First Love (A New Room Pastors’ Retreat)


Thanks to the generosity of donors in the Seedbed community, we’re able to make this course totally free to all participants. To take advantage of this offer, use the code SCHOLARSHIP at checkout!

Find all the expanded details here.

Here’s the plan:

Starting January 18, every day, J.D. will send you an early morning email with a reflection on Scripture—like a private Daily Text. Our subject will be Paul’s letter to the Philippians. (Bonus—this series will run live on the Daily Text between Easter and Pentecost, which means if you are interested in a ready-made Eastertide series for your flock, this could be the ticket.)

Then, on four different Thursdays (Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11), we will gather on Zoom from 2:00 to 4:00pm CT. Each week we will bring a different Pastor’s Pastor to encourage and minister to us. Dr. David Thomas, Senior Advisor to the New Room and a pastor’s pastor himself, will host these sessions along with others from our team. The balance of the time will be spent in ministry together, some corporate, some breakout, all personal. Beyond the deep restoration and renewal of our first love, we have no agenda. This is a meeting with Jesus. He will bring the agenda and he will personalize it for each of us. That’s it. This will be an extravagant sowing unto the Lord.

Oh, and because of the generous support of the Seedbed community—who loves and believes in you—we’re able to make it totally free. 

Note: This online retreat is for any person who is on the ministry staff of a local church or mission/ministry organization and giving some dimension of pastoral leadership. You don’t have to be ordained, and you can be bi-vocational. 



It’s one thing to go through a global pandemic. It is quite another to go through a global pandemic as a Shepherd of God’s people. Only you know what that means.

You have been through it, and you probably have more than a few scars (and sheep bite marks) to prove it. The virus has hit many hard. The economy has hit others hard. The race crisis has hit many others hard. The toxic political climate has hit most everyone hard. The open up or shut down and who wears masks and why not has been a bur under a lot of saddles. Though we all have this in common now, everyone has been uniquely and particularly impacted.

Do you know what all of those challenges and struggles have in common besides the year 2020? YOU. By virtue of everyone being impacted to greater or lesser degrees by one or more of these things, you have been uniquely impacted by all of them—and in a compounded way—because you are the Shepherd of the whole flock.

On top of all that, you have had to do what you do in a completely different and unprecedented way that is constantly shifting, endlessly frustrating, and no matter how hard you try it remains unsatisfying. And it continues.

Few realize the compounded impact of all of this on our pastors. We do. We see you, and we want to respond to you.

And with that, we invite you to the New Room Pastors’ Retreat.

Of course, it will be a little different. We won’t be going to a destination together, other than way deep into the heart of God. We feel called to create some space between 2020 and the awakening on the horizon. More than anything it will be simple space for returning to our first love. You have had plenty of webinars to help you navigate church in a global pandemic. And no doubt you have Zoom fatigue. We are all limping across the finish line of 2020, and though 2021 should see relief from all of this at some point, we still have some rough waters to navigate. We need to get ourselves together, even if only in tiny squares on the same screen. We don’t need more meetings and certainly not more to do. WE NEED TO MEET WITH GOD. We need some face to face time with Jesus; to breathe deeply of the Holy Spirit, and we need to do it together.

Join us.