Have you ever been on a church or ministry retreat? Have you ever heard about them, but did not know what the benefits could be?
Well, I’ve participated in a large range of retreats from my days as a middle school student and now into adulthood.
Each one helped me to connect better with other people involved in a shared ministry.
How retreats cultivate relationships and community
- They remove people from their distracting surroundings.
When in middle school and high school, we weren’t even allowed to have our cell phones—and that was fine with me. I concentrated on the people I was with in person.
Adults who go on retreats can temporarily have a break from the demands of work, school, or stressful situations.
- They incorporate fun, relationship-building activities in addition to the daily lesson.
For example, I just went on a retreat with BLOC Ministries two weekends ago.
The facility we stayed in had a gym, so most of us played volleyball, card games, and enjoyed lots of fellowship.
- They give people encouragement and advice for pressing on through the difficulties listed in my first point.
The overarching theme for every retreat is that everything we do should point back to Jesus.
For example, at the retreat I mentioned in my previous point, we all had to make signs that represented how we want to live for Christ this coming year. Not only did we have to make them, but we also had to share them with everyone else in attendance.
That theme has proven to be very comforting, yet challenging at the same time. But that’s not a bad thing.
The Final Thing
No matter your age, life stage, or personality, retreats are meant to refocus you and to promote spiritual growth.
This growth can be experienced in an extreme capacity when you are in relationship with God and when you do life with other Christ followers.