Plan that Overdue Sabbatical

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The May 2012 QuietWaters Compass contained an article by David L. Ragsdale entitled “Compassion Fatigue.” In Ragsdale’s sixth strategy for self-protection—“create your self-care plan”—he states: “Plan that overdue sabbatical,” a recommendation I heartily endorse. I have done it, twice! But even two sabbaticals in nearly 40 years of ministry are not enough. Many denominations now believe that pastors should be given a sabbatical every seven years. To me that feels just about right. Sadly, most pastors never get one sabbatical, let alone two. And we wonder why compassion fatigue prevails. A sabbatical needs to be a change of pace, a Sabbath, a time out. Even God rested from His work of Creation on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). As you read of God’s creation in Genesis, the Hebrew idea of what a day should be is put forth. Although it is strange to us, the Hebrew day begins at sundown. “Evening and morning in day one . . .” is how the Bible puts creation. This sequence should condition us to God’s rhythm of grace. We go to sleep, and God does His re-creating work in our bodies and minds. We awaken and are called out to participate in God’s creative action. We respond, after being renewed in faith and work. In the two passages of scripture where the Sabbath commandment appears, the commands are the same, but the reasons behind them are different.

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Caboose MakeOver

Upon arriving at the QuietWaters Retreat one person commented, “I was anxious about meeting my counselor and about being away from my home and family, but found the Retreat Center to be a hospitable and welcoming place.” The MakeOver of the backyard of the QuietWaters Retreat will add to it being a hospitable and welcoming place. Today I took some pictures to be able to give you an update on the new Landscaping.

The pergola is taking place.

View of newly painted caboose.

                  Last Saturday a group led by Joe Lothringer including Kim Lothringer, Lisa Brown, Pat and MK Ritchen, and Les Massoletti painted our caboose RED.  We all know that cabooses are red and now QuietWaters caboose is red too.  When finished inside, the caboose will serve as a prayer chapel and a meeting room for pastoral staff meetings, church leadership meeting that need to take place during the week when the Retreat is in use.

Joe’s team from Eastern Hills Community Church.

Great painters

The finished product

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MakeOver Continues

Today I’m at the Retreat overseeing the continuing work on the MakeOver of the re-landscaping.   Board member Mel Medema is overseeing the project, but is out of town today.  So I’m not so sure that the project is in good hands with me as the overseer.  However, with Joe and his concrete crew and Steve with his landscape crew, I don’t have much to worry about. As Jason said in the last blog, we are an Extreme MakeOver: Pastor Edition with our new landscaping project.  To keep you up-to-date I took some photos today, September 6, 2012 showing the progress.

Here you can see the forms for three of the four patios. The fire pit will be in the middle of the circular patio near the wall and the fountain will be in the middle of the patio in the foreground.


A workman prepares for the cement pour that will take place on Monday.

The retaining wall is nearing completion 
    Jim Schlottman President/CEO

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Extreme MakeOver

Filling in the Pool

QuietWaters has an exciting project in the works.  If you can’t wait to find out what it is, or if the picture isn’t a good enough of a hint… skip to the end of this post to find out the details… All of the construction and modification reminds me of a cultural phenomenon in America — reality television. Reality shows are more popular now than ever.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad reality shows clogging the airwaves, like “I Cloned My Pet,” and “Finding Bigfoot.”  Personally, I’d rather see a twist on those shows: “Finding My Pet”… or “Cloning Bigfoot.” I’m not ashamed to admit it… I love a good reality show (I know, the phrase “good reality show” is at best an oxymoron)… I only have one criteria for a “good reality show.”  It has to be about genuine change.  The really good ones inspire people to have hope.   We all want to be inspired by “normal” people who do extraordinary things. One of the shows that kept my family glued to the television for years was Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.  Everyone in the living room was crying by the end of the program (I think the dog was even a little misty eyed).  Everyone who received a “home makeover” had their dignity restored… and had hope for the future. QuietWaters is in the “hope business.”  People arrive in despair, and our counselors give them hope to face another day.  Our ministry puts people and families back together.  We’re kind of the Extreme Makeover: Pastor Edition. The Retreat Center is getting a “makeover!”  We are re-landscaping the entire back yard to

Progress in the Makeover

include a fountain, fire-pit, prayer garden and other relaxing features.  More updates and photos to follow on the blog.  The garden is going to be amazing when it’s finished. If you would like a tour of the Retreat Center, email us at [email protected]. One more thing — if you could be on any reality show — which one would it be… we might even post the results in an upcoming post. Jason Hanselman Vice President for Development

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Welcome to our Blog

We are introducing a blog to the Quiet Waters Ministries website to enable us to provide you with frequent updates and encouraging words.  You will hear from several staff members about new happenings at QWM and good articles to help you with self-care, growth and vision as you carry out your call to ministry.

