In early May I spent a couple of days at Cliff College in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District. The purpose of the retreat was to enable those of us in our fourth year in Circuit Ministry to reflect on our calling.
The primary aim of the gathering was to enable people to prepare before they make decisions about whether they are seeking an extension beyond the initial five years in their first circuit.
The main benefit which I got out of it was a very welcome spiritual rest. The timetable for the event seemed sparse and we had not been asked to prepare lots of things for it, so I was a bit nervous about whether this would be time well spent. My concerns were completely unfounded.
Most of the time was spent in groups of four where we could simply share honestly about God’s call on our lives, the joys and challenges of circuit ministry, and to pray about where we see God leading us next. Each group was led by a facilitator and it was these leaders who put together the worship sessions: we didn’t even need to contribute anything and even though we love leading worship it was important to receive and be blessed by the leadership of others.
Personally, I become acutely aware of the presence of God when I go to a quiet place in the hills. I know this is a pattern which Jesus followed. I walked to the top of the hill more than once: for those (like me) who have never been to Cliff, the countryside is stunning.
Of course this event had a particular purpose – more on that later – but I wanted to share this experience because I want to urge you all to find space to meet God afresh. For some, that may be a retreat; for others it may be a busy Christian Conference; for others it may happen in a fresh commitment to prayer at home.
May God continue to bless you as you rejoice in His presence.