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Small Church Pastors’ Retreats – Maritimes

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.


Date: Monday November 14, 2022 from 7:00 pm until Thursday November 17, 2022 at 10:00 am.

Location: Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, 761 Broadway Ave., Cornwallis Park, Nova Scotia

Cost: $100 per person and $150 per couple – this covers your hotel room and most meals.

Register: Need to register before October 24, 2022. Numbers are limited.
Contact Person: Gloria Johnston, Administrative Assistant, 519-895-6799,


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

Rick Hiemstra /Lindsey Callaway, researchers of 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.

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


“Encouraging Mentors in the Small Church”
Stress, panic and insecurity has mushroomed into our consciousness, both inside and outside the church. Yet as Christians, the answer lies in the ministry of encouraging mentors who are empowered by and in intimate fellowship with the God of encouragement. Church members are called to encourage one another. The small church often has the advantage of a slower pace, established connections and the awareness that everyone needs to work together. This workshop on developing and encouraging mentors in your church is a tool that God can use to help you break through any stifling traditions, negative thinking, and self-centered perspectives. Join me in discovering an encouraging mentor’s profile, developing an encouraging mentor’s mindset, and establishing 3 crucial roles of Christ-like mentors in your church. In addition, receive 4 essentials (from the life of Barnabas) of small church encouraging mentors!

Stewart Brown, DMin, is a teacher in Pastoral Leadership Development (PLD) with the mission Action International Ministries. Presently, he is focused on Cuba and Nepal but also connecting online with other leaders in Africa, and Asia and South America. He has taught pastors and church conferences in Cuba and in Peru.  Stewart has an equipping work called “One Heart Ministries” through writing, speaking and seminars in churches. This includes resources that are outlined on his website: 

“When the Kingdom Comes to Town”

‘When the Kingdom comes to Town’ – Have you ever asked yourself, ‘What would it look like if the Kingdom of God was at work in my community?’ During this session Dave will share how Churches have the opportunity to be an expression of the Kingdom of God in the space, lives, and ministry we each have been given.

Dave Sawler is a Church planter in Cape Breton. For 17 years their church has been part of developing, and implementing, a community transformation Strategy for the towns they minister in. Dave is currently the Co-Chair for the Public Advisory Group for Mental Health and Addiction Services for the eastern zone / and province, and is the Director of Undercurrent Family Centres. Dave is husband to Shirley and they have 3 adult children, and way too many dogs, and is an outdoor adventure lover


Five Crucial Truths About Small Church Ministry

While listening to the pastor of a church with more than 5,000 members, the seed for this retreat was planted in the mind of the presenter. He realized that most of what he was hearing just didn’t apply to his church of less than one hundred people. Over the years that fact has been reinforced over and over again. The small church is different and needs its own set of resources built around those differences. In this workshop Ron Johnston will share five truths designed specifically for small-church ministry.


Welcoming and Belonging
Our churches are uniquely positioned to be on the front line 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.

Click Here to Register