QuietWaters is all about renewal, so we want to provide information that will help you realize renewal.

QuietWaters is all about restoration, so we want to give you tools that can address your restoration.

QuietWaters is all about strengthening you for ministry, so we want to give you suggestions on ways to be strengthened.

QuietWaters is all about you, so we want you to know about new ways in which QWM is providing for your enrichment.

So check our blog often and join us on this ministry journey.

Jim Schlottman

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The Greatest Calling

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I have been a pastor at the same church for over 20 years and, like you, understand the challenges of ministry. Pastors experience the great joy of leading people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the gut-wrenching emotion of watching a father serve as the lone pall-bearer carrying the casket holding his infant son down the aisle and setting it at the front of the church. And then we are supposed to get up and say something meaningful. Not long ago I stood in an Intensive Care Unit with a mom and dad whose son had been in a terrible accident. I was there when the doctors came in and told them that he had less than a 10 percent chance to live. I prayed that God would give me something to say and at the same time every emotion in me wanted to be somewhere else. I also rejoiced with that family several weeks later when they sat in church with their son. You know the drill. Every week we are expected to lead our staff in such a way that morale is high and the church is running like a well-oiled machine. We are to provide appropriate peer leadership for our elders and deacons. We are expected to give vision talks that propel people to action. There are weddings with rehearsals and long receptions. There is always a funeral to perform. And then every weekend we stand to deliver a well-studied well-crafted message that moves people to action.

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Ministering to Hispanic Leaders

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[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] H [/dropcap]ispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States, and ministry among them is increasing accordingly. The National Hispanic Association of Evangelicals, the largest Latino Christian organization in America, states that there are over 15 million Hispanics living in the United States who identify themselves as evangelical. The rapid growth of the evangelical church among Latinos is exciting. However, ministry leaders among this population are struggling to keep up with the demands of shepherding their congregations well. While zealous for the work God is doing among them, these leaders are frequently overextended and underresourced, leaving them vulnerable to high levels of stress. Not managed appropriately, this stress can lead to burnout, marital and relational dysfunction, addictive patterns, depression, and ultimately resignation or termination from ministry.

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Niceness Rather Than Truth



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A Digital Help Toward Renewal from QuietWaters Ministries



Volume 10, Number 7 July 2010
Man praying




In the May Compass Online I told you that we had received a record number of inquiries about our Leadership Counseling Intensive program and many have scheduled to come to participate in a LCI at our Retreat Center. 
I ask for your prayers for these colleagues as well as the counselors and host couples that will be serving them.
Thank you for your prayers.  They have been evident.
We continue to serve many so please continue to hold Quiet Waters Ministries and those we serve up in your prayers.



Niceness Rather Than Truth

by Jim Schlottman 



MimeRecently I read the book “Home Town Tales” by Philip Gulley.  One of the stories in the book made me think of some stories I’ve heard from pastors.  Maybe you can relate.
“I have a friend named Tom who pastors a church over in Ohio.  Every so often we visit on the phone.  He tell me his latest thoughts on church growth, Tom has a lot of ideas concerning church growth, none of which seem to take hold.  This past year, he was betting on mimes to pack in the crowds.
The idea came to him during worship.  “If you have mimes, they will come!” a voice whispered.  So at the next meeting of elders, he talked about bringing gospel truth and revival through the ministry of miming.  These elders are nice people, which is how they got to be elders.  They believe in niceness, even at the expense of truth.
“Now there’s a good idea, Pastor,” they told him.  “Why don’t you organize a special Sunday evening service with mimes?  That’s a fine idea.  We’ll look forward to that.  Mimes – why didn’t we think of that?”
Tom found two mimes, set up the worship services, ran ads in the paper, brought in extra chairs, showed up early to unlock the doors, and waited for the crowds.  But no one came except the mimes and Bill, the janitor.  Everyone else stayed home and watched 60 minutes.  They were just being nice and didn’t have the courage to tell him the truth-that a worship service with mimes was the dumbest idea they’d ever heard and they wouldn’t attend if their lives depended on it.”
One story I heard from a pastor was not so humorous, and even more harmful.  During the call process, the call committee had shared with the prospective pastor the church’s desire to reach out to the community.  They even shared a particular program that the church would want him launch right away.  Upon accepting the call and beginning ministry at this church, the pastor immediately followed their direction and launched that mentioned community program.
It was only after he took that step that he received serious criticism from many in the church and almost lost his new position.  The call committee was nice, but not truthful.  That small group who gotten themselves on the committee had their own agenda that they had not been able to accomplish with the last pastor because of major opposition from most in the church.
Niceness rather than truth.
In Leviticus 19 it clearly says, “Do not lie.”  My question in light of that passage is, is not telling the truth the same as lying?  And in Ephesians 4:15 it says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
I just can’t stop without telling you more of Gulley’s story because I found it really funny.  However, I have a funny sense of humor.
“As a result, Tom committed himself to telling the truth.  He tells people what he thinks, whether they want to know or not.  Like the lady who’s done his church’s newsletter for the past twenty years, the worst church newsletter in the kingdom of God.  Tom told her he thought the newsletter needed freshening up and that she should take out the column that lists all the people who missed a Sunday.  So she took it out and now she’s writing a column rating his sermons.  One Bible means the sermon was bad; four Bibles means the sermon was good.  According to her, Tom’s been giving a lot of one-Bible sermons lately.”
How many Bibles are your sermons?
Tom’s response also wasn’t right.  So what are we to do when someone wants to use “niceness rather than truth?”
Prayer, caution and discernment are the words that come to mind.
“My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.” (Proverbs 3:21-22)
I hope you learned a little from Tom.  So that next time a little voice tells you to use mimes to proclaim the gospel, you’ll know that the little voice may not be God.  Take time to pray for discernment.  With discernment you can then trust the correct little voice which is from God.





Gene Meerdink, former Director of Donor Care for QuietWaters Ministries passed away this April 29, 2010.


Gene served with his wife Arlene as missionaries to Mexico and as a supervisor of missionaries for the Reformed Church in America.


Many of you may have known Gene for his work with QuietWaters or you may have known him through his work in missions.

Therefore we wanted you to know of Gene passing.
The family has said that those wishing to honor Gene may contribute in his name to QuietWaters Ministries.  Gene will be recognized with the naming of the prayer chapel at the new Retreat Center.
To make an online memorial gift please  CLICK HERE, fill in the Donor Information and in the Gift Designation window select the “Gene Meerdink Memorial Fund.”


Or mail your memorial gift to QuietWaters Ministries, 9185 E Kenyon Avenue, Suite 150, Denver, CO 80237.

Position Opening

Director of Donor Care (Director of Development)


This position oversees all donor programs with the primary goal of increasing major gift revenue, developing and maintaining relationships, and advancing donors’ commitments to QuietWaters Ministries.


The successful candidate will be responsible for creating and implementing QuietWaters Ministries’ strategic comprehensive campaign plan intended to raise gift income to support current operations and capital needs. 


Qualifications include a minimum of three years progressively successful experience in fund raising, preferably in a Christian organization.  Capital campaign experience beneficial. Successful track record in soliciting major gifts from individuals and organizations.  Documented experience in establishing or maintaining programs for fund raising.  Demonstrated experience in writing successful fund raising direct mail and foundation proposals.
Reports to the CEO/Executive Director

If you need additional information please call Jim Schlottman at 303-639-9066.  To apply send your resume to [email protected]


The QuietWaters Compass Online is published monthly as a free service of QuietWaters Ministries, whose mission is to renew, restore, and strengthen Christian leaders and their families. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of QuietWaters Ministries, its personnel or trustees. Material contained in this publication is not intended as a substitute for the professional assistance you can receive from a counselor, or health care provider. Requests for permission to reprint articles should be directed to the editor at the address below.
James L. Schlottman
QuietWaters Ministries
(303) 639-9066

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QuietWaters Ministries
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In This Issue
Double Honor – Highest Regard
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QuietWaters Ministries

Anniversary Year
 smaller retreat with border



The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.


He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.



Psalm 23:1-3



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