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Who We Are


Retreat facilities are provided by Luke and Faye Pickelman at their Grey Hare Inn on the Old Mission Peninsula, a short drive north of downtown Traverse City on Highway 37. It was their vision to establish Good Friend Ministries, a 501c3 ministry and Recognized Service Organization of the LCMS, to serve the pastors of the Michigan District, their spouses and families. The name, Good Friend Ministries, is inspired by Jesus' words to his disciples in the Upper Room as recorded in John 15:15, "I no longer call you servants…I have called you friends, for everything I have learned from myFather I have made known to you". Good Friend Ministries is a Recognized Service Organization of the LCMS and receives grant funding for their pastoral retreat and counseling ministry.

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There can be many purposes for pastoral retreats, designed to meet a variety of needs: Relax Retreats can help break the cycle of stress. Refresh-Ministry is exhausting work, and everyone needs to take time for rest. Renew-Retreats provide an opportunity to renew body, mind, and spirit. Recover-A retreat provides time to recover from stressful circumstances or a stressful season. Rekindle-The regular grind of ministry can put a strain on a marriage. A retreat can be a great way to rekindle the marriage relationship. Refocus-A retreat can provide time to think and pray about ministry goals and strategy, or provide time to refocus spiritually. Rebuild-A retreat can serve the purpose of rebuilding a ministry, sometimes from the
ground up.


•Church leaders carry an enormous responsibility for the spiritual well-being of their congregation members. Good Friend Ministries’ primary goal is to provide the setting and tools for these pastors to nurture their own spiritual, emotional, and mental health. 

•An experienced Christian counselor is on site for guests to receive specialized pastoral ministry and counsel. 

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Jesus said "feed my lambs" but pastors are burning out...

•75% report being “extremely stressed” or “highly stressed”

•90% work between 55 to 75 hours per week

•40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month

•80% will not be in ministry ten years later and only a fraction make it a lifelong career

•100% of 1,050 Reformed and Evangelical pastors had a colleague who had left the ministry because of burnout, church conflict, or moral failure

•80% believe their pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families

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