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The Elder Retreat

SunsetIf you want God to breathe life into your governing board, start where God starts, love what God loves — an authentic, loving community among the leaders — watch it flow to other leaders and to the church body. Then, witness a supernatural component as if the Holy Spirit delights to be present when church leaders meet in unity to learn and grow together.

The Elder Retreat initiates “learning in community” through the Six-Step Wisdom Process which helps to lead your governing board toward becoming a community of spiritual leaders.

In our leadership teams, we need to plan for things that facilitate community. Spending time together outside of “business” meetings and studying the Scriptures to address ministry issues are clearly a significant use of your governing board's time.

A Turning Point…

Last weekend was a turning point for us as a leadership team. A few of the elders have expressed excitement with the new direction and a sense of relief. This feels like the way it should be and should serve to ensure our effectiveness in the years ahead.

Highway Community Church Mountain View, CA

When church leaders extol the virtues of community and then model it, the influence on leaders-in-training and the whole congregation will be pervasive, abundant and refreshing.

Elders and Leaders: God's Plan for Leading the ChurchElders and Leaders FIELD GUIDE.

The Elder Retreat we have designed jump-starts your Board into “learning in community” through Gene Getz's book, Elders and Leaders: God's Plan for Leading the Church, and the companion, Elders and Leaders FIELD GUIDE.

Led by elders with multiple years of experience, The Elder Retreat is a key investment to help your board revitalize with unity, vision and purpose. The results are seen when your governing board is unified and focused as they more effectively shepherd the church body.

Please contact The Center for Church Based Training to discuss The Elder Retreat for your board at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (include your name, phone number and church name) or call us toll-free at 1-888-422-2896.


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Elders and Leaders FIELD GUIDE: An In-depth Participant Commentary

[The following is a letter sent to CCBT describing one church’s experience with using the Elders and Leaders FIELD GUIDE]

Our group of Elders wanted to better understand prayer….how, when, where, and who. We used the
Elders and Leaders FIELD GUIDE Issue 7 as a study guide. We wanted a way to “benchmark” our prayer
lives against what could and should be done as Elders.

I remember working through the guide and having one of the men ask: “Why don’t people ask us to pray
for them when they are sick?” We had done this in the past, but it was years ago. The article on “How Then
Should We Pray for Healing?” provided us encouragement and guidance for moving ahead to play the critically
important role that shepherds of a flock need to provide. We then offered to pray for those we knew to be
mortally ill.

Clearly, one of the most humbling experiences of my life, and yet one that is a tremendous blessing to me,
was having the opportunity, as Elders, to pray with those in our church family who have been desperately ill.

What a sweet time of worship, praise, and intervention these have been. Again, to God be the glory for what
He has done.

As the FIELD GUIDE says, I think we are now seeing prayer as the reason for our meetings vs. something
we do at the beginning of a meeting.

To provide additional perspective, here are the notes I took during the first evening that we studied the
FIELD GUIDE. I thought you might find this informative.

First Reactions to the Study?

1. We don’t fast and pray as a group. We should “beg” more in our tone and desire.
2. Don’t know how to pray, specifically for the other elders.
3. We don’t pray over sick people (anointing with oil).
4. #1 priority of elders: devote themselves to prayer.
5. We don’t communicate with our flock as to how we’re praying for them.
6. Don’t’ see us praying with people when we’re with them. We say, “I’ll pray about it.”
7. Easiest prayer is the “I want/they need” vs. praise and knowing God.
8. The thought on praying for healing….
9. In James, a focus on spiritual needs.
10. Praying …ministering the Word…is teaching/showing/applying the Word to their lives.

If there was one thing we could change about how we pray, what would it be?
(Ideas generated at an Elder meeting.)

1. Pray in front of the church (We’ll teach on prayer, and several elders then pray).
2. Praying the Psalms as a body.
3. Allow people to share their personal testimony, and elders pray with them.
4. Learn specifics as to how to pray for other elders.
5. Elders stand in front of the church and people come to elders for prayer (Sunday evening service?).
6. Decide if weekly prayer meetings are important, and if so, attend them.
7. Set aside a day of prayer and pray via Psalms, Corporate prayer, and personal confession, names
of God, etc.
8. 24 hour prayer period (pray for marriages in the church, elders, etc.).
9. Cards…that people can submit to request prayer.
10. On James 5:14 Sick? Call the elders…why doesn’t this happen now? Ignorance? Lack of confidence?
11. Break up prayer needs list; assign section of the congregation to pray for section of the prayer
needs list. Tell individuals after the service that you prayed for them.
12. In a normal service, do a 5-minute (mini-class) teaching on an aspect of prayer, then do it.
13. James 5…a chapter of hard teachings on prayer...May need to examine as a group.

Thanks for making the Elders and Leaders FIELD GUIDE available for our use.

To God be the Glory!

Dan Price, Chairman of the Elders
Faith Bible Church
Cincinnati, Ohio

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Elder Retreat Testimonies

Here is a great testimonies we received about The Elder Retreat:

A Huge Success, By Any Standards…

I want to take this opportunity to thank CCBT for facilitating our leaders' retreat…. It was a huge success, by any standards, and our men are still talking about it.
At our first elders' meeting after the retreat, the men decided they wanted to begin immediately to work through the FIELD GUIDE, as a continuation of "learning in community." We have set one of our two monthly meetings aside for study, and kept the other for shepherding.
We realize we have far to go, but we were very encouraged by your comments to us on the maturity of our men. God clearly has gone before us to prepare the ground for our leaders' unity, and the materials of CCBT and the retreat have helped solidify both their relationships and resolve.
We would recommend this retreat setting to any church ready to take the next steps in church leadership. One of our men already asked if we can have you back next year!
—Lownes Free Church Springfield, PA