For years we have prayed about a retreat center within a couple hour drive of our campuses. So much can be accomplished in education, training, development, and life change when you have an extended, concentrated time away from the heavy traffic of daily life.
Located in the town of Deckerville, 2 hours north east of Troy, the property is situated on 40 wooded acres, and just 1/8 mile off the shore line of Lake Huron.
Built in in 1997, this 13,500 square foot log home, was designed as a private residence. It has 8 bedrooms, 7 and (2) 1/2 baths, multiple fireplaces, two kitchens and an indoor pool. The house originally went on the market in 2009 for almost $4.0 million. It has been vacant and bank owned. We submitted an offer for $800,000 and it was accepted.
It’s our desire to turn this beautiful residence into the Woodside Retreat Center. It will become the place where marriages can be strengthened and restored, where our Woodside family can gather for training and learning, and where pastors around the region can come to be refreshed and renew their sense of purpose and calling.
Not only is the definition of marriage being attacked today, many Christian marriages are in trouble. The church spends a lot of time and energy to provide remedial help. A retreat center could provide opportunities for couples to receive practical and preventative counseling during weekends throughout the year.
Leadership Development and Team Building
As Woodside continues to grow, there is an increasing need for campus pastor development, leadership training, DNA teaching and alignment, and team building. The retreat center could become a familiar place for all of our ministries. It becomes a home for leadership development for campus pastors, departmental training and development, neighborhood groups training and getaways, student leadership retreats, special needs leadership training, etc.
The retreat center will be core to supporting our leadership development vision initiative. Men and women enrolled in our internship, mentoring and residency programs would be given the opportunity to gather together for leadership emersion and training.
A retreat center would also be utilized by our message development team. It’s here they could have a block of concentrated time away for message series development, message writing, and collaboration meetings with creative and communication teams. This could produce a better product while developing people and teams.
Pastors’ Encouragement and Enrichment
Over 1,000 pastors leave the ministry every month citing burn out, anxiety and failing to meet expectations.
Books and large conferences, have not effectively worked to keep pastors functioning and fulfilled in ministry. The key is developing relationships with colleagues outside of one’s ministry setting. A retreat center provides this opportunity.
During the week, 6-8 pastoral couples, from local churches, could gather for three days. They would bond and make connections. The hope is they will stay connected, encourage each other and have accountability throughout the year. As a cohort unit they could return the following year to deepen relationships and for further strategic ministry development.
How does the purchase of this property effect the existing Royal Oak and Detroit campusing initiatives?
The purchase of this property has been made possible through the generosity of a few of our Woodside families. This gives us the opportunity to continue to focus on our existing priorities. We are continuing to actively look for properties for both of these campuses. In Royal Oak, we have identified a property and have submitted a letter of intent to the property owners.
How will the operation of the retreat center be funded?
An operational business plan is currently being developed. Funding sources may include donors and facility rental fees. It’s our desire that eventually the retreat center would be self-sustaining.
Who will run the day to day operations of the retreat center?
We will hire an on-site resident property manager who will reside in an apartment located above the garage of the center.
When will the retreat center be opening?
We are targeting fall 2016.