Background and Context

We have been journeying alongside church leaders, both lay and ordained, as they lead their churches in this ministry for nearly twenty years. The global pandemic has exacerbated the difficulties in doing this critical work, impacting churches in ways they never expected. For leaders ministering in low-economic resourced areas, the burden has been even heavier and difficult to bear, leading to trauma and burnout.

These leaders are found specifically in churches on the outskirts of the city. They are ministering amidst an overwhelming burden of poverty, such as unemployment rates in excess of 40% and median annual household incomes of less than R35,000, with people in dire situations and continuous complex trauma within their communities.  While carrying their own personal burdens around this, they put on their collars and serve their communities wounded as they are. The pandemic intensified this burden even further, leaving many with no jobs, loss of loved ones and lack of basic needs, these pastors continue to visit families, bury the deceased and feed those who are in need.

The Warehouse established the Sustainability Project in 2017 to focus specifically on church leaders ministering in low-resourced areas and struggling to meet their own personal needs as well as those of their church community. Leaders are gathered in geographic clusters for mutual support, shared learning and collaboration. The project also organises workshops, forums, experiential learning events, time-giving opportunities and conferences. These encounters are designed to engage participants’ hearts, hands and minds and in so doing inspire and equip them in transformational development theory and practice as well as connect them across the various divides in our city and churches. It has become clear over the past six months that all of these leaders are in need of time to rest, recovery and reflection given their lived reality of the past two years.

A Retreat for healing, restoration and reflection 

We would like to take these ministers and their spouses on a retreat in early 2022, away from their respective communities, creating a healthy space for shared prayer, reflection and learning on 2020-2021 to enable the sharing of ideas and relationships for continuation and positive “resilience” and collective journeying.

The retreat time will include the following:

  • Reflection spaces including silence and solitude
  • Prayer and Affirmation sessions
  • Trauma Awareness exercises 
  • Relaxation and stress relief exercises
  • Planning skills session
  • Sharing of meals as a sacrament

Immediate Outcomes

  • Rest – Pastor have taken time to rest and recuperate 
  • Reflection – Pastors have spent some time reflecting on 2020-2021
  • The pastors to have knowledge of the challenges of sustainability of their individual churches as a shared experience
  • Sharing of ideas 

Long Term Outcomes

  • Sustainable churches
  • Church partnerships for collective actions
  • Positive resilience

Invest in these leaders and their ministries

The full cost of the Retreat for 60 people to attend is  R120,000 ($7,800/£6,000). Would you consider investing in the ministry and life of these leaders:

  • R2,000 ($130/£100) per minister 
  • R4,000 ($260/£200) per couple.

Contact for more information on the project or for donating from USA and UK.