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Personal Retreat Days or PRD’s are one of the required components to my work as a campus minister with Impact Campus Ministries.  In all honesty, it was one of the things that made the Impact organization attractive and different than any other ministry position I have had to this point.  These occur once a month and are my way of recharging spiritually, and sometimes physically. There aren’t simply enough words to explain why I can’t be effective as a minister without taking PRD’s.  It doesn’t matter how busy the schedule is, it simply had to be included or at some point, I simply won’t be functioning well mentally, physically and spiritually.  Here are 5 things about my personal retreat day.

1. Turn the phone to silent or simply don’t take it.  For me, the biggest distraction is email so it is better if I don’t take the phone or put it in a spot where I am not checking email.

2.  Find your spot.  I like to do one of two things usually, either hang out at a coffee shop and or go hiking if the weather is decent.  My third option is at home only if I can find a place where I won’t be distracted.  It becomes to easy to slip into work mode if I am not careful.

3.  Necessary items for me are my iPad (which contains my Bible and the current books I am reading), my iPod for music,  downloaded podcasts of “Pray As You Go” to help set my focus for the day, and usually my journal to record thoughts and conversations that occur between God and I.

4.  Avoid distractions.  For me that usually involves work related things like email but also I have to be in a place where I can be an introvert, put in my headphones and focus.

5.  Relax and enjoy the ride.  It is okay to recharge and renew, it is not a lazy, slacking off day.  It has purpose and great value as long as we are willing to sit back and listen to God.  Some of my best insights into Scripture have come on my PRD’s because I am simply engulfing myself in God’s presence.