Why Stay 2024

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Church leaders are leaving, often for good reasons.

You need a space to honestly wrestle with the question, “Why should I stay in this ministry?”
The Why Stay Retreat will give you a safe space to examine the joys and difficulties you’ve encountered throughout your ministry journey and discover new energy for your next season, your next call, or your next move.

An intentionally small gathering—just for you.

We know the value in creating a safe environment where questions can be heard, stories can be shared, and opportunities to connect with our facilitators is meaningful.

For this reason, our Why Stay Retreats are limited to just 10 total spots**. Only single rooms are available.

**Ticket includes all meals and single room lodging for 4 nights/5 days. Transportation to and from location not included.

Soul care. Spiritual renovation.

At Why Stay you will tend to your soul and:

  • Hear from seasoned church leaders who struggled through their own vocational transition
  • Enjoy extended time resting with God in a peaceful setting
  • Explore new and potential opportunities through thoughtful listening sessions with fellow practitioners

This incredible retreat is brought to you by Missio Alliance – a national leader in creating generative, expansive, intercultural networks to cultivate holistic theologies and practices.

From a past participant:

“Missio Alliance has thoughtfully created a rich an unique opportunity that provides both the rest and challenge needed for leaving refreshed and reorientated for ministry”


Retreat Speakers & Leaders

Lisa Rodriguez-Watson desires to see all people reconciled to God and to each other. Investing in this passionate call for more than two decades has led Lisa to urban church planting, international missions and community development, immigration advocacy, collegiate ministry, and seminary teaching. She now serves as the national director of Missio Alliance, a generative, expansive, and intercultural network of Christian leaders committed to cultivating a holistic theology and practice while tackling some of the most pressing issues facing the church. In addition to her work with Missio Alliance, Lisa serves as associate pastor of discipleship and equipping at Christ City Church. A proud Cuban-American, Lisa writes, speaks and leads at the intersection of formation, justice and mission. She is a contributing author to Voices of Lament: Reflections on Brokenness and Hope in a World Longing for Justice, Red Skies: 10 Essential Conversations Exploring Our Future as the Church, and The Least of These: Practicing a Faith without Margins. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and three kids.

Justin P. Heap partners with the National Director in honing the overall vision and strategy with a specific focus on leading innovation and growth within the content & resource development dimensions of our ministry; he’s passionate about helping provide creative strategy and direction for all Missio’s platforms, channels, and gatherings.
Justin also serves as Teaching Pastor at Real Life Fellowship and is the Founder of Nine Spaces where he helps support leaders, artists, and spiritual directors through integrated listening sessions at the intersection of creativity, enneagram, and professional development.He also runs an Independent Creative Agency, justinpheap.co, and is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Pax Coworking Studio, where he enjoys helping shape the future of work, community, and technology.Justin is a passionate and lifelong learner, with degrees and certifications in psychology, photography, systems thinking, and the enneagram. His writing has been featured with Relevant Magazine, Fatherly, Church Leadership Center, Sunday U, and is the author of a book of poetry, By & By & Never. He loves all the adventures of family life and currently lives in Holland, MI.

Sarah Schepens loves to create spaces where people can connect, grow and learn about the world and themselves. She is a third-culture individual who was raised overseas, which also instilled a deep love for the study of people and culture. A graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary with a MA in Intercultural Studies, she has traveled to over 30 countries, and has lived on four continents, calling France, the Middle East, Ecuador and Thailand her home for different amounts of time.Sarah is a certified Cultural Intelligence and Unconscious Bias Trainer from the Cultural Intelligence Center. She currently lives in the beautiful state of Colorado, manages operations for another small non-profit and is enjoying all the hiking and outside opportunities the state has to offer.

David Nishizaki is passionate about solving problems others aren’t. Through his work he hopes to help mobilize God’s people on the margins, into the work of God around the world.
 David grew up in California and currently lives in Washington DC. Prior to DC, he lived 5 years in Latin America in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. He is proudly a multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual Japanese-American.
 David has worked for Envision of the Christian and Missionary Alliance the past 11 years. He and his wife Aleah have pioneered a ministry working alongside the Deaf community in Washington DC and around the world. David’s worked in ministry for almost 20 years and admits that he’s asked the question, “Why stay?” more times than he can remember.

This is not a conference. This is not your average retreat.

We’re in a season that demands more attention to soul care, rest, awakening, and renewal. We believe there is great value in finding a new, breathtaking, wonderful location to pause and listen.

Retreat will be held at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA