Keith’s Spiritual Retreat Schedule
This week I have felt a weariness of soul and body that is a warning indicator that I have overextended myself. I am in a season of running on fumes spiritually and physically. I realized that I have not used good self care recently, and it is affecting my spiritual leadership. It's time for me to be intentional about getting some time alone with the Lord to recharge and recalibrate. I dug out my spiritual retreat schedule this week and called a friend to see if I could use his cabin for a few days. I told a few peer mentors of my intention and am asking them to hold me accountable to make this retreat happen in a timely manner.
I have shared this schedule over the years with young leaders I mentor and have encouraged them to customize the details to better fit their current needs. It's time for me to practice what I preach. "Physician, heal thyself!" I hear my soul whispering.
Just in case you are in the same place in your leadership, I am giving you this tool to help you take some much needed time of spiritual renewal. Let's follow through together.
Note: This template works best for those whose “spiritual pathways” are solitude, nature, bible study, worship, and/or prayer. It normally takes at least two days of solitude to clear the mind of distractions. It is recommended that the retreat be at least 4 days if possible to ensure the best clarity.
6 – 8 AM: Morning Recreation (Keith – Fly fishing)
8 - 9 AM: Breakfast and clean up cabin
9 – 11 AM: Personal worship and reading (Focus Time)
11 AM – 1 PM: Lunch and walk or hike
1 PM – 3 PM: Free time: nap, read, journal, etc. (Sabbath time)
3 PM – 5 PM: Evening Recreation (Keith – Fly fishing)
5 PM: Get ready and have dinner in town (be around people)
7 PM – Bedtime: Prayer, journaling, bible reading, worship, reflection (Focus Time)
Recommendation: Don’t enter into a spiritual retreat with an agenda for God. He alone knows what He intends to do and how He plans to reveal Himself to you. Your only objective should be to create a sacred time and space of hospitality so you and God can connect relationally at a more intimate level. Anything more than that is an added blessing. That being said, be prepared for God to speak. Have Samuel’s attitude of “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Summary: This schedule is not meant to be rigid or legalistic. It is merely there to create a sense of rhythm and continuity. Feel free to switch things around based upon daylight hours, weather conditions, and best focus times. If you are doing this retreat with others, the recreation and meal times can be a great opportunity for mutual encouragement and interaction, but there needs to be significant periods of solitude in order to connect more intimately with God. There is also the possibility of having a silent retreat with others where the participants experience shared activities with no verbal communication, such as preparing meals and completing chores.
Keith West is the founding President of Latitude GLC, a non-profit ministry in Rockwall, Texas. Keith believes his calling is to be a "Barnabas" to the next generation of spiritual leaders.