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Small Church Pastors’ Retreats – Southern Ontario

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 24, 2022 from 7:00 pm until Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 10:00 am.

Location: Cambridge Hotel Conference Centre, 700 Hespeler Rd. Cambridge, Ontario

Cost: $100 per person and $150 per couple – this covers your hotel room and most meals.
Register: Need to register before September 25, 2022. Numbers are limited.
Contact: Gloria Johnston -Administrative Assistant – 519-895-6799


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

Comedian/magician Bob Cates will be there on Monday evening. You will not want to miss him.

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.

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 St. Jacobs area.

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

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.


“When Small is Big”
Despite our many challenges, small churches shouldn’t be seen (or worse diminished/devalued) as unsuccessful partners in God’s mission. We all strive toward steady growth in all areas of ministry. This, while a worthwhile goal, if measured by “butts in seats” and dollars in the plate, can seriously undermine the extraordinary value of a small community of faith. In this talk, we hope to encourage and help small churches to reignite their worth, value and vision, as they participate in the Missio Dei from a perspective of abundance and operate as intentional, small faith communities called and empowered by God’s Spirit. This is when “small “becomes big.

Paulo Andrade has pastored various churches around the London area. Since 2019, he’s been the senior pastor at Grace Bible Chapel, Parkhill. He is married to Kathy and together they have 3 children. Paulo has a warm and accessible personality. He is passionate about engaging his community (especially around a cup of coffee, jamming on his guitar or at local car cruises or racing events). He has a BA in Christian Studies from Brierscrest College and Seminary,  and MDiv in Spiritual Care and Counselling from McMAster Divinity College.


On A Dime: The Necessity of Small Churches for Canada

For too long, the strengths and abilities of smaller congregations have been overlooked in Canada. In this interactive and informative workshop, we are going to discover that the secret to Canadian Christianity has always been measured in smaller, incremental steps made by smaller, flexible congregations; many problems occur when we forget that. “Remember, the only thing large about this nation is the geography, in all other aspects Canadians thrive in the small.” -excerpt from Overlooked

Dr. Robertson is the author of Overlooked: The Forgotten Origin Stories of Canadian Christianity. He is also Assistant Professor of Christian History and Director of Distributed Learning at Tyndale University. He works with church planting/missionary groups highlighting the importance of historical awareness. He has published extensively in the areas of Canadian Church history, Multivocational Ministry, Small church ministry,  as well as church and war. He speaks frequently at popular, church, and academic gatherings.
As the Director of Distributed Learning, he oversees the development of online content and pedagogy for the entire University.
In addition to that, Dr. Robertson is an ordained CBOQ minister and pastors a small two-point charge  in Flamborough.


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