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Small Church Pastors’ Retreat – Alberta

If you are a small church pastor, we want to give you the gift of a few days away in a quiet setting where you can be refreshed. This retreat is designed especially for the leader of a small church of 150 people or less in attendance on a Sunday morning.

Small Church Connections has heard of many small church pastors who have struggled through the pandemic with their churches. Many have had to learn skills that they were not trained for. Now they are getting back into finding the new normal for their churches. They are tired and stressed.
As a result, Small Church Connections is planning retreats where pastors and spouses, if they are able to come, can spend a few days away from their churches with other small church pastors. It will be a time of spiritual refreshment, workshops and time to relax. It will also be a time to connect with other pastors who understand the struggles and joys of pastoring a small church.

Cost: Small Church Connections is trying to keep the cost down for pastors as we understand that many don’t have extra cash. The cost will be $100 per person or $150 per couple for each retreat. This will cover the cost of hotel room and most meals.

There is only room for about 100 people at each retreat so the earlier you register the better.


Dates: Monday, October 17, 2022 from 7:00 pm until Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 10:00 am.

Location: Banff Park Lodge Resort Hotel and Conference Centre
222 Lynx Street, Banff Alberta

Cost: $100 per person and $150 per couple – this covers your hotel room and most meals.
Register: Need to register before September 29, 2022. Numbers are limited.
Contact Person: Gloria Johnston, Administrative Assistant 519-895-6799,


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ron Johnston, Executive Director of Small Church Connections.

Comedian Matt Falk will be there on Monday evening. You will not want to miss him.

Rick Hiemstra /Lindsey Callaway, researchers for the Canadian Evangelical Small Church Study will present for the first time the results of the research project on the small church in Canada. There will be time for Q & A afterwards.

Tuesday night supper is not provided. This is a time for couples to have a date night supper or for groups of pastors to go out for supper.

There will be time on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons to rest or go exploring in the beautiful Banff area.

There will be workshops, given by fellow small church pastors, for you to attend. More information follows.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ron Johnston, Executive Director of Small Church Connections, has more than forty years experience working with small churches both in Canada and around the world. He is the author of Reality Check for the Church. He has a deep concern for small churches and the pastors who lead them. In addition to his responsibilities with Small Church Connections, he serves as the pastor of New Dundee Baptist Church.


“Welcoming and Belonging Workshop”
Our churches are uniquely positioned to be on the frontline in welcoming and creating belonging as many rural areas and small towns are seeking growth from the outside, from either migrant or immigrant journeys. Intentionally focused churches have the opportunity to influence a community in creating belonging (i.e. social cohesion and integration) between newcomers and the existing established community. This workshop will look at how cohesion is created through Voice, Acceptance, and Purpose based upon the biblical framework found in Ephesians 2:19-22.

Presented by Rev. Dr. Kevin Driver pastor of Banff’s Full Gospel Church and current chair of the Bow Valley immigration Partnership.

“Community Impact and the Small Church”
What do you get when you combine an open heart and mass-produced Kraft Dinner? Answer: an epic failure that opened the doors to an incredible story.

In this breakout session we will spend our time talking about how small churches can impact their community. My hope is that you will be encouraged, inspired, and energized to once again think about the community that God has placed your local church in, and the potential there is to impact the lives of people.

Presented by Rev. David Bradford pastor of Brooks Alliance Church (Brooks, AB) – started there in 2011.
He has been in full-time pastoral ministry since 1999

“Rest & Renewal for Ministry Leaders”
Learning to live within one’s limits

In his book Margins, Richard Swenson asks whether there is a speed limit to life? He observes that many of us live as though there isn’t a speed limit. He says “we want to be all things to all people all of the time all by ourselves, and so we get all stressed out.”

It should come as no surprise that Christians in general, and pastors in particular, are not exempt from the stresses and strains of busy lives, and what we experience and how we respond to it is having and will have an impact on us and those we serve.

In this workshop we will identify some of the ways overload and lack of margin impact our lives and strategies will be presented for dealing with the deficits which come from being overloaded and over extended.

The presenter, Paul R Warnock has been a pastor for 30+ years, serving in rural, remote rural, and transitional roles. He is a co-founder of the Rural Church Pastors Network (RCPN) and is on the Board for Small Church Connections.

“Obstacles to Long Term Ministry”
To stay longer?  Or go elsewhere?  Stay too long and you feel like what you contributed to a ministry begins to unravel.  Leave too soon and you may carry a nagging sense of something incomplete.  Every pastor faces this question from time to time (most frequently on Monday mornings!), and it seems that  “Post-Covid” ministry has left a few more asking these questions.  How do we process this question and make a “stay or leave” decision?  How might we address some of the obstacles to staying longer to envision staying where we are for a longer season?  This workshop is less a “teaching” workshop and more of a conversation in the room as we look together at some of the “Obstacles to Long Term Ministry” and how we might face them.

Rev. Kevin Roberts has been a pastor for 25 years, 19 of them were as a bivocational pastor. I am currently serving at Fort Macleod Alliance Church in Fort Macleod, Alberta.

Click Here to Register