By Chris Conrades

This past Memorial Day 2024 was a special weekend for 14 families because it marked the first-ever Pastors’ Family Camp hosted by SCBI. Ministry families gathered at Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center to step away from the busyness of ministry and spend intentional time together. The theme for the weekend came from Psalm 77:11-12 which reads, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”

Remembering God’s Faithfulness

During the retreat, families had the opportunity to worship together, study Scripture together, and reflect on God’s faithfulness to them. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the worship music because it was led by a combination of children, youth, and adults from four different SCBI ministry families. Bible study sessions were led by Sean Corser of Practical Shepherding Ministries which is a ministry focused on encouraging and equipping pastors and their families. Sean gave families tools to help them remember God’s work in their lives. A special time of family worship was also supplied for each family to spend time together discussing Psalm 77. As ministry families, it is easy to become distracted and lose focus. This weekend helped to draw our attention back to God and His work around us. We were able to step away from leading for a weekend to just relax and remember.

Relaxing Together

The families also had plenty of time to have fun! From playing Family Feud and the Newlywed Game to several rounds of Kids vs Parents on the Archery Tag course, this weekend was full of laughter! Our planning team intentionally scheduled plenty of free time for families to relax and unwind together. It was fun to see couples taking walks hand in hand, children riding bikes along the paths, or families sitting and working on craft projects together. During this free time, many new friendships were made, especially among the kids! Gaga ball was the most popular activity for the more than 28 kids present at the camp. What a fun memory they will have and hopefully they will remember each other and continue their new friendships for years to come!

Reflecting and Growing

During the retreat, there were several breakout sessions. The adults in attendance discussed topics in family worship, the joy of serving together, and shepherding your family well. While the adults were together, the kids had their own breakout sessions. Their breakouts were focused on talking through what it is like being a ministry kid. This was a fun and unique experience that provided a chance for the children to share and ask questions together. Another aspect of the weekend involved families creating a family mission statement together. Each family had time over two days to discuss and write a family mission statement that reflected their goals and dreams. At the end of the weekend, each family left with their mission statement framed and matted to be displayed in their homes.

Looking forward to a New Tradition

The Pastors’ Family Retreat was a tremendous success. Each family went home with resources, gifts, and hopefully a refreshed spirit. The weekend provided opportunities for new friendships and encouragement. There were times of group prayer for pastors going through tough times, new pastors stepping into new ministries, and families walking through challenges. Tons of snacks, smores, and cookies were eaten and lots of laughter was shared. In the end, the families in attendance all agreed that they hoped this was the first of many years of camps focused on encouraging and empowering ministry families. We hope this weekend of Remembering God’s Goodness becomes a tradition that continues to tell the story of God’s faithfulness.