I had been a pastor for 36 years when I decided to travel to Michigan and enroll in a program for Pastors and Missionaries. I was at a point of crisis in my life where I had to make a decision about my future at a church I had founded and served for 28 years. My wife and I felt hurt, burdened, burned out, and in need of rest, renewal and clarity for what the Lord had for us.
We went through a program that involved two morning sessions on various topics related to ministry. We went through an hour of group counseling each day. This was followed up with a counseling session each afternoon. I had never been through anything quite like this program. I began this retreat not knowing a whole lot about what to expect, but God used this program to give us exactly what we needed at the time.
The months and years of ministry had worn me down. My present situation had brought me to a place where I felt the desire and energy for ministry drained out of me. I had thoughts of doing something else for the rest of my life. I contemplated all sorts of things I could do. If I had enough of money to live on my own, I could easily see myself leaving ministry. This is how I felt going when I arrived in Michigan to enter this program for pastors.
God used this time to bring healing, rest, renewal, and clarity to our life, marriage and ministry. This was truly a transformative experience for us. It was a second wind for the second half of our ministry life. I had a dream to see this kind of ministry in the South. My desire is to see those who are struggling in ministry to have a place to get away and find rest, encouragement and help. This led to our move to Arkansas in March of 2019 where we began our journey to start Still Waters Renewal.
The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful board to help us get started. God led another experienced pastor named, Cliff Preston, to come alongside of us to make this ministry happen. Cliff is the director of a Christian Counseling Ministry in El Dorado, Arkansas. He has provided us with a counseling opportunity for all who come to Still Waters.
When we begin planning for this ministry, we found a beautiful home on a hill with a small lake. We began to pursue funding to purchase this property. However, the Lord had a better plan and place for us. We connected with Paul Butler, the Superintendent of Moro Bay State Park in Southern Arkansas. We are using this incredible facility to host Still Waters Renewal for Pastors and Church leaders.
One of the benefits of using Moro Bay is that we get to offer this ministry to Pastors and Church leaders without charge.
We have five fully furnished cabins available for families and individuals to come and enjoy six days and five nights on us.
I have written a workbook entitled, Wounded Church Leaders and the Path to Healing. We are using this material in our morning sessions.
Participants will experience topic-focused seminars, group counseling, and individual counseling geared toward meeting the needs of each participant.
We would love for you to join us for one of our retreat sessions!
Dr. Jim Daniel