By Justin Rossow
I believe it was Eugene Peterson who once said that the most dangerous thing you can do to your faith is become a pastor. It can be hard, in the midst of the business of ministry, to handle the things of God not only as part of your day job, but as a meaningful part of your own faith walk.
That observation led my friend Pastor Walt Waiser on a journey of discovery. It’s been over 30 years since Walt began experimenting with the kinds of tools and routines that would sustain a healthy faith life in the midst of an active pastoral ministry.
I first heard Walt’s story as a new pastor to the Texas District. I saw tools and ways of thinking that helped me, personally. Reflecting on that experience together, Walt and I decided to share this material not only with busy clergy, but with the busy people of the busy congregation where we both served.
The result was a series of Renewal in Christ weekends down in North Texas. That was almost 10 years ago. Walt and I have both moved on, but we continue to share a passion for helping people follow Jesus.
One participant shared: “My routine for prayer and reflection has been sporadic, at best. I am prayerful that this inspirational weekend will begin a daily routine for my quiet time with God.”
If you find yourself struggling with personal habits that sustain meaningful interaction with God’s Word in your busy schedule, if your life feels hectic, if you could use a practical example of interacting with God’s Word in your weekly routine, please join us for our Renewal in Christ weekend workshop here at St. Luke.
Walt will use Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Meditating on the Word, Robert Mulholland’s Invitation to a Journey, and several other resources to help us slow down, sit with God’s Word, and begin to develop attitudes and habits that lead to more regular dependence on Jesus in His Word. The workshop puts new tools in your hand, and also gives you time to sit with God’s Word yourself, to try out patterns of engagement right away.
Another said, “What I valued about this weekend was the exposure to a variety of means of experiencing God’s word and the encouragement to seek out whatever materials and study methods work best for me in my pursuit of a deeper intimate relationship with my Lord. Great stuff!”
Busyness and noise are the enemies of our personal relationship with God in His Word. We intentionally shaped this weekend workshop to allow you to participate in the midst of a busy life. Saturday is dedicated to interaction with God’s Word, but we stay local so you can be close to home. Sunday, Pastor Waiser will preach and teach here at St. Luke, but the workshop won’t resume until after lunch so that anyone coming from a different congregation could worship there on Sunday and join us for the last few hours of our Discipleship Weekend. We will wrap up by 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The time investment is significant. But the potential for positive change is well worth it. It’s hard to find time in a busy schedule to confront the busyness of your schedule, but the invitation to rest is real.
One Renewal in Christ alum wrote: “You can only run on empty so long. I was empty and didn’t know why. My life and job use all about hurry and noise. Now I know the enemy, and know the solution.”
Find a partner to explore new patterns for interacting with God’s Word in your weekly routine. Come discover what Jesus wants to give you through time in His Word. Then share with us what Jesus is up to in your life.
We want to be a partner in your life of faith. Please join us for Renewal in Christ.
Dates: September 23-24
Times: Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m.
Location: St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4205 Washtenaw Ave. Ann Arbor, MI
Cost: $25 per person
Childcare: $10 per family