What is a Personal Retreat?
A more formal or “churchy” name for personal retreat is sabbatical. The dictionary defines sabbatical as follows:
A personal retreat, pausing for a period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, in preparing oneself for what lies ahead.
A Sabbatical is not…
- Reserved only for ministers, priests, and those in full time ministry
- A vacation
What is a sabbatical?
A personal retreat or sabbatical is an often misunderstood term. Rest is something we all crave, but few recognize just as Jesus carved out times of rest away in seclusion with His Father, we too should make it a practice to do the same. Why? – Because, time alone with the Father not only helps us to rest and recover, but in that time of rest, God also prepares us for the journey ahead.
Where do I go to find sabbatical rest?
A personal retreat can happen just about anywhere and be for any desired length of time. I have one friend who frequently takes his personal retreat in a hospital chapel! With that said however, many find it helpful to have a secluded location that affords you access to nature while still being a haven that provides comfort, rest, peace and an atmosphere of God’s love.
REST Ministries has just such a place to retreat. Shepherd’s Gate Inn is located in Martinsville, Indiana, just 25 minutes from Indianapolis, Indiana. This elegant country estate is the perfect place to retreat with God! See the Shepherd’s Gate Inn tab for more information and additional photos.
Need help in understanding and planning a retreat?
We’d love to talk with you and assist you in taking the next step in planning your own personal sabbatical / retreat. We offer Guided Retreats, Life Coaching and REST Ministries’ Personal Retreat Tool Kit to assist you!
God Keeps Expanding Our Understanding of Personal Retreats!
God Keeps Expanding Our Understanding of Personal Retreats! We used to think personal retreats are personal; just you and God! How much more simple could it be…a personal retreat is when one person breaks away from everyday life to seek God, right?
Just when we think we have it all figured out, God expands our understanding of an area of need. God has revealed to us, many people need assistance on their personal retreat. Often individuals want to retreat but don’t know what to do or where to begin! God planted and cultivated the idea of Guided Personal Retreats. So now REST Ministries is available to help guide individuals on their unique personal retreat journey.
What about the spouse, can they come on a personal retreat? Two people, personal retreats utilize our various secluded seating / study areas and allow couples to come away for a “personal retreat.” Each spouse retreats to seek the will of God and then comes together at meal time to discuss, confirm God’s revelation and worship God together.
We have had ministry leadership teams come away as a group for personal retreat. It is incredible to see what God can do in a ministry when the entire leadership is sequestered to seek God! Meal times are especially wonderful as they break from personal retreat to share where God is guiding their individual journeys; frequently with amazing similarities in the stories!
There have also been other retreats such as the retreat where one man brought together his father & brothers just to seek intimacy with God over a weekend…how amazing! Don’t be limited by your imagination!
Guided Personal Retreats
REST Ministries provides the option for “Guided Personal Retreats.” A guided retreat is simply where we come along side you during your personal retreat. This “guidance” consists of several aspects and can be custom tailored to suit your personal needs.
First and foremost is prayer! We always pray for our guests prior to arrival and during their stay, however in a guided retreat there is something in addition. In a guided retreat, we have conversations prior to arrival so we can be praying specifically for the areas you will be focusing on during your retreat. We also meet with our guided guests several times a day for extended prayer. These meetings can be 1-2 sessions a day based upon your desire.
The second facet of a guided retreat is just that…guidance. Helping you prepare for your retreat, answering questions and suggesting things you might want to consider during your retreat.
The third available feature of a guided retreat is times of meeting together to discuss what you see God doing. In this time we assist you in seeing patterns, guiding to specific helpful scripture and asking questions to assist you in discerning what God is leading you through. Sometimes a second and third set of eyes and ears enlighten an otherwise darkened path!
Finally we help prepare you for re-entry and help you know how to unpack all you have experienced. We don’t just slap you on the back and say good luck, we continue to pray for you in the weeks following your retreat…prayer is the key for God to work miracles!
Guided Retreats are not times of counseling…we don’t tell you what to do or diagnose medical, emotional or mental conditions…we can help you find someone who can help with these issues. Our goal is to listen, ask questions and discern Scripture with you.
What is “Life Coaching?” Maybe this will help explain:
Are you stuck in a life rut and in need of becoming “unstuck/” Are you seeking spiritual guidance and direction? Do you need someone to hold you accountable, help you set goals or unclutter all that is tumbling in your head like a clothes dryer full of wet, soggy laundry? Are all the choices, pressures and opportunities rolling over you like a tsunami?
Maybe you are in a spiritual undertow, being swept into the abyss. How about rocky relationships, fears, failures…or do you just need an unbiased listening ear? Are you at a time of great adventure, opportunity or amazing positive choices? At times life can be overwhelming…or at least whelming and you need an objective ear.
Christian life coaching provides an avenue to face the obstacles and opportunities of life with a renewed view. In Life Coaching, REST Ministries assists you in assessing your thoughts and assumptions by asking thought provoking questions. A Christian life coach can help you discover God’s will and direction for your life.
What does this all mean to you? It means you are not alone! We desire to walk along side you to discover God’s will specifically for your life. REST Ministries’ staff has been trained by AACG (American Association of Christian Counselor’s) in Christian Life Coaching. We want to assist you in hearing God’s direction in your life.
Life Coaching includes many of the aspects of our personal guided retreats but are specifically designed to be relationships lasting 6-12 months to go deeper and add an element of deep accountability. What can God accomplish through Life Coaching for you?
Life Coaching sessions are not times of counseling…we don’t tell you what to do or diagnose medical, emotional or mental conditions…we can help you find someone who can help with these issues. Our goal is to listen, ask questions and discern scripture with you.
Spiritual Direction is similar to a guided personal retreat, however, Spiritual Direction is a more structured, focused series of sessions. Spiritual Direction by Marsha White, Th.A (Certified in a two-year Spiritual Direction program), is available upon request. There is an additional charge for this service and services must be request at time of reservation.
Life Planning helps you navigate through five domains of life:
Life Planning also helps you discover and identify seasons of those domains, as well as Life Turning Points. Life Planning also involves your talents, drives, comfort zones and thinking wavelengths.
During this 2 day course, four lists are also looked at; What’s right, wrong, confusing and missing from your life? By mapping this all on paper, Certified Life Plan Facilitators, Al & Brenda Ginn, can help you discover God’s road map and plan for your life!
Life Planning is available upon request. There is an additional charge for this service and services must be request at time of reservation. Please allow two – four days for this intense retreat.