Recommendations from PW friends of mine:

"Dan Busby Ministers Guide to Taxes and Finances....something like that. Published by Zondervan. If you do your own taxes and want to do them correctly, this is a great book." 

http://www.churchlawandtax.com/aboutus.php -- "Richard Hammar also offers the annual 'Church and Clergy Tax Guide'. I've seen pre-sale offers for 2013. Worth's usually prints an annual book also.

"We have used Stewardship Services for the past 10 years or so. They are based out of the The Masters College campus and do taxes for those in ministry. They do not charge, however do accept a donation. I'm sure you can look them up online. We have always appreciated them!"

https://www.guidestone.org/LearningCenter/Ministry/MinistersTaxGuide.aspx "Guidestone usually puts out a pretty throrough guide. I don't think the 2012 edition is out yet, but this is last years."


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