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The Bible offers ample evidence of Jesus retreating from his crowds of followers. As contemporary Christians, we can learn a lot from his example.
What's the Point of Church Retreats?
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Product Type:
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Product Number:
TC0393

So, what can we do on a retreat that we can't do in a meeting room at church? Given the costs of time and money involved in staging a retreat, is it really worth it?

Jesus thought so. The Bible offers numerous stories of Jesus walking away from the constant crowds to carve out a time and space to be alone. There are also stories of Jesus taking his closest followers with him to create teaching opportunities. It is important that we do so as well.

Our physical environment has such an impact on our spiritual lives. And just as someone who lives by the sea may ignore a sunset, or a city dweller may cease to marvel at a skyscraper, we too can grow complacent about the practical and spiritual aspects of our lives. We simply get comfortable where we are.

Taking ourselves out of our daily routine--opening our hearts and minds to the people and places around us--is at the heart of every successful retreat. To carve out, even if only for a day, time and space to give ourselves over to something deeper, something that will last far longer than the retreat itself.

Nancy Ferguson is a certified educator and former day camp director at Camp Hanover in Richmond, Virginia. She lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia where she concentrates on writing resources for camps and retreats. She is the author of eight books, including The Retreat Leader's Manual (with Kevin Witt) and Retreats for Renewal: Five Designs for Intergenerational Retreats.


